We carry a $100,000 Bond, is the industry ready for the increased $75,000 limits?

As members of the TIA, we receive updates we feel important to pass along to those who read our blog. We received the following on Friday, August 23, 2013.

In TIA’s effort to support the brokerage industry, TIA staff recently had a briefing with the FMCSA regarding MAP-21 implementation and the new $75,000 bond requirements. The new requirements go into effect on October 1, 2013 as planned. There is a possibility of a 30-day grace period, but that has not been confirmed. Brokers and Freight Forwarders are still strongly encouraged to get their $75,000 bond in place by October 1 to ensure that their authority will not be revoked.

TIA is here to help you through this transition with an affordable, fully-funded, and secure bond that meets all FMCSA requirements: the TIA Bond. You do not need $75,000 as an upfront deposit and there is no collateral. In order to get your quote, visit www.tiabond.com and submit the online application. You’ll receive a quote by email.

CLS Hires CargoNet for Extra Layer of Freight Protection

Cargo theft in the United States in 2012 was valued at approximately $216 million, including both cargo loss and vehicle value. Often times considered a victim-less crime, it may be difficult to get the full attention of law enforcement in the unfortunate circumstance that your freight is stolen.

C. L. Services, Inc. has engaged CargoNet to assist with loss prevention and, if necessary, recovery. We have valuable information we are more than pleased to share with you regarding data collected on United States Cargo theft for 2012 (example, best days to ship to keep your freight safer), don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-533-3922.

Jeff Lantz Goes to Washington to Attend TIA “Fly-in” Read All About It!

60 TIA members and associates participated in the TIA Washington Fly-in.  We met with 75 Members of Congress to discuss the need for fully funding infrastructure investment, the important safeguards the industry achieved in MAP-21, the next transportation bill, and the importance of the brokerage-based 3PL industry.  The one day meeting was a full court press.  We broke the members into ten teams each with a member or staff leader.  Everyone participated.  The Fly-in meetings are an essential part of TIA’s advocacy efforts – staff can represent you, but you are the best at telling your own story and establishing a real connection with your Member of Congress.  I hope next year that we will have 120 members!

Jeff Lantz and Senator Boozman

FMCSA Administrator Ferro kicked off the event the evening before with a frank and open discussion – we would expect no less – with TIA members about the issues FMCSA is handling.

  • Hours of Service: The new rules will go into effect on July 1, 2013, so you need to be ready.  Administrator Ferro told TIAmembers that the Agency was confident that it would win in court against the American Trucking Associations’ suit to stop the rules.  Since the court did not stay the rules pending a decision, unless the court issues a decision this week or next, the rules will go into effect July 1.  Administrator Ferro said for the majority of carriers the rules will have little or no effect, but for a significant few, the new rules will improve safety.
  • CSA: Administrator Ferro talked a lot about CSA stating that the safety fitness determination (SFD) rulemaking should be out in the first quarter of 2014.  This summer, FMCSA will make changes to the way CSA data is displayed.  When questioned about crash data, Administrator Ferro stated that there is no subjectivity; every crash is displayed, which is fairer to all carriers.  The Administrator stated that the Agency understands the concerns brokers have with regard to carrier selection liability, and reiterated that getting CSA right is the way to address carrier selection.  Administrator Ferro added, however, that “Your role in carrier safety is foundational.”  The SFD rulemaking will establish clear thresholds for determining carrier safety rather than the current relational system.
  • MAP-21 Implementation: Administrator Ferro stated that the bond rules for brokers and forwarders are self-implementing; every broker and forwarder needs the $75,000 bond/trust byOctober 1, 2013.  Rules will be issued in September to implement the other parts of the statute, but these will be final rules without comments
  • EOBRs: The rule making is expected to be released in November of this year.
  • Unified Registration System: We are weeks away from seeing the final rule in the first part of this rulemaking.  The second rulemaking, Unified Registration System II, through which MC numbers will be eliminated, will be issued this summer with a two year implementation date.

Chairman Shuster: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster spoke to TIA members at dinner.  Chairman Shuster thanked TIA for the work it did with the Committee to gain passage of MAP-21.  He spoke about the water resources bill currently before the Committee, and the need for TIA to begin working with the Committee and our industry partners on the transportation reauthorization bill.

Rep. Ribble (R-WI): Congressman Ribble also spoke to TIA members at dinner.  He spoke about how he, as a member of the Roofing Contractors Association, sat in the very same room listening to a Member of Congress as part of that association’s fly-in.  Rep. Ribble spoke about the importance of small business in the health of the American economy, and praised TIAmembers for being active in DC.

Chairman Petri (R-WI): Chairman of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee spoke to TIA members Wednesday morning, and offered support for TIA’s liability reform efforts.

Rep. Schneider (D-IL): Spoke to TIA members at lunch, and mentioned that he worked with a TIA member in Chicago before running for Congress.  He gets it!

Rep. Davis (R-IL): Also spoke during lunch about TIA and our efforts on your behalf in Washington.

Speaker Boehner (R-OH): Several TIA members met with Speaker Boehner in the Capitol Hill Club.  The Speaker chatted about small business and posed for pictures.


Happy & Safe Fourth of July!!

Everyone at C. L. Services, Inc. wishes you a happy and safe Independence Day.

Congratulations to Our Newest CTBs

We would like to congratulation our FIVE new TIA Certified Transportation Brokers:

Jonathan Hannah, CTB
Ben Reindl, CTB
Tami Risoen, CTB
Spencer Ruble, CTB
Aida Sabic, CTB

We are dedicated to the professional development of our staff; and, we appreciate the effort they put forth to achieve this designation. It was tough. Over 50% of the C. L. Services, Inc. staff is certified by the Transportation Intermediaries Association as a CTB.

House T&I Committee Approves Subcommittee Assignments and Oversight Plan

On January 23rd, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held their first official meeting of the 113th Congressional session. The meeting was the committee organizational meeting to finalize and approve subcommittee assignments and establish an oversight plan of action for the congressional session. First term Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-9th/PA) formally announced that; Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd/NJ) will serve as Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-50th/CA) will serve as Chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Subcommittee, Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11th/PA) will serve as Chairman of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee, Congressman Tom Petri (R-6th/WI) will serve as Chairman of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, Congressman Jeff Denham (R-10th/CA) will serve as Chairman of the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, and Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-7th/OH) will serve as Chairman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee.

Additionally, the Committee established the oversight plan of action for the 113th Congress. The committee announced that it will be spending a majority of its time focusing on the implementation of the provisions contained in the MAP-21 bill, which was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2013. The Committee will also conduct future hearings on FMCSA’s CSA initiative, Hours-of-Service regulations, highway safety, tolling, and a variety of other issues. For more information, the committee’s oversight plan of action can be viewed online.

The Committee also announced the formation of several “special” panels that will look at and address issues that fall under multiple subcommittees’ jurisdiction. Chairman Shuster announced that Congressman John Duncan (R-2nd/NJ) will chair these special panels in the 113th Congress.

DOT IG Begins Audit of CSA

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General’s (IG) Office announced today that they have officially begun their audit of FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative. The initiative, which aims to measure and prioritize safety levels for motor carriers through crash and other data factors, has drawn criticism from Members of Congress and the transportation industry for how it measures and scores truck safety.

On September 13, 2012, the House Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit held an oversight hearing entitled: “Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOT’s Truck and Bus Safety Program.” At the hearing TIA Board Member Bruce Johnson, C.H. Robinson Worldwide testified on the adverse effects to the brokerage industry brought about by the CSA initiative.

Following the hearing, Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman John Duncan (R-2nd/TN) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-4th/OR) made an official request for the DOT IG to audit the program and evaluate FMCSA’s implementation of CSA. Specifically, they requested that the audit assess whether FMCSA has (1) established adequate controls to ensure the quality of the data used to evaluate carrier performance and risk, and (2) effectively implemented CSA enforcement interventions.

The audit is scheduled to begin shortly and should take a few months to formally complete.

DOT Reiterates Marijuana Not Authorized

On December 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance issued a Notice to address the recent passage of state initiatives purporting to legalize marijuana use for recreational purposes.

The DOT requires testing of applicants and employees in safety-sensitive transportation positions – such as pilots, truck drivers, train engineers, ship captains, school bus drivers, and pipeline emergency response personnel – for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP). Applicants must be drug tested before they begin performing DOT-covered safety-sensitive duties, and employees must be drug tested in certain circumstances, including following an accident, randomly, and when reasonable suspicion of drug use exists. All confirmed positive drug tests are reviewed by a medical review officer (MRO). During that review process, the test subject is permitted to provide the MRO with information that would explain the positive test result, such as a prescription. If the test subject provides a legitimate medical explanation for the confirmed positive test result, then the MRO will report the test result to the (prospective) employer as verified negative. If the test subject does not provide a legitimate medical explanation, he or she must be removed from safety-sensitive duties and referred to a substance abuse professional for evaluation.

After the passage of medical marijuana laws by several states, the DOT took the position that an MRO may not report a confirmed positive test for marijuana as verified negative based on information that a physician recommended that the test subject use marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of a debilitating medical condition. In October 2009, the DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance issued a Notice stating that it “want[ed] to make it perfectly clear” that its drug and alcohol testing regulations “do[] not authorize ‘medical marijuana’ under a state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee’s positive drug test result.” The DOT emphasized that “marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act” and that it “remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the [DOT’s] drug testing regulations to use marijuana.”

Not surprisingly, the DOT has responded similarly to the passage by Colorado and Washington of laws purporting to legalize marijuana use for recreational purposes. On December 3, 2012, the DOT’s Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance issued a Notice stating that it “want[ed] to make it perfectly clear that the state initiatives will have no bearing on the [DOT’s] regulated drug testing program . . . [which] does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. Therefore, [MROs] will not verify a drug test as negative based upon learning that the employee used ‘recreational marijuana’ when states have passed ‘recreational marijuana’ initiatives.” The DOT also took the opportunity to reiterate its position regarding medical marijuana use.

The bottom line is that applicants for and employees in safety-sensitive transportation positions will not be allowed to explain away a confirmed positive test for marijuana based on recreational or medical use purportedly authorized by state law.

CARB Regulations to Take Effect in One Month

The new California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations take effect on January 1, 2013. These include the Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) regulation and the Heavy-Duty (Tractor-Trailer) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) regulation.

In summary, the TRU ATCM requires brokers and forwarders to contract with and ensure compliance of all reefer units traveling on California highways and railways. This regulation will affect all brokers and forwarders regardless of where they are domiciled.

The Heavy-Duty (Tractor-Trailer) GHG regulation currently only holds California based brokers (this includes agents and remote offices) responsible for ensuring compliance on all 53ft box-type trailers (including dry-van and reefers) and the heavy-duty tractors that haul them traveling on California highways.

If a motor carrier is found to be non-compliant and operating on a California highway, the broker, the carrier, the driver, the shipper, and the receiver could be subject to a $1,000 fine per incident.

FMCSA Clarified Brokerage Licensing

On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4348, the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21), the all-encompassing transportation reauthorization bill. The MAP-21 language included the Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act (FFIT), which was the compromised legislative language carefully crafted by the three leading transportation trade associations; the American Trucking Association (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), and the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).

Included in the law is clarification language that states that entities providing interstate brokerage services must comply with all licensing and registration requirements. TIA staff was contacted by our counterparts from the Airfreight Forwarders Associations (AfA) and the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), who expressed concerns over this language and felt like they would be “wrongfully” included to the bonding and licensing requirements. TIA and our counterparts were able to work out a compromise to exempt these entities to the extent that these entities are engaging in their normal business activities as defined by their specific statutory language.

Officials from the AfA and NCBFAA recently met with FMCSA staff to ensure proper interpretation of this language by the Agency. FMCSA was able to confirm that customs brokers, NVOCCs, and indirect air carriers who arrange for trucking in order to facilitate or otherwise participate in the through movement of international cargo via ocean or air will not by subject to brokerage licensing and registration requirements. FMCSA officials did make a point to promulgate that if these entities are arranging for trucking in a purely domestic context regardless of having a license and authority from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) they are subject to FMCSA brokerage licensing and registration requirements.