USDOT Secretary Pressed to Investigate FMCSA’s Enforcement of ‘Broker Transparency Rule’
Washington D.C. – A trucking group at the center of the fight to increase freight broker transparency is now pressing the Office of the Secretary (OST) of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) for action and input.
The Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) has filed a request asking USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg to investigate the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) enforcement of 49 CFR 371.3 — also known as the “broker transparency rule.”
“We are concerned that big brokers are acting as if FMCSA has issued a moratorium on enforcement of 49 CFR 371,” the SBTC recently wrote to Sec. Buttigieg. “We are more concerned that knowingly FMCSA appears to be allowing big brokers to continue to abuse truckers and carriers indefinitely as the bureaucratic wheels turn slowly.”
Under 49 CFR 371.3, each party to a freight transaction has a right to review the record including what the shipper paid the broker and the margin for the broker.
The issue exploded within the trucking industry in May of last year when hundreds of truckers took to the streets of our nation’s capital to protest plummeting freight rates being offered by brokers amid the pandemic.
The historic demonstration lasted more than three weeks as truckers demanded higher rates and more transparency.
In the wake of the furor, the SBTC and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed petitions effectively asking the FMCSA to crack down on brokers that attempt to avoid providing transaction records to independent contractors.
In response, the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) — which is the largest group of third party logistics companies — fired back by filing a petition asking the FMCSA to rescind 49 CFR 371.3.
RECENT FMCSA NEWS
The FMCSA received public comments on each of the petitions, but has yet to issue decisions on any of them.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) exclusively reported in July of this year that the Agency is not currently prioritizing review of the petitions and no decisions are expected soon.
Understanding this, the SBTC is asking OST for “guidance” on whether all brokers should continue complying with 49 CFR 371.3 until such time as the FMCSA completes its review.
Further, in the interim, the group is requesting OST provide direction on “how motor carriers and independent truckers should handle situations in which they are told they may not have loads if they choose to exercise their right to broker transparency.”
TransportationNation.com will continue to follow new developments.