Broker issues the focus of latest ‘Live From Exit 24’

October 7, 2021

SJ Munoz

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Host Mike Matousek, with Dale Watkins, manager of OOIDA’s Business Services Department and Anne Reinke, president and CEO of the Transportation Intermediaries Association, covered numerous broker-related topics on Oct. 6 edition of “Live From Exit 24.”

One major issue the Business Services Department is hearing about lately is with deliveries, Watkins said.

“The carrier gets to the appointment time and goes to check in and get unloaded and the receiver says, ‘You’re not supposed to be here for three or four more days,’” Watkins said. “So then they try to get a hold of the broker and a lot of times the broker doesn’t answer the phone until the end of the day. I don’t know if it’s miscommunication or what’s going on.”

Warehouse staffing – or lack thereof – has only added to the problems with deliveries, Watkins said.

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Further complicating all of this are the lines of communication available to the carrier.

“This becomes a slippery slope,” Watkins said. “If the broker is not responding, you’re going to have to go back to the shipper. Of course, in most of the broker-carrier agreements the carrier has to agree to not contact the shipper but has no choice in the matter because the broker is not resolving the issue.”

Clearly defining agent versus broker, which is a provision within the proposed infrastructure package with the guidance of FMCSA, is a step in the right direction, Reinke said.

“There are some that could be illegally brokering freight, and there’s not really guidance on what a bona fide agent actually is,” Reinke said. “We are happy that there’s this call to provide guidance. That was a win for us.”

Properly utilizing the National Consumer Complaint Database, another infrastructure proposal, would be another positive, Reinke said.

The transparency component (49 CFR § 371.3) and how it relates to this issue spotlighted additional problems the Business Services Department is hearing.

“There’s a lot more than finding out how much a broker’s making off a load,” Watkins said.  “We’ve got a major broker out there who gets a clean bill of lading and gets paid on that load. All of a sudden a freight claim shows up, and this broker refuses to give any information out, just withholds the money, and our member still doesn’t know what the claim is about.”

The PRO Act and AB5 has been often discussed on “Live From Exit 24.” Reinke echoed OOIDA’s concerns on this legislation.

“We’re (TIA) so concerned that we filed an amicus brief,” she said. “This is going to essentially destroy the marketplace as we know it and potentially stress the supply chain system and make it even worse.”

Maintaining relationships is crucial for TIA, Reinke said.

“In the current marketplace we need every relationship with every motor carrier and every driver there is out there,” Reinke said. “We are so appreciative and try to develop good, working relationships. I would hope that would always be the case. The owner-operators have the overwhelming demand on freight. The better we work with each other, the better it is for all of us.”

OOIDA talk show

“Live From Exit 24” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Central every other Wednesday. Listeners can tune in to the show on the Live From Exit 24 website, OOIDA Facebook page or on OOIDA’s YouTube channel. The next episode airs Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Survey

“Live From Exit 24” launched as a way to expand OOIDA’s communication with members and to hear directly from drivers across the industry. OOIDA is asking for truck drivers to fill out a survey to let the Association know how you are liking the show so far. Help guide what’s addressed during the program. The survey is here. LL

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SJ Munoz is the newest edition to the Land Line Media team. He brings a variety of skills to the job as he has experience as a reporter, photographer and in radio. He’s also written for Omaha Magazine, the Lawrence Journal-World, and PrepsKC.com.