The Truckload Carriers Association asked the Department of Transportation to end mandatory financial reporting by motor carriers to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. TCA says the requirement is a holdover from the Interstate Commerce Commission’s strict regulation of the rates of motor carriers.
BTS reporting infringes on the privacy rights of privately held motor carriers, says TCA President Bob Hirsch. “No other industry in America is subject to similar public financial reporting requirements,” Hirsh says.
Although publicly held companies must disclose such information, DOT’s requirements obligate privately held carriers to expose data that normally is considered confidential to the eyes of competitors, trade unions and driver organizations, TCA contends. “Customarily, a private company’s finances will be known only to itself, its accountant, the tax collector and maybe a banker or two,” Hirsch says.
Law firm Strasburger & Price argues that the BTS financial reporting requirements serve no governmental purpose.
DOT agencies “have found that the BTS reports are so unreliable that when they want financial information from the same carriers they require the carrier to provide certified, audited financial statements,” attorney Kenneth Siegel says.