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Long Haul Legacy: SMC3 and the Evolution of Motor Freight

Provided access to records and people who had a major role in the development and transformation of motor freight from regional rate bureaus during the years of government regulation to technology based supply chains following deregulation, F. Martin Harmon has written a book on the unique relationship of this industry with one of its most influential corporate partners. Released in January 2016, Long Haul Legacy: SMC3 and the Evolution of Motor Freight begins with the advent of trucks during World War I and the start of trucking in America by farmboys returning home from the war with plans to supplement their rural-based lifestyle by delivering livestock and produce to market. From there it traces the proliferation of the business and its pioneers, especially in the South; its eventual competition with the railroads; and the origins of federal regulation of the industry that lasted over five decades. In addition, major influences that shaped the industry are examined, including unionization, consolidation, and the Interstate Highway System.

Also featured throughout is the integral role played by SMC3, one of the nation’s original collective rate-making bureaus when it was founded as the Southern Motor Carriers Rate Conference in 1935. This previously untold saga of survival and vision in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds is one of motor freight’s more amazing success stories and includes a detailed examination of the bureau era, its regional structure, and very tedious rate-producing processes vital to the industry’s regulated landscape. Later, with deregulation on the horizon, learn how SMC3 led the way in the conversion to technology-based pricing and industry transition to computerized nationwide supply chains. In fact, while other regional bureaus were forced to shutter their doors, SMC3 not only survived, but achieved industry-wide influence.

It’s a story of issues and innovation as well as legislation and litigation. In between, it’s about such things as rates, routes, classifications, benchmarks, zip codes, mergers, logistics, software, e-commerce, and even the cloud. It’s a slice of American history that has previously not been written about.

Copyright F. Martin Harmon 2014

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