Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Key Cargo Industries Spent $165M to Lobby Feds In 2009

The four main sectors of supply chain transportation – air, rail, sea and truck – spent a total of $165 million on lobbying the federal government in 2009, according to disclosure records just released from the federal government. The four transportation sectors, comprised of 471 client companies or trade groups, used the lobbying funds to hire 1,687 lobbyists in 2009.

By comparison, only three industries spent more on lobbying the federal government last year: the pharmaceutical/health product industry spent $264 million, the business association industry spent $183 million (with $144 million spent by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce), and the oil/gas industry, which spent $168 million in 2009.

The air transport sector, with 195 clients, spent $85.3 million on 747 lobbyists in 2009. Fed-Ex and United Parcel were the two air sector companies with the largest lobbying bill, spending $16.3 million and $8.4 million, respectively, in 2009. The Air Transport Association of America was the highest spending air transport sector trade group, expending just under $5 million in 2009 on federal lobbying.

The rail sector, with 66 clients, paid out $46.5 million in 2009 to hire 343 lobbyists. Class I railroads Norfolk Southern, BNSF, and Union Pacific, were the top lobbying companies in the sector, spending $6.3 million, $6.2 million, and $5.6 million, respectively. The Association of American Railroads was the top lobbying trade group for the industry, spending $10.6 million in 2009.

The sea transport sector, with 181 clients, spent just over $24.7 million to hire 430 lobbyists during 2009. Overseas Shipping Group and AP Moller-Maersk were the top cargo shipping lines, spending $1.2 million and $610,000, respectively, during 2009 on federal lobbying. Unlike other industries, the sea transport sector utilizes trade groups for lobbying to a much greater extent. Five of the top ten spenders on federal lobbying in the sector are trade associations. The two leading trade groups for the sector were the Cruise Lines International Association and the American Association of Port Authorities, which spent $2.2 million and just under $1 million, respectively, on federal lobbying in 2009.

The trucking sector, with 29 clients, spent $8.7 million to hire 167 federal government lobbyists in 2009. Trucking firm Con-Way, Inc., was the top lobbying company in the sector, spending $850,000 during 2009. The American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association were the two leading trade groups in the sector, spending $1.8 million and just over $1 million, respectively, for lobbying in 2009.

Also included in the transportation sector were miscellaneous transportation groups, which spent $17.7 million in 2009. Transportation industry employee unions, not classified in the overall transportation sector, spent another $11.6 million last year to lobby federal lawmakers.