Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made two disappointing decisions impacting the supply chain, while failing to address safety in the marketplace. The FMCSA denied a petition for rulemaking by the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) from August of 2020 on the elimination of the outdated and unnecessary 371.3(c).
At the same time, FMCSA decided to initiate the rulemaking process for the petition put forth by Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s (OOIDA) to require electronic submission of internal proprietary rates 48 hours after delivery and to bar brokers from including certain contractual provisions appropriate for notice and comment period.
The following statement can be attributed to Chris Burroughs, Vice President of Government Affairs for TIA:
“The FMCSA’s decision to examine whether a 1980’s-era regulation would have prevented the temporary pandemic-driven market dislocation three-years after the fact is both surprising and wrong. They are essentially picking sides between parties in an arm’s-length contract negotiation as their solution to a problem that was resolved three years ago by market forces. The FMCSA’s decision to act now to attempt to solve a commercial issue that no longer exists when there are very troubling safety and fraud challenges that do fall within their purview is confounding.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently noted that large truck crashes increased 10% in 2022, on top of a 13% increase in 2021. Additionally, 92% of today’s trucking companies are unrated because the Agency is using an outdated physical audit system to rate motor carriers. A new data-driven proposal was put forward under the Obama Administration, yet the FMCSA has not done anything to re-engage on this critical carrier safety issue in the last two years.
During this same time, illegal and fraudulent activities in the supply chain have skyrocketed leading to broken chains of custody and higher costs impacting brokers, owner operators and consumers. Complaints to the FMCSA-monitored National Consumer Complaint Database total over 80,000, yet the FMCSA has not investigated a single one of them and has not proposed any enforcement action. The FMCSA claims that a 2019 Administrative Law Judge ruling bars them from enforcing civil penalties on commercial violations, because their core mission is safety.
It is unclear when the notice and comment period will begin on the OOIDA petition, but TIA will remain steadfast in opposition to an outdated and unnecessary regulation written over 40-years ago in a radically different marketplace.”