America Moves Ahead for Progress … or does it?

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Moving Ahead for Progress (MAP-21) was signed into law by President Barak Obama about a year ago. After the passing of the bill new rules and regulations were implemented and are taking effect soon. The new law is intending to make America’s roads safer. The new requirements focus on more than safety though.

 

MAP-21 The New Law

The trucking industry will be affected. Carriers and brokers both will have to make serious changes and think about how they do business.

 

The Carriers

A dramatic change for many carriers is the fact that now they will have to obtain broker license if they want to sub-contract a job to another carrier. It will be illegal for a carrier to arrange for sub-contractor to transport the shipment.

An Electronic logging device (ELD) will be mandatory as of next month. Almost all interstate truckers will be required to install and use electronic logbooks.

New hours of operations have been enforced since July 1st of this year. The rules require long distance truck drivers to take a 30-minute break every 8 hours on duty. The weekly on duty hours limit shifts to 70-hour maximum. A major change is the new 34-hour restart rule that has to include 34-hours break with two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Breaking the new rules will be a serious violation and penalties of up to $10,000 will be enforced.

FMCSA will also develop a new agency that records alcohol and drug test results. A universal database will be created that should help carrier make proper hiring decisions.

In order for the companies to obtain authority the new regulations will require a mandatory written exam to test the applicant’s knowledge of the safety rules. These are just a few of the new FMCSA rules that will be enforced in 2013 and 2014.

 

The Brokers

The requirement to hold a broker license when arranging transportation for compensation has been in the books for years. Yet many carriers have taken chances and brokered loads to sub-contractors. Companies will have to examine the new bill carefully because it does state that only companies holding broker authority can lawfully qualify to provide brokerage services.

 

Here is what the bill says:

Broker means a person who, for compensation, arranges, or offers to arrange, the transportation of property by an authorized motor carrier. Motor carriers, or persons who are employees or bona fide agents of carriers, are not brokers within the meaning of this section when they arrange or offer to arrange the transportation of shipments which they are authorized to transport and which they have accepted and legally bound themselves to transport.

 

The new rules impact all transportation companies, and yet some of the most directly impacted are brokers and freight forwarders. Companies that fall in this category need to register with the FMCSA and obtain the new $75,000 broker bond. Among the many other changes, MAP-21 has raised the broker trust bond from $10,000 to $75,000. Currently the Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents (AIPBA) is fighting the bill and has filed a federal lawsuit. The key force behind the new broker bond is the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).

Both organizations represent the transportation and trucking industry, but AIPBA is fighting for the small brokers while, by supporting the bill, the TIA stands behind the big players. Considering the fact that, when the debate started in 2011, there were propositions with striking differences – from no bond at all to $500,000 – it is difficult to judge what is best. The biggest concern though is that according to AIPBA thousands of small independent brokers will be forced to close their business when the new bond is enacted. Now, besides safety, the Government claims this bill will create jobs, yet it looks like it may have the opposite effect.

 

Questions being asked and thoughts for pondering:

Are small business owners becoming targets?

Will this bill slam businesses and slow down the economy?

Truck drivers losing more time on the roads will hurt productivity. Companies will be forced to hire more truckers, but the costs will be passed onto the consumer.

Is it time to slow down … the economy and the customers’ constant demands for fast shipping services?

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About the Author:

I am the co-owner and marketing director of Corsia Logistics. I believe in creating useful content for our customers and readers. If you would like to contact me please do so via our contact us form or any social media channel. Thank you.
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