DOJ Seeking Evidence Against Freight Brokers Before Opening Investigation

Washington D.C. – The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking evidence of potential antitrust law violations before possibly opening an investigation into the business practices of freight brokers.

In a meeting with DOJ representatives this week, James Lamb, president of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) presented preliminary evidence of alleged broker abuses amid the COVID-19 national emergency.

Lamb tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN) the DOJ is “reviewing” its submissions.




 

“After our meeting, the DOJ advised us they want to receive evidence of alleged violations of law in the area of antitrust, which prohibit a number of business practices that restrain trade,” Lamb said.

Antitrust violations are often exceedingly difficult to prove.

However, one of the most common offenses are agreements made between competing sellers for the purpose of restraining competition.

These “price fixing” agreements, as they are referred to, whereby competing sellers collude to set minimum and maximum rates are a violation of antitrust laws.

Another common violation is corporate mergers with the intent to restrain competition in, and acquire a monopoly over, a certain market.




 

The SBTC secured the meeting following its call, last week, for the DOJ to immediately launch an investigation into “large third party intermediaries” for possible “antitrust activity and/or illegal price-fixing.”

“We believe, these large third-party logistics entities have engaged in a scheme to profiteer by price gouging their shipper clients (charging them pre-coronavirus rates), especially in the ‘spot market,’ yet paying carriers substandard rates, targeting the most desperate of truckers willing to accept rates that barely cover the cost of fuel,” an SBTC letter to the DOJ stated.


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Further, the 15,000-member SBTC alleged mega brokers could be engaged in a “conspiracy with Big Trucking to put small players out of business and defeat competition.”




 

Lamb is asking those who believe they have evidence of such violations to forward it to [email protected]

However, he stressed to TNN that the DOJ has not yet opened an official investigation into the matter.

“They would not acknowledge to us if and when an investigation is in progress, so an investigation could be opened tomorrow and we would not know,” he said.

 


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Comment (3)

  1. Good afternoon, hey let’s be honest here! First of all the broker’s have a binding contract with the shipping companies. The price doesn’t change until the contract ends at the end of the year of which it started.
    Price gouging is pure GREED and DISRESPECT to the owner operators. The brokers are taking up to 65% of the load and giving O/O 35% of the load.
    How and why are they allowed to get away with this behavior?
    We truck drivers are not making this up! Just go look for yourself on DAT’s Load board.
    I’m fully aware that we O/O are essential, but we are treated like crap by the broker’s, and they are condescending as well!
    We need transparency in this industry, between the shipper and the broker. Brokers are entitled to 16% not 65%. They are not asset based, we O/O are.
    It’s about time for the FMCSA to monitor the brokers the same way they monitor the truck drivers.
    We O/O and trucker drivers keep this great country of ours, alive and well. We should be treated with respect, and paid fairly for the service that we provide to our country.
    This BROKER’s price Gouging must stop ASAP! They will put us out of business, if they are allowed to continue to do this.
    We need help! We need to be heard! We need a voice to represent us! If we shut down, the country will be shut down as well.
    Transparency is the key!!!! Maybe the trucking industry should be unionized!
    Hey let’s not forget about DAT’S Load board, who are they to determine/dictate the price per mile that we should get paid?
    Obviously they are not aware of the expenses that we encounter from origin to destination. Like tolls and gas.
    Example: pickup from Newark, NJ to Brooklyn, NY. 45 mile travel
    DAT- load board says $2.00 per mile so now the brokers offers us drivers $200.00 sounds good. but it’s not, not at all.
    To come into NYC we must go over the George Washington bridge they charge us tractor trailers $125.00 to enter NYC. plus $40.00 for the new Jersey turnpike tolls to go get this load.
    Now we have to pay $40.00 to enter Brooklyn, NY and $40.00 to leave Brooklyn, NY. now totaled that up. that’s comes to $245
    Not to mention gas, that easy another $30.00 to get to NYC. $275.00
    Broker paying $200.00
    Trucker expense $275.00
    So now I’m paying to deliver this load for the Broker….
    I’m coming out of my pocket to deliver this load for the broker.
    THAT’S WHY WE NEED TRANSPARENCY!!!!
    The BROKER’s are killing us O/O
    PLEASE HELP US!!!!!!!!! WE TRUCK DRIVERS DO KEEP THIS COUNTRY UP AND RUNNING…….

  2. Good morning I have had a problem I was paid a dollar 15 to drive from Pennsylvania to California
    And honestly $0.90 for one load in California and that’s to go over the grapevine please mr. Trump help us
    PS yes I have said this before supposed my comment because other drivers need to post theirs also proof is in the paperwork

  3. That’s fucking stupid! Isn’t the point of conducting an investigation to OBTAIN evidence?! So you do the investigation, and you find the evidence, right?

    Sounds to me like the DOJ just wants to see us all keep being financially raped into oblivion until we’re all cowed into driving for their corporate sponsors

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