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Viewing brokers payment records

Dec 12, 2020 at 09:01 AM CST
+ 3

Last Thursday morning (12/3) I emailed a request to see the records of transactions (code 371.3) from 2 loads that we hauled, 1 on 10/26 and 1 on 10/28.

I included the following link in the email https://ecfr.federalregister.gov/current/title-49/subtitle-B/chapter-III/subchapter-B/part-371/subpart-A/section-371.3

This is a run that we ran consistently through the summer until the freight dried up, and went from being consistent to a load once in a while. If it would return consistently we would consider hauling it again, but would like to know if we are being treated fairly. Has anyone else done this? How long does a broker have to provide the records once they are requested? I figure after a week it'll be time for a phone call. If they refuse to provide the records, who do I file a complaint with?

Replied on Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 06:00 AM CST
- 1

There is nothing there that says it's public information and that they must show it to anyone. It says they must keep record.

Replied on Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 02:57 PM CST
Quote: "There is nothing there that says it's public information and that they must show it to anyone. It says they must keep record."

So I copied and pasted the code here, and I agree with you that it's not public information, but it is private information between me and the broker.

371.3a6 says freight charges collected by the broker and date of payment to the carrier

371.3c says each party has the right to review these records

Seems pretty clear to me. This was in the news earlier in the year, even truckers rallies at the White House over this very issue. Trump's team promised more transparency, thought I'd test it out.

§ 371.3 Records to be kept by brokers.

(a) A broker shall keep a record of each transaction. For purposes of this section, brokers may keep master lists of consignors and the address and registration number of the carrier, rather than repeating this information for each transaction. The record shall show:

(1) The name and address of the consignor;

(2) The name, address, and registration number of the originating motor carrier;

(3) The bill of lading or freight bill number;

(4) The amount of compensation received by the broker for the brokerage service performed and the name of the payer;

(5) A description of any non-brokerage service performed in connection with each shipment or other activity, the amount of compensation received for the service, and the name of the payer; and

(6) The amount of any freight charges collected by the broker and the date of payment to the carrier.

(b) Brokers shall keep the records required by this section for a period of three years.

(c) Each party to a brokered transaction has the right to review the record of the transaction required to be kept by these rules.

Replied on Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 02:57 PM CST
And you want to haul for someone that is that secretive? Why
Replied on Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 04:59 PM CST
Quote: "And you want to haul for someone that is that secretive? Why"

We normally don't haul for brokers, just curious what they are making. Anytime I've hauled something for a broker their pay hasn't come up.

Replied on Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 11:17 AM CST
Quote: "We normally don't haul for brokers, just curious what they are making. Anytime I've hauled something for a broker their pay hasn't come up."

Well let’s pretend your the broker, and your going to be locked into a contract with a shipper, you have to guarantee them in writing that you will get it covered, no matter what. Maybe you can get a back haul, maybe you can’t, so you have to bid it Cover all miles, loaded and empty, then take a chance posting it on a load board, and hope someone will take it, for a loaded mile only rate. There is your basic starting point.
Replied on Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 03:11 PM CST
+ 1
If we got rid of the brokers nothing would change, the carriers would just take their place, rate cutting would still continue. I put all the blame on government, because they removed the rules, that kept everything in balance. Everything that’s been deregulated has failed, turning us into a socialist society, banks, insurance companies, farmers, etc, are all dependent on government bailouts to function. One percent have over 90% of the wealth, yet they want the taxpayers to provide the bailouts? And they tell us how capitalism is a success? So the treasury keeps borrowing from future generations to bailout out, what idiots call the greatest model of success? Capitalism only works with rules, just like a sports game.
Replied on Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 04:24 PM CST
Quote: "If we got rid of the brokers nothing would change, the carriers would just take their place, rate cutting would still continue. I put all the blame on government, because they removed the rules, that kept everything in balance. Everything that’s been deregulated has failed, turning us into a socialist society, banks, insurance companies, farmers, etc, are all dependent on government bailouts to function. One percent have over 90% of the wealth, yet they want the taxpayers to provide the bailouts? And they tell us how capitalism is a success? So the treasury keeps borrowing from future generations to bailout out, what idiots call the greatest model of success? Capitalism only works with rules, just like a sports game. "

Check out the book / Netflix documentary Saving Capitalism by Robert Reich.

Replied on Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 07:36 AM CST

" Each party to the agreement has the right to review the records " ; however there does not seem to be any consequences if the party you are requesting the records from does not comply. That in a nutshell makes this all a bunch of wasted time unless there is some penalty for non-comliance .

Replied on Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 07:37 AM CST
+ 2

There has been zero transparency from any brokers. In fact I was told by a broker on this load board it was none of my business...and when rates were drying up earlier this year..I know of 3 brokers on this load board who hired more dispatchers and expanded with more opening more offices in different states. There was a broker on this load board who also did a podcast and boasted about doing so well and expanding....at the same time 100's of small and large fleets closed their doors. Not saying all brokers are crooks, just the majority. Same as there are enough loop holes , we can witness loads being reposted and reposted and reposted and each time the rate gets lower and lower. Haven't seen any brokers close their doors.

Replied on Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 02:05 PM CST

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently accepting public comment on a petition regarding broker transparency filed by the largest trade group representing freight brokers in the U.S.

From now through January 25, 2021, the FMCSA is accepting public comment on a petition filed by the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).

The TIA petition asks for the FMCSA to eliminate 49 CFR 371.3(c), which is the current regulation requiring freight brokers to keep and share transaction records with motor carriers.

The petition argues that “motor carrier transportation on the spot market is one of the most transparent market places in the world. Load boards, the internet, and rate quotes in person-to-person communications within the industry provide the rate transparency that was intended by 49 CFR 371.3 when commissions paid by carriers to brokers were common. Motor carriers have sufficient access to current market rates without inspecting brokers’ shipment records to find out what the brokers’ gross margins are on a load-by-load basis.”

The TIA petition also asks for FMCSA’s “regulatory guidance [to] ensure that interested parties can distinguish between a dispatch service and an authorized broker.”

From FMCSA documents describing the TIA petition:

TIA believes that some “dispatch services” are essentially unlicensed brokers that handle financial transactions for freight transportation services but do not meet the statutory licensing or financial security requirements applicable to brokers registered with FMCSA. TIA describes dispatch services as entities that provide a service on behalf of a motor carrier, where they assist on booking loads and other services.

TIA believes the Agency should publish regulatory guidance explaining that the legal duties of a dispatch service allow them to be an agent for one motor carrier, and that anything further requires a brokerage license and compliance with the financial responsibility requirements applicable to brokers. TIA believes this is especially necessary when the dispatch service is handling payment from the shipper and then making payment to the motor carrier. According to TIA, this guidance would ultimately enable private legal action to be taken for violations, which would allow the public and the Agency both to enforce the provisions of this regulation.

The FMCSA is particularly asking commenters to respond to the following seven questions.

1. To what extent would brokers’ disclosure of the records of individual transactions to individual motor carriers under 49 CFR 371.3(c) place brokers and their shipper clients at risk of having proprietary information concerning freight descriptions, transportation rates and routes disclosed to their competitors?

2. For authorized brokers, how often do motor carriers exercise their right under 49 CFR 371.3(c) to review the record of the transaction, and are there motor carriers who make requests on such a frequent basis that they could, if working with other motor carriers, learn certain proprietary information concerning shippers’ rates and routes?

3. In the absence of 49 CFR 371.3(c), what information concerning brokered transactions would authorized brokers share with the shippers and for-hire carriers?

4. To what extent do shippers engage in discussions with brokers about the rates the authorized motor carriers will be paid?

5. How often do shippers enter into negotiations about interstate transportation services with an entity that is neither an interstate motor carrier registered with FMCSA nor a broker registered with FMCSA?

6. Would the issuance of regulatory guidance concerning “dispatch services” provide an effective deterrent to unauthorized brokerage services, or would additional actions by FMCSA be required to address the challenges described by TIA?

7. Is there sufficient clarity in the current definitions of “broker,” “bona fide agents,” and “brokerage or brokerage service” under 49 CFR 371.2 to enable interested parties to identify dispatch services that are actually carrying out the functions of a registered broker and to file a complaint with FMCSA for subsequent investigation?

Replied on Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 05:53 PM CST
Thanks for bringing that up Allen, this is very significant because essentially it means a step towards regulating the economic’s of trucking, something the government said they would never do, so it signals that government is preparing to eat some crow.
Replied on Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 05:53 PM CST
Quote: " " Each party to the agreement has the right to review the records " ; however there does not seem to be any consequences if the party you are requesting the records from does not comply. That in a nutshell makes this all a bunch of wasted time unless there is some penalty for non-comliance ."

I don't disagree, I wrote my congressman about it. It will be interesting if I get a reply after Christmas.