FMCSA to Give Drivers Another Chance to Sound Off On Ways to Crack Down On Brokers

Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will host a virtual listening session next month over two new proposals calling for stricter regulations for freight brokers as pressure from the White House continues.

Last month, the FMCSA published into the Federal Register recently filed petitions by the Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA) and the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) calling for new measures to ensure small business truckers have access to each transaction record.




 

The petitions stem from concerns that freight brokers are not complying with, or are circumventing, 49 CFR 371.3 which requires brokers to provide a copy of the transaction record to carriers, at the carriers request, upon delivery of the load.

Reform measures called for in the petitions include: requiring brokers to automatically provide an electronic copy of each transaction record within 48 hours after the contractual service has been completed, and disallowing brokers from including any stipulation in its contracts which exempt them from having to comply with 49 CFR 371.3.

Click HERE to read more details in the petitions.

While the public comment period on the two proposals is still ongoing, FMCSA Acting Administrator Wiley Deck revealed this week the Agency intends to provide an additional opportunity for industry stakeholders to make their opinions known.




 

In an interview on OOIDA’s podcast and radio show, Landline Now, Deck informed that the FMCSA intends to hold a virtual listening session in October.

“I want to make sure we provide that additional listening opportunity for the Agency as we move forward to look at the broker transparency issue,” Deck said.

Further, the Acting Administrator commented it’s important to him that “we get all viewpoints on this.”

A date for the virtual listening session has not yet been confirmed, but the Agency is expected to announce one in the coming days.




 

Issues surrounding broker transparency dominated headlines throughout much of the spring during the height of the COVID-19 recession.

The FMCSA also came under intense scrutiny for its action, or inaction, in enforcing 49 CFR 371.3.

During a White House meeting in May, Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, reportedly reprimanded then-Acting Administrator of the FMCSA, Jim Mullen, for the Agency’s failure to actively enforce the provision.


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In June, at the Truckload Carrier Association’s (TCA) Virtual Safety & Security meeting, then-Acting Administrator Mullen questioned the Agency’s authority to prevent brokers from requiring carriers to waive their rights under 371.3.




 

It is unclear if current Acting Administrator Deck views these issues differently than did Acting Administrator Mullen.

However, Acting Administrator Deck admitted there is ongoing pressure from the top of the Trump Administration on this issue and others.

“This Administration has really pushed the Agency to get a well-rounded understanding of what our actions are doing,” he told Landline Now.

Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow new developments.

 


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Comment (1)

  1. An open letter to the FMCSA Administrator and to whom it may concern.

    Double brokerage problem? This can be solved very easily.
    The recent Mayday 2020 Owner strike revealed the following:
    1. Double brokerage is widespread, although prohibited by law. This law does not work.
    2. Traffic safety deteriorates.
    The broker holds the load until the last minutes in the hope of a large margin,
    and then the driver rushes to the pickup.
    3. Brokers alter the rules of the game for themselves. Wave 371.3 or the broker’s mocking offer to the carrier in the style: “If you want to see the transaction, come to the broker’s office during business hours.” Complete confusion with detention (hours, pay),
    Layover, not using truck, etc.
    4. During the pandemic, brokers’ margins surged to 70% and freight rates dropped to 67 cents per mile, leading to the Mayday 2020 protest. DOJ opened an investigation into brokers

    Now, in the information age, these problems can be solved quite easily.

    Here’s one solution:
    Under FMCSA, a “Monitoring Center” site is created, where Carrier registers through its MC and enters transportation transactions, transaction coordinates – bill of lading number, broker name, pickup place (city, state).
    Carrier registration and transactions should be made mandatory for Carrier, so that the Broker cannot make the wave of this rule, as it was with 371.3. (Make it necessary to make a quarterly statement from the site monitoring center at the annual registration of the truck).
    Only spot market transactions are entered. Transactions of direct contracts (Customer-Carrier), dedicated contract cargo are not entered.
    BOL (bill of lading) number, broker name, pickup place (city, state), transportation price, detention (hours, price), lumper (price) are entered into the transaction.
    The following are not entered into the transaction: Customer name, Carrier name, pick up and delivery address, date.
    Carrier creates a transaction at any time within 45 days with the option of making additions (detention, etc.)
    Any Customer by bill of lading number, broker name and pickup place (city, state) will easily find the required transaction.
    The site is paid. A subscription fee or a few cents per transaction.
    Because only BOL number, name of the broker, pickup place (city, state), detention, lumper are indicated in the transaction, then the trade secret of the broker and the customer is fully preserved.
    As a result:
    1. Double brokerage automatically disappears.
    2. Traffic safety is improved.
    The broker does not sit on one load in anticipation of a larger margin, but tries to sell loads as much and as quickly as possible.
    3. The project is profitable.
    4. Full transparency for the customer regarding the transportation price, broker’s margin, detention (hours, price), lumper (price),
    which has a positive effect on the market.

    This letter was published on social networks for discussion.

    Sincerely, US citizen, Ilnur Abdulov.

    P.S. Continuation to “Open Letter to the Director of FMCSA”

    How does the customer know about the Monitoring Center site?
    Answer – FMCSA sends out flyers by email to all MC owners about this site and rules.
    Carrier prints this flyer and just leaves it in place of pick up and delivery, for customer.

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