OOIDA submits comments on Transportation Intermediaries Association’s petition

November 19, 2020

Tyson Fisher

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed more official comments on broker transparency. This time the Association focused on the Transportation Intermediaries Association’s petition.

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, OOIDA submitted comments to docket number FMCSA-2020-0190. That docket centers on the broker transparency listening session and Transportation Intermediaries Association’s petition to eliminate federal transparency regulations and seek regulatory guidance on the definition of “dispatch services.”

In its comments, OOIDA makes eight key arguments regarding broker transparency:

  1. Congress did not authorize brokers to require waiver of their disclosure requirements when it allowed carriers and shippers to waive certain rights.
  2. That current broker transparency regulations are not needed to protect brokers does not mean the rule is no longer needed.
  3. Broker transparency is needed to confirm the freight claims that brokers deduct from motor carrier compensation.
  4. Carriers are not free to simply refuse to take a load at a price they do not like, as they face potential retribution.
  5. Brokers mistreat carriers in myriad ways.
  6. Brokers in the docket are asking FMCSA to consider the costs of compliance with their current obligations.
  7. Brokers have not explained why their contractual obligations owed shippers should override their federal regulatory obligations owed to carriers.
  8. Other middleman relationships require similar disclosures to protect the parties involved.

Transportation Intermediaries Association’s petition came after OOIDA filed its petition requesting FMCSA simply add enforcement and penalties to already existing broker transparency regulations.

After that petition was filed, OOIDA claims Transportation Intermediaries Association “used misleading and insulting arguments in an attempt to distract the agency from the heart of this issue – the systematic evasion of federal transparency regulations by brokers.”

“Transportation Intermediaries Association has pulled out all the stops to prevent any meaningful enforcement of existing regulations,” OOIDA states. “They have belittled small-business truckers and misrepresented OOIDA’s position, all while attempting to overcomplicate a remarkably straightforward issue. All truckers want is for brokers to comply with existing federal regulations.  They’re not asking for anything more than their right to transparency, which is used to help them differentiate good brokers from unscrupulous ones.”

OOIDA goes on to clarify that it does not seek regulation of broker rates. However, the Association also claims that Transportation Intermediaries Association members would like to charge shippers as much as possible while paying carriers as little as possible in order to maximize profits. Therefore, OOIDA stated, “it is no surprise that brokers want to conceal the amount they charge to broker a load.

“The rules that OOIDA has proposed are an effort to resolve the disputes between motor carriers and brokers over the unlawfulness of this widespread broker non-compliance. OOIDA believes they are the simplest and most commonsense solutions. But OOIDA stands ready to work with FMCSA in a rulemaking to determine the best solutions to ensure routine broker compliance, ensuring the goals of the agency and Congress to support the economic stability of the motor carrier industry and, thereby, secure a safe, robust and reliable transportation system for our country.”

Comments on the listening session and the Transportation Intermediaries Association’s petition can still be submitted by going to Regulations.gov, entering the docket number FMCSA-2020-0190 in the “Keyword” block and clicking “Search.” From there, click on the “Comment Now!” button. LL

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Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.