According to the IRS: This is a brief history of trucking:
Late 1800’s- The Federal Government began regulating transportation companies to prevent railroads from charging unfair rates. Regulation also helped to protect transportation companies from unfair competition.
1935- Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act. This gave the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) authority to regulate the motor carriers and drivers involved in interstate commerce by granting operating permits, approving trucking routes, and setting tariff rates.
The ICC set uniform tariff rates for hauling freight. Since the rates were uniform for all trucking companies, there was little or no competition due to pricing.
Mid 1900’s-Containerization became a popular method of transporting freight, to reduce shipping costs, reduce handling of the freight, and cut losses due to damage or theft.
1967-Department of Transportation (DOT) is created.
1980-The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 partly deregulated the trucking industry.
In the decade after deregulation, the competition in trucking was fierce. There were not only hundreds of new companies, but also the formerly gentlemanly manner in which the big players dealt with each other became a battle to the death. Ten years after trucking was deregulated, one third of the 100 largest trucking companies were out of business, casualties of the fierce competition.
It became increasingly difficult for the trucking companies to operate with union drivers. Their compensation is usually 35 percent more than non‘union drivers.
1982-The Surface Transportation Act of 1982 set uniform size and weights limits for the trucking industry nationwide. Under this law, trucks that use interstate highways may not weigh in excess of 80,000 lbs.