A special staff task force of the Interstate Commerce Commission yesterday recommended that the agency reduce trucking regulations in a dozen areas, including the movement of household goods.
ICC Chairman A. Daniel O'Neal said the proposals, if adopted, could effectively deregulate entry into the industry in the 12 segments. The 12 areas are estimated to represent more than 25 percent of the total tonnage of the regulated motor carrier industry and more than 33 percent of its revenues.
Besides household goods, the industry segments identified by the staff as candidates for partial deregulation are transportation of:
Lumber and building materials.
Commodities, such as food and food products, which must move under temperature-controlled conditions.
Bulk materials, including liquid and dry chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, edibles, cement, and products of mines and quarries.
Heavy haul services, including equipment used in oil production, construction, mining, and so on.
Armored car and related services.
The staff report, which took six months to nprepare, proposed an easing of regulations in the area of entry into the business and establishing a zone of reasonableness in which carriers could alter their rates without ICC interference, although the staff did not propose specific rate parameters.
The staff proposed eliminating the participation in rate bureaus by trucking companies hauling these commodities. Rate bureaus are the ICC-sanctioned groups of truckers that meet to set freight rates in their areas.
The staff report follows an initial report last fall that recommended 39 reforms in motor carrier regulation. The commission already has acted on many of the proposals.
The ICC staff report urging some continued administrative deregulation came as the Administration stepped support for a legislative proposal to transportation, said he expected that more substantially and quickly reduce trucking regulation. At a briefing for reporters on the proposal yesterday, Alan Butchman, deputy secretary of Transportation, said he expected that the Administration would have completed work on the measure in time to appear at hearings scheduled by the Senate Commerce Committee June 26.
Butchman and Mary Schuman, assistant director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff, said the ICC had made progress toward deregulation but felt legislation was necessary and hoped the ICC would support it. "We would like to bring on the ICC as much as possible," Schuman said.