Transfix streamlining carrier onboarding with Highway compliance checks

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, June 1, 2023:

Carrier onboarding at Transfix: Getting speedier with new partnership

Last week, the Transfix brokerage announced a partnership with the Highway company for better carrier identification, designed to reduce fraud and improve the onboarding process for greater speed and confidence. That's how cofounder and CEO Jonathan Salama casts the new public partnership, the result of Transfix's beta work with Highway in developing what the latter calls its "Carrier Identity Engine." 

"We helped them build the product," Salama said, and it's useful to detect possible problem actors given "so much fraud in the industry" today. At once, it's become easy for many brokers to fall into the trap of thinking "all carriers are doing fraud” -- much as it can be common perception among carriers about brokers that they all do it

Yet just as Adam Wingfield of Innovative Logistics Group emphasized in Overdrive's work-life-balance seminar last week, Salama recognizes the reality that there's good and there's bad at pretty much every level in trucking. Putting the systems in place to protect the good and weed out the bad among potential partners is key to preventing "the fraud before it happens," he contended. The better all parties can do that, "the better we can bolster the good carriers." 

For carriers, then, to bolster the good brokers.

[Related: Another quick-glance broker-lookup tool, and ways to combat fraud, double brokering]

The Highway system improves efficiency by replacing the standard practice of vetting a carrier through multiple sites, Transfix said -- other compliance-monitoring systems attempt to do similar as well. By integrating Highway's Carrier Identity Engine into the Transfix Carrier App, both carriers with and without an existing Highway account will benefit from a faster insurance review and onboarding experience. That's always the "ultimate goal," said Salama. "How can we get loads to carriers faster?"

Salama doesn't expect the look and feel of the experience for carriers to change much. But the speed of the process has improved, he said, likewise the broker's comfort with their ability to "seamlessly onboard carriers very quickly and simply as possible. ... I’m very much behind Highway. I think this is a good way to bring the industry together. Yes, we’re all competitors, but if we don’t all come together, I don’t see us fixing" the problem of fraud. "No one is going to be able to fix this by themselves."

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Said Michael Carney, Highway Chief Commercial Officer, "From the early days of working with [the Transfix] team, they challenged us to raise the bar. We are grateful for their early impact, their trust in our team, and we are excited about the future." 

A carrier that doesn't already have a profile in the Highway Carrier Identity Engine gets one after onboarding with Transfix, and can thus use that with other brokers who utilize Highway services, as well.

[Related: Accuracy issues with some third-party authority lookup services

Former Ohio fleet owner sentenced for stealing goods

Former fleet owner and fleet manager Gurtej Singh, aka Gary Bhullar, was indicted by a grand jury on May 18 for his alleged involvement in a scheme to steal from interstate shipments, according to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. 

Singh was charged with one count of conspiracy to steal from interstate shipments, two counts of stealing from an interstate shipment, and one count of making a false statement. He was the owner of Bhullar Transport Group LLC and former manager at Cargo Solution Express, Inc. (CSE).

According to OIG, the indictment alleged that Singh and others who own and operate several motor carriers conspired to steal cargo from interstate shipments that were supposed to be delivered to Amazon and Bath and Body Works. Singh allegedly directed CSE drivers to stop at the CSE warehouse in Columbus, Ohio, so employees could steal cargo from their trucks.

The employees allegedly accessed the trailers by removing locking mechanisms on the trailer doors, making it appear as though the trailer doors were never opened during transport. Additionally, Singh allegedly submitted a falsified application for motor carrier authority to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

[Related: 'WTFFMCSA': Carrier mocking the agency through its own registration system?]

ExpressTruckTax touts benefits of 2290 pre-filing

Bestpass subsidiary ExpressTruckTax, an e-file provider of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (Form 2290), said that pre-filing the tax can provide an array of benefits to owner-operators.

Namely, time can be saved by filing early, because owner-operators will avoid the “tax season rush” around the Aug. 31 deadline. Pre-filing can also help owners avoid penalties and late fees due to missed deadlines. ExpressTruckTax sends reminders, ensuring truck owners stay on top of their tax obligations and file within the specified time frame.

The company’s e-file system also features built-in error checks and automatic tax calculations, allowing owners to ensure accurate returns.

Upon successfully submitting Form 2290, ExpressTruckTax will hold the return until the IRS begins processing the 2023-'24 Form 2290. Their clients will be notified via email and provided with a stamped Schedule 1, the official proof of filing, eliminating the need for truckers to wait for confirmation through traditional mail.