DOJ to Meet With Trucking Group Over Allegations of Broker “Price-Fixing”
Washington D.C. – Representatives with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) are expected to meet with a trucking group next week regarding allegations of freight broker price-fixing.
Earlier this week, the 15,000-member Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) called on 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 states.
According to James Lamb, president of the SBTC, DOJ officials with the Antitrust Division reached out to him on Friday to arrange a meeting to discuss the merits of the allegations.
Those discussions led to a confirmation of a meeting on Monday, May 4.
“They are basically going to say, ‘send us what you got,'” Lamb said to TNN.
This is not the first time Lamb has had discussions with the DOJ about alleged abuse by big brokers.
However, he says this time is different.
“This is big this time. Everybody is talking about this in the industry. Big brokers have every reason to be nervous right now,” he declared.
Joining Lamb’s call for a DOJ investigation are organizers of the “MayDay” demonstration in Washington D.C.
Read the latest on the D.C. rally HERE.
One of those organizers, Rick Santiago, is now also pushing for the DOJ to look into what many believe are exploitative business practices being deployed by mega brokers during the COVID-19 recession.
Santiago says organizers intend to discuss this issue along with a host of others if they are able to secure a meeting with President Donald Trump in the coming days.
Multiple sources confirm to TNN that organizers have had discussions with a White House liaison and the wheels have been set in motion for a possible meeting.
We will continue to update you on any new developments on this front also.
However, on Thursday, the head of the largest association for third party logistics (3PL) companies spoke out on the growing furor and blasted critics as “snake oil salesmen.”
In a more than 3-minute video, Bob Voltmann, CEO of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), mounted a matter-of-fact defense against allegations that some freight brokers are taking advantage of small carriers during this time of national emergency.
“There’s a lot being said about truck rates and brokers these days. Most of it isn’t true,” Voltmann exclaimed. “If carriers don’t accept a rate, both shippers and brokers will offer a higher rate until the load is accepted. That’s the free market economy.”
Read a full report and WATCH Voltmann’s video HERE.
Stay logged on to TransportationNation.com on this quickly developing story.