A bill introduced in congress, HR 2357, is an attempt to bring order and increase effectiveness of the Federal Government in overseeing the transportation industry. The bill addresses several pressing issues that will change the way shipments of cargo like automobiles, produce and general freight are transported. This bill is primary targeted toward freight brokers and freight forwarders, with the intent to protect shippers and carriers. While the bill reaffirms the important role brokers serve in the transportation business, it makes drastic changes to the status quo.
The first provision will restrict motor carriers (owners and lessor’s of actual tractors) from being to able to broker loads unless they are registered as a broker.
The second provision changes the eligibility requirements for brokers by requiring the following prior to obtaining a license:
- 3 years of relevant experience
- Mandatory certified training
- Minimum surety bond of $100,000, an increase from today’s $10,000 provision
- License renewal every 5 years
This bill has bipartisan support and is currently in a house subcommittee. A similar bill was introduced last year but was not brought up for a vote.
Opponents of the bill claim that it will raise the costs of doing business for small brokerage that will have a hard time obtaining $100,000 bonds, as well as lead to increased shipping costs. This bill has the support of Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) and the American Tracking Association.