- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association wants a decision from the FMCSA on its requests to require improved transparency from freight brokers.
- The association reiterated its request that the agency require brokers to provide carriers with transaction information automatically within 48 hours of the haul and prohibit brokers from requiring carriers to waive their right to view the records, according to a Sept. 28 letter from OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer to FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson.
- “We write today to request an update on FMCSA’s progress in addressing these issues,” Spencer wrote. “Especially with regard to an issue involving transparency, FMCSA’s lack of public progress further undermines carriers’ confidence in a system that is supposed to protect them and be responsive to their legitimate and appropriately expressed concerns.”
Since FMCSA issued an initial request in August 2020 for comments on OOIDA’s petition, the agency has held listening sessions and received nearly 1,500 responses regarding broker transparency.
“Lots of people took their time to file comments, and we all the time see the FMCSA complaining about [how] they don't get enough comments,” said Lewie Pugh, OOIDA executive vice president, in an interview. “Why would you get comments when people filed comments two years ago, and you've said nothing or not done a thing?”
The agency also gathered public feedback on a subsequent request for comments on a Transportation Intermediaries Association petition in November 2020 seeking to eliminate broker transparency requirements, Spencer noted.
“It has been over two years since OOIDA submitted its original petition, 20 months since the most recent comment period ended for broker transparency-related dockets,” the association president wrote. “We believe an update is warranted on where the Agency stands on our outstanding petition and related comments from motor carriers.”
To be sure, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hasn’t stopped asking for feedback on broker-related rules. The FMCSA also requested comments in June on the definitions of broker and bona fide agent to “take into consideration the extent to which technology has changed” the freight transportation industry, the agency said.
But OOIDA encouraged the FMCSA to make a decision if they want the trucking industry to continue to participate in the agency’s public comment process.
Spencer warned in the letter that while members’ concerns “may intensify during more challenging economic times, there is constant frustration caused by brokers skirting federal transparency requirements without recourse.”