Alexandria, VA – The Transportation Intermediaries Association, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the American Trucking Associations have joined together in supporting H.R. 2357, “Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act 2011, FITT”, which would address issues of fraud that plague the marketplace. The bill was introduced by Congressmen Russ Carnahan (D-3rd-MO) and Frank Guinta (R-1st-NH).
The organizations felt that a united approach was required to correct problems with unscrupulous operators that victimized both brokers and carriers. Past discussions with Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-4th/OR), former Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, led both the groups to find a shared solution to the problems that members of all the organizations were experiencing. "The legislation recognizes that the brokerage and overall transportation industry have changed since the ICC Termination Act. The FFIT Act will address serious fraud and confusion in the industry. It is supported by the leading transportation associations in Washington, representing companies of all sizes, who are united in our belief that this will, insure that providers are properly capitalized and can meet their financial obligations,” said TIA president and CEO Robert Voltmann.
“Brokers, forwarders, owner-operators, and carriers need each other, and the speed of today’s logistics marketplace means that companies must be able to reasonably rely on representations made in the terms of their agreement. Unfortunately, the seeping encroachment of fraudulent operations have left the legitimate industry vulnerable. We welcome the opportunity to work with the Owner-Operator and Independent Drivers Association and the American Trucking Associations to fight industry fraud so that our members can continue to grow their family businesses,” Voltmann said.
Key provisions of the proposed legislation would require brokers and freight forwarders to carry a $100,000 bond; provide strict regulation of broker surety companies so that they must fulfill their obligations to brokers and forwarders; provide greater transparency for those seeking to become brokers or forwarders; establish significant penalties including unlimited liability for freight charges for those operating without the required authority; require motor carriers to hold broker or freight forwarder authority; clarifies that a motor carrier may provide transportation of property with self-propelled motor vehicles owned or leased by the motor carrier or through interchanges as permitted under regulation issued by the Secretary, provided that the originating carrier must physically transport the cargo at some point, and retains liability for the cargo and payment of interchanged carriers and require that there must be at least one corporate officer who has met minimum training standards or equivalent experience.
“This legislation will bring an end to bad bonding companies, carriers brokering without a license or bond, scam artists that come in and out of the market to rip people off, and it will create a competitive playing field for the legitimate industry. This legislation is not about regulating brokers or carriers, it is about fighting fraud in the trucking industry,” Alec Gizzi, president of JBS Logistics, Inc., Chicago, IL and Chairman of TIA said.
The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is the professional organization of the $162 billion third party logistics industry. TIA is the only organization exclusively representing transportation intermediaries of all disciplines, doing business in domestic and international commerce. TIA is the voice of transportation intermediaries to shippers, carriers, government officials and international organizations. TIA is the United States member of the International Federation of Freight Forwarder Associations, FIATA.