Group Calls for Investigation Into Large Brokers, Alleges “Conspiracy With Big Trucking”
Washington D.C. – The furor surrounding mega brokers’ alleged business practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow as a trucking group is now calling on the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch an investigation.
In a letter sent to the DOJ Antitrust Division on Tuesday, the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) requests an investigation into “large third party intermediaries” for possible “antitrust activity and/or illegal price-fixing.”
“With the onset of COVID-19 — and various state-issued stay-at-home orders, the transportation industry has seen non-essential industry suddenly come to a screeching halt,” the SBTC writes. “Because of this sudden drop in freight volumes, these large freight brokerages have begun to exploit the national emergency and drop their freight rate offerings to small carriers and independent owner-operators.”
Further, the 15,000-member SBTC alleges mega brokers could be engaged in a “conspiracy with Big Trucking to put small players out of business and defeat competition.”
Moreover, the SBTC contends large brokers are simply “taking advantage of supply and demand.”
“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,” the letter states.
James Lamb, president of the SBTC, tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN) he believes America’s supply chain is now at stake.
“Small carriers and brokers are now at risk for being put out of business once again,” Lamb warned. “We implore DOJ to act decisively and quickly to stop the carnage of America’s small businesses in the transportation industry.”
Lamb is certainly not alone in his frustration and concern.
Social media has been flooded in recent weeks with independent contractors lamenting plummeting spot market rates.
So much so, in fact, that a national movement is building to bring awareness to the issue.
In recent days, truckers have convoyed to protest cheap rates in Houston, TX, Phoenix, AZ and Los Angeles, CA.
More slow rolls and demonstrations are being scheduled for May 1 in cities such as Chicago, IL and Washington D.C.
In a newly published article entitled “What Every Price Gouging Freight Broker Hopes Truckers Won’t Ask,” TNN reveals what could be the most important question a small business trucker should ask a broker.
Click HERE to check it out.
More tips for dealing with brokers are on the way later this week, so make sure to stay logged on to TransportationNation.com.