FMCSA criticized in editorial by some brokers/carriers

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by Dennixx, Sep 30, 2022.

  1. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

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    This will link to a newspaper editorial I hope but didn't link it direct cause you may need a subscription.
    Basically they(brokers) don't like the safer scores for carriers and they don't want to be responsible or liable for hiring a cheaper, smaller carrier who has a poor safety record.
    Poor guys are worried about their profit margins. Love the way they play the race card.

    OPINION EXCHANGE | Federal shirking endangers transportation | Flipboard



    Link to proposed bill.
    H.R.3042 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Motor Carrier Safety Selection Standard Act
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2022
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  3. scott180

    scott180 Road Train Member

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    Article is behind a pay wall but the bill is interesting.

    But let me guess about the racism part. They are saying it disproportionately affects group xyz because they are unable to do abc like everyone else.
    I call this "Racism of lowered Expectations". It's amazing how some people who think they are being virtuous are in reality saying that group xyz isn't as capable as everyone else. That group xyz is in fact inherently inferior and therfore needs to be treated differently.
    Didn't that used to be the definition of racism?
     
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  4. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    Well many reputable brokers and shippers are already ahead in determining safe carriers to run their loads. I remember working for a less than stellar company, and we had a dedicated run through Landstar. The owner let his safety score get out of control and they pulled that contract from us. Also, we couldn't get loads with BNSF either. It got to a point where I couldn't make any money with that company so I left. No reputable brokers would have dealings with that company. So the way, I'm interpreting it, they want the FMCSA to rid the bad apples out, and tighten up all the way around, that way brokers don't have to delay moving their loads. As far as y'all talking about "pulling the race card," I feel that you zeroed in on the least important part of the article. It was only one line in the article saying that the majority of small companies were minority owned. The line being in there didn't enhance the narrative any, and if it weren't there, it wouldn't have taken anything away from the article.
     
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  5. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

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    Here is the text of the opinion letter.

    The Supreme court decision that preempted the opinion piece.

    C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. v. Miller - SCOTUSblog




    OPINION EXCHANGE
    Federal shirking endangers transportation
    Listen
    Shown are trucks along Interstate in Philadelphia.Shown are trucks along Interstate in Philadelphia.
    — Matt Rourke, AP

    +


    By BOB BIESTERFELD
    September 29, 2022 - 5:30 PM

    The United States faces a host of economic challenges, from strained global supply chains and rising consumer prices on household goods to hiring challenges and volatile energy prices.

    A recent position taken by the Biden administration in a submission to the U.S. Supreme Court in C.H. Robinson v. Allen Miller threatens to throw supply chains into chaos and penalize hundreds of thousands of businesses, while driving prices higher and risking the safety of our roads.

    While this consequential issue continues to be litigated, what is most troubling is that the solicitor general expressed a view that the U.S. government, through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), only provides a bare "minimum" level of review before deeming a trucking firm safe to operate — one that shippers and brokers of freight can no longer rely on.


    This should be deeply concerning to everyone who shares public roadways with carriers FMCSA is charged with regulating. It is extremely alarming to manufacturers, suppliers, shippers, brokers, freight forwarders and anyone who helps the supply chain by selecting or arranging a carrier to transport goods.

    Congress gave power to the Department of Transportation and FMCSA to oversee transportation's contributions to our economy, interstate travel and, importantly, the safety of highways and the efficient economic movement of goods. The Solicitor General's assertion contradicts multiple commitments FMCSA made to the public and Congress citing safety as their highest priority.

    FMCSA sets national standards for licensing motor carriers, freight brokers, freight forwarders and others in the industry. The agency mandates extensive safety regulations for how motor carriers, buses and transportation companies operate, including criteria required for certification and operating authority. If FMCSA's licensing of a motor carrier is not deemed a reasonable safety standard, then the standards set by FMCSA are rendered meaningless.


    The solicitor general's new position proposes that brokers and shippers may be liable for using motor carriers who were vetted, licensed and authorized by FMCSA to operate and transport freight on our highways. If this position stands, brokers and shippers, not the government, will be tasked with independently determining safety criteria for hundreds of thousands of companies and more than a million trucks. We will soon see a confusing, inconsistent patchwork of standards, along with lawsuits, threatening our economy as well as public safety.


    Without a clear federal standard for what constitutes safe selection, some shippers and brokers have already begun excluding motor carriers from their networks based on their own assessment of who is "safe" and who is not. This harms small carriers with five trucks or fewer who make up 90% of the market — a large percentage of which are minority owned — and is discouraging new entrants to the market.

    With an already strained global supply chain, if FMCSA continues to abdicate the responsibility it previously assumed and for which it secured appropriations to fund its work, the inevitable result will be further disruptions in the transportation of goods that will push prices even higher — harming manufacturers, retailers and consumers.


    Federal agencies like FMCSA are far better suited than individual shippers and brokers to regulate national motor carrier operations safely and set a reasonable standard. Licensing should be that standard and not a meaningless "minimum standard" as the solicitor general describes. FMCSA even acknowledged this, saying in a 2016 Federal Register notice that "As the Federal government agency responsible for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety, FMCSA must identify unfit motor carriers."

    If FMCSA has not identified a motor carrier as "unfit" or unsafe, others should be able to rely on that assessment when tendering freight to licensed motor carriers to be transported on the nation's highways.

    Common sense must prevail. We urge the administration and FMCSA to publicly acknowledge and clarify their primary role for providing a uniform system of motor carrier safety regulation so we can all travel on safe roads while allowing the economy and supply chains to operate smoothly. We look forward to supporting legislative remedies, such as HR 3042, the Motor Carrier Safety Selection Standard Act, as it is clearer than ever that a national selection standard is immediately needed.


    Bob Biesterfeld is president and CEO, C.H. Robinson. This article is also submitted on behalf of Doug Waggoner, CEO, Echo Global Logistics; Jason Beardall, CEO, England Logistics; Mark Yeager, CEO, Redwood Logistics; Anne Reinke, president and CEO, Transportation Intermediaries Association; Jeff Simmons, chief legal officer, GlobalTranz Enterprises; Edgar R. Ocampo, general counsel, Koch Companies; Sharon Johnson, chief legal officer, Mode Global; Linda Kelly, chief legal officer and corporate secretary, National Association of Manufacturers; Stephanie Martz, chief administrative officer and general counsel, National Retail Federation, and Leah Dawson, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, Yellow Corporation.


    My take is the FMCSA is not an enforcement arm of the government..
    That is the DOT and each state's responsibility.

    The info is generally available to all and brokers and shippers who don't want to be held responsible or liable for legal negligence settlements from a unsafe carrier or driver.

    Some may be doing the work required to ensure a safe carrier is hauling their freight but don't want to be legally bound to it.
    As far as the mention of race in the article it's simply a way to garner support for their viewpoint from the left who will see it as picking on the minority owners but will never delve into the content of the bill.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2022
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  6. scott180

    scott180 Road Train Member

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    I'm always amazed at the word smiths who write these things. There is no way anyone could disagree with their brilliant argument.
    Then the other side will say it's just brokers and shippers trying to avoid liability. And bam, now I'm agreeing with the other side.
     
  7. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

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    Imho you book a rattle trap truck operated by a comprised driver because he will move the freight the cheapest then you're going to be held liable for the repercussions from that decision.
     
  8. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    yeah that's part of the problem, I am on both sides.

    that said I rather would like to see more involvement with congress addressing these issues that they caused by move oversight to things like trump.
     
  9. Judge

    Judge Road Train Member

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    If you give a reasonable rate, you get this response.
    Someone that’s running Farm tags and 200 mile radius booked 158 of these loads, he’s got 4 trucks, some with expired OK tag on truck and Permanent MO tags from previous owners on trailer, running no authority, but some have the previous owners name/dot number they didn’t take off.


    So they can do it cheaper, til they get caught.
    51D81005-8B9A-4038-8A69-A0623AE8CD9D.png
     
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  10. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

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    That's it precisely. They'll facilitate an illegal or unsafe move because they can.
    They won't like it when their feet are held to the fire responsibility wise.
    I also think they are trying to take advantage of the fact that as the issuance of #s continues and that the Federal government can't keep up, and the state's can't inspect/ ticket or put oos that many to keep up either.
    I've wondered how long a guy could go with a stolen trailer before he was ever asked for a registration or insurance proof.

    It's always about the money
    btw, C H Robinson is a publically traded company w a CEO, the author of the piece, earning 14 million annually.
     
  11. Studebaker Hawk

    Studebaker Hawk Road Train Member

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    Old fart here.
    When i started in 1976, of course the ICC granted "hauling authority" with a host of determining factors who could haul what where and when.
    Huge cottage industry of lawyers, consultants helping carriers get authority, buy it, and others contesting to stop it.
    Outcome: Only well heeled established companies were able to engage in trucking. Even getting a driver job in the industry much harder then, with much higher standards. CDL not withstanding

    Today:
    42 years after deregulation, we have pretty much hit bottom.
    As with a lot of circumstances, legislation/regulation it is no longer possible to fulfill the intended mandate. i.e FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier SAFETY Administration.
    Same with the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Protection, National Highway SAFETY Commission etc. none of which are capable of doing the job they were created for
    So it falls to the courts (read that litigation/money) to sort it out. The threat of a lawsuit is the only thing that keeps various players in many industries in line.

    Brokers don't like that. They want the free ride. Act irresponsibly in booking a shaky carrier, "Not my problem"
    Well it is now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
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