OOIDA seeks update on broker transparency petition

September 28, 2022

Mark Schremmer

|

More than two years ago, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association petitioned the FMCSA to improve broker transparency. In a letter sent to the agency on Wednesday, Sept. 28, OOIDA expressed frustration over the lack of response.

“We believe an update is warranted on where the agency stands on our outstanding petition and related comments from motor carriers,” OOIDA wrote in a letter signed by President Todd Spencer. “For truckers who took the time to file comments and share their experience, it is frustrating when they feel as if their voices aren’t being heard or properly considered. Especially with regard to an issue involving transparency, FMCSA’s lack of public progress further undermines carriers’ confidence in a system that is supposed to protect them and be responsive to their legitimate and appropriately expressed concerns.”

OOIDA filed its petition on May 19, 2020, asking the agency to begin the rulemaking process for more transparency in transactions with brokers. The petition asks the agency to:

Require brokers to automatically provide an electronic copy of each transaction record within 48 hours after the contractual service has been completed.
Explicitly prohibit brokers from including any provision that requires a carrier to waive their rights to access the transaction records.

CFR 371.3 already requires that brokers keep records of each transaction with a carrier and that each party to the transaction has a right to view these records.

“OOIDA’s recommendations to enhance compliance with 371.3 are not attempts to control rates or impose burdensome requirements but would simply ensure that motor carriers have access to documents they have the right to view,” Spencer wrote.

After OOIDA filed its petition in May 2020, FMCSA made a request for comments in August 2020. Later that year, FMCSA held a listening session regarding broker issues. Then in November 2020, the Transportation Intermediaries Association petitioned the agency to eliminate the transparency requirements. In all, nearly 1,500 comments were filed to the broker transparency-related dockets.

“Listening to our members, we know that improving broker transparency remains a top priority for small-business motor carriers,” Spencer wrote. “While their concerns may intensify during more challenging economic times, there is constant frustration caused by brokers skirting federal transparency requirements without recourse. As conditions in the trucking industry change, and more carriers face challenges, we can assure you that FMCSA and others in the federal government will continue to hear about the lack of broker transparency from small-business truckers.” LL

Land Line Staff Writer Tyson Fisher contributed to this report.

TravelCenters

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.