Monday, December 16, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Approximately 50 Days and Counting

If you are currently a broker or freight forwarder, or if you are a carrier which arranges for truckload transportation and need to obtain broker or freight forwarder authority, you have approximately 50 days left to comply before the agency begins enforcing the new rules.
A broker’s or freight forwarder’s bond can be obtained in less than 2 weeks and for a qualified applicant should cost less than $2,000 per annum.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Biennial Reports/URS Rulemaking Requires Careful Consideration

On August 23, 2013, the FMCSA issued its Final Rule in the Unified Registration System (URS) matter.  This rulemaking will make massive changes to the application process effective in March of 2015.

In the meantime, two aspects of the Final Rule are effective.  One is a substantial penalty for failing to file the biennial MCS-150 report on time leading up to and including revocation of authority.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Legislative Update - MAP-21 and Broker Requirements

The agency issued its long anticipated guidance on MAP-21 today.  Attached is my summary analysis of its points and a complete copy of the agency’s document. Basically, the agency has given an additional 60 days for brokers and forwarders to file the $75,000 bond. The agency has made clear that in the future motor carriers must obtain a broker’s license in order to arrange for transportation which is not “joint line in nature” (i.e., freight which the origin carrier does not provide service on its own equipment for at least a portion of the journey).

The soft landing on enforcement means that unless Congress acts, existing carriers and brokers need to ensure their surety or bank trust agreements are filed quickly and carriers which wish to continue past practices of convenience interlining must obtain a broker’s license or freight forwarder permit as soon as possible.  Importantly, the agency indicates that a carrier can file for this additional authority in its current corporate name and that the agency will later sort out how to meet the MAP-21 compliance for separating authorities.  The attached summary is fairly comprehensive. 

Yours truly,
Henry E. Seaton

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hours of Service Final Decision

On Friday, August 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its ruling on ATA’s challenge to the most recent revisions in the HOS rules.

The FMCSA’s rulemaking was upheld with the exception that ATA prevailed in its challenge to the applicability of the rest break to short haul drivers.
This means the following:
  1. There will be NO change to the restart rule that became effective on July 1st
  2. The 30 minute rest break rule does NOT apply to local, short haul drivers (100 air mile radius drivers) but DOES still apply to all drivers required to complete a logbook.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

HOS Rules Take Effect

The new HOS rules took effect July 1, 2013 notwithstanding the opposition of everyone in the industry. Carriers with long haul operations report an 18-24% reduction in productivity due to: 1) the two overnight requirements on the restart, 2) the restrictions when the restart can be taken and, 3) the 30 minute meal break. The meal break is operationally difficult because additional time is lost in finding a place to stop, logging off, logging back on and returning to the road.

See below for the guidance issued by the Agency concerning this break.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Great Owner-Operator Decision / Federal Preemption is Alive and Well, at Least in the Eastern District of Virginia

The purpose of the FAAAA was to prevent state laws from meddling in interstate commerce and interfering with routes, rates and services.  Remember the federal preemption argument is at the heart of ASECTT et al. v. FMCSA – state law cannot be used to hold shippers and brokers liable for negligent selection when using carriers determined to be safe to operate under federal law.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Owner Operator Legislative Update - March 19, 2013

printable version

March 19, 2013 Issue


States are in the midst of their 2013 legislative sessions and some have even already adjourned such as Virginia. Please review the legislation, its current status and look to the following states for newly introduced or acted upon legislation: Nevada, Oregon, Kentucky, Maine and Maryland.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Newsletter 2/14/2013

Attached is the 2.14.2013 Newsletter  which is a summary of Federal & State administrative and legislative initiatives which threaten independent contractor model. This information has been assembled by the Messenger Courier Association of America.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Owner Operator Model Under Attack / February Newsletter

Attached is a summary of Federal & State administrative and legislative initiatives which threaten independent contractor model. This information has been assembled by the Messenger Courier Association of America. It includes a labor worker reclassification study underway by the Department of Labor and pending legislation in CT, MA, MI, NJ, NY, TX, VA, and WA. Comments on the DOL study are due March 12. Coalitions are being established to oppose the pending legislation in New Jersey, Virginia and Washington State. Recipients are urged to help us monitor the reclassification initiatives at the federal and state level and need to notify us or your trade association executive of your interest in participating in collaborative efforts to address any particular threat.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Virginia Overweight Citations: Penalties Against the Driver

Localities in Virginia retain wide discretion on the means in which they enforce the overweight regulations in Virginia. Overweight violations exist in a gray area between civil and criminal law. Technically an overweight violation under Virginia Code §§ 46.2-1124, 46.2-1125, 46.2-1126, 46.2-1139 is considered a civil matter. Most police officers will issue a citation to the trucking company. A civil penalty will be assessed under§ 46.2-1131 and a liquidated damage penalty under §46.2-1135.

Important Notice! Impending Changes in the Rules for Subcontracting Loads

When implemented by regulations to be promulgated by the FMCSA, the “FFIT” (Fighting Fraud in Transportation) statutes will affect the established practices of interlining or convenience interlining of shipments.