The American Trucking Associations (ATA) announced that it has assumed management of the Distribution and LTL Carriers Association, a Kansas City, MO-based organization that represents for-hire trucking companies engaged in local, regional and inter-regional less-than-truckload freight shipments and warehousing.

Under an agreement signed by ATA President and CEO Bill Graves and Distribution and LTL Carriers Association Chairman Glen Merkel of Davis Cartage, ATA will provide day-to-day management of the 70-member association effective June 1.

Robert Farrell, Executive Director of ATA’s Automobile Carriers Conference, will serve as President and Secretary of Distribution and LTL, which will continue to operate as an independent organization.

“This agreement has special significance for me because my family business, Graves Truck Line, was a less-than-truckload carrier,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said at the signing agreement held at ATA’s Arlington, Va., headquarters. “ATA looks forward to working with the Distribution and LTL Carriers Association.”

The Distribution and LTL Carriers Association was formed in 1996 through the consolidation of the Regional and Distribution Carriers Conference and Regular Common Carrier Conference, both of which were founded to promote the interests and profitability of their trucking company members.

In recent years, the Distribution and LTL Carriers Association has focused on member networking and educational opportunities. ATA assumed the group’s legislative advocacy role in 2004.

As President and Secretary of the Distribution and LTL Carriers Association, Robert Farrell said the organization will focus its efforts on providing value to current and potential members by promoting new and affordable technologies to family owned trucking companies, promoting best practices and providing all-important networking opportunities.

Farrell, who has nearly 25 years of association experience, began his career as a Legislative Director for the New York State Motor Truck Association. He later served as the President of the National Automobile Transporters Association. In 2004, Farrell was named the Executive Director of the Automobile Carriers Conference of the American Trucking Associations. During his tenure, the ACC has successfully coordinated efforts to enact legislation benefiting the autohauling industry.

The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.