The Truckload Carriers Assn. (TCA) and The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) have released a revised version of their joint “Voluntary Guide to Good Business Relations” to better reflect today’s more complex operation environment.

The Guide emphasizes reasonable and commonsense treatment of the four primary parties involved in truck transportation, and outlines mutually desirable business practices that TCA and NITL believe responsible shippers, receivers, carriers, and drivers should adopt.

While many of the concepts in the original guide — written in September of 2000 — are still valid, both TCA and NITL felt it was important to update the wording to better reflect today’s more complex operating environment, according to TCA.

“It’s been over a decade, and we realized that now is the ideal time to resurrect these guidelines,” said Jim Ward, president of D.M. Bowman, Inc., of Williamsport, MD, and co-chairman of TCA’s Carrier/Shipper Relations Committee. “It’s critical that today’s shippers, receivers, carriers and drivers collaborate to make the industry more efficient, more productive and more labor-friendly. For example, stronger emphasis is needed on time management and asset utilization. Mutual respect between parties is also vital, given the challenges confronting the industry in recruiting and retaining a quality labor force today.”

Although the guide was initially developed by TCA and NITL for their respective members, both organizations believe it is applicable to many, if not all, segments of the truck transportation industry and their customers. The organizations are encouraging other entities, such as food shippers, warehousing organizations, the retail industry, etc., to adopt these voluntary guidelines.

“This guide is all about working together to promote efficient goods movement through the supply chain,” said Bruce Carlton, president and CEO of NITL. “As the shippers’ voice, the league is very pleased to have worked alongside the TCA to produce a best practices guide that is straightforward and relatively simple to implement in a host of shipper/carrier relationships. League members have enthusiastically embraced these good practices, and we believe they set an achievable set of realistic goals for all parties.”

To view the newly revised Voluntary Guide to Good Business Relations for Shippers, Receivers, Carriers, and Drivers, please visit www.truckload.org/Voluntary-Guide or www.nitl.org/NITL_TCA-Guidelines.pdf.