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Overdrive Staff | August 05, 2011

The three-phase pilot program requires Mexican carriers to have provisional authority for an 18-month minimum. Carriers that participated safely in the previous cross-border program will receive credit for that time and will not to be subject to Stage 1 inspections.

— Jill Dunn



Broker regulatory bill reintroduced

For the second year running, Congress is considering a bill trucking and broker organizations say will mitigate unscrupulous broker practices.

On June 24, U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., introduced the “Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act,” after working on it with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, American Trucking Associations and Transportation Intermediaries Association.

Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president, said current law provides too much opportunity for fraud. “Too often, we’ve seen deceitful brokers get away with collecting payments from shippers, but cheating truckers out of what is rightfully theirs,” he said.

TIA, the third-party logistics association, said the federal broker bond requirement has been $10,000 since the mid-1980s. In recent years, some transportation associations pushed for requiring escrow accounts and upping bond to $500,000, while there was a Congressional move to demand brokers disclose profit margin on invoices.

The trucking and broker industries compromised with a $100,000 bond requirement and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Administrator would have the option of reconsidering that amount every five years.

The bill would demand the U.S. Department of Transportation establish an annual screening of registered motor carriers, brokers and freight forwarders and list only those with current operating authority.

If the legislation is enacted, companies would have up to four years to comply with new regulations that:

• Increase requirements and disclosures for seeking broker or freight forwarder authority.

• Clarify that carriers need separate broker or forwarder authority and bond to broker freight. 

• Establish significant penalties for violating broker regulations.

• Set strict guidelines on companies that provide and administer brokers with surety bonds.

The bill, H.R. 2357, was referred to the House transportation committee. TIA stated the bill could be attached to a more comprehensive transportation-related bill.

— Jill Dunn



SHORT HAULS

TRUCK TONNAGE DECLINED 2.3 percent in May from April on a seasonally adjusted basis, as measured by the For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index from the American Trucking Associations.

TRUCKERS MAY TOUR Detroit Diesel’s Detroit manufacturing plant, have lunch and get free merchandise as part of a driver appreciation promotion for August, the engine maker announced. CDL holders should sign up 48 hours in advance and can register at www.DetroitDiesel.com by clicking on the “August is Driver Appreciation Month” icon.

FOR-HIRE TRUCKING JOBS increased by 4,400 positions in June following a revised 3,000 increase in May, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since the end of December, payroll employment in trucking is up nearly 27,000, according to preliminary BLS figures.

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