The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association announced its approval of the introduction of the Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act, HR2357, in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, June 24. U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) and U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) introduced the bill in response to concerns about unscrupulous brokering practices that continually take advantage of small-business truckers.
The congressmen worked closely with OOIDA and the Transportation Intermediaries Association and the American Trucking Associations to develop their legislation. “This law would put a stop to a system that allows ruthless brokers and scam artists to continue to operate unchecked,” says Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president. “Too often, we’ve seen deceitful brokers get away with collecting payments from shippers but cheating truckers out of what is rightfully theirs.”
The bill would:
• Increase the broker surety bond requirement from $10,000 to $100,000 and expand that bond requirement to freight forwarders;
• Increase requirements and disclosures for any person or company seeking to obtain broker or freight forwarder authority;
• Establish significant penalties for violations of broker regulations, including unlimited liability for freight charges for conducting brokerage activities without a license or bond; and
• Establish strict guidelines for companies that provide brokers with surety bonds and on how they administer bonds.
“In many instances, brokers provide a valuable service to truckers and the transportation industry,” Spencer says. “However, the current system is loose enough that it provides ample, fertile ground for fraud. This has gone on far too long. It needs to stop.”