FMCSA sets date for virtual listening session on broker transparency

Updated Oct 12, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Oct. 9, 2020:

FMCSA schedules listening session on broker transparency
Truck drivers will get a chance to voice their concerns about brokers and the ongoing debate over brokered rates transparency at a listening session with DOT officials later this month.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in a Federal Register notice to be published Oct. 13 that it will host a virtual listening session Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern time. Registration for the videoconference will be required and will be available in advance of the meeting.

The announcement comes after FMCSA received petitions earlier this year from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and another group asking that brokers be required to automatically send electronic records of each transaction to carriers within 48 hours of loads being completed and prohibit brokers from including provisions in contracts that require carriers to waive their rights to transaction records. FMCSA is still accepting public comments on these petitions through Oct. 19.

FMCSA adds that it also received a petition from the Transportation Intermediaries Association asking the agency to eliminate 49 CFR 371.3 and to develop guidance on what legally constitutes a “dispatch service.” TIA says in its petition that its proposed modifications “would eliminate an outdated regulation that no longer applies to the current marketplace.”

“Given that the TIA petition expresses a different perspective than those expressed in the [OOIDA petition], FMCSA would like to hear from members of the public on their views on the regulation of property carrier brokers in general,” and the various petitions, FMCSA says in its notice announcing the listening session.

FMCSA requests comments on expanding under-21 military trucker pilot program
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is accepting comments on a proposal to expand its pilot program that allows 18-20-year-old drivers who have received heavy vehicle training in certain Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) while in the military.

The agency in its July 6, 2018, notice finalizing the details of the program included seven MOS for the pilot from four military branches. FMCSA is now proposing to add nine more specialties from the U.S. Army and Marine Corps that also require heavy-duty vehicle training.

FMCSA says adding the nine additional MOS to the pilot would open the program to approximately 30,000 more drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 who are eligible to participate in the Under-21 Military CDL Pilot Program.

Comments on the proposal can be made here through Nov. 9.

CargoNet: Third-quarter cargo theft up 23% year-over-year
Cargo theft recording firm CargoNet recorded a 23% increase in theft activity in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, based on numbers it received from law enforcement agencies and insurance companies.

Texas saw the most cargo theft activity in the third quarter, according to CargoNet’s recorded data.Texas saw the most cargo theft activity in the third quarter, according to CargoNet’s recorded data.

The firm recorded 223 cargo theft events in 2020’s third quarter with an average value per theft of $151,452 for an estimated total of $33.77 million in stolen cargo across the U.S. and Canada.

Texas reported 65 cargo thefts in the quarter – a 210% increase from the third quarter in 2019, CargoNet reports. Florida and Georgia rounded out the top three states. The firm notes most states in the top 10 reported year-over-year increases in theft except California and New Jersey, which reported decreases of 45% and 48%, respectively.

Trailer burglaries were the most common theft types reported to CargoNet, but the firm also noted increases in theft of loaded trailers and fictitious pickup.

Targeted commodities in third-quarter 2020 were heavily influenced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CargoNet said, with an increase in theft of in-demand products like household cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.