The fight over broker transparency has been raging for some time now, and the latest issue involving TQL is quite surprising. Dakota, a carrier, asked her broker to see the rate con and by law if you ask the broker they should show it to you. As TQL turned it down, she filed a complaint against them, and after a year the FMCSA actually saw it and requested it from TQL themselves. The story is way more interesting but before we actually jump into the issue, let us first understand the law.
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The broker transparency law
The FMCSA regulates both brokers as well as the carriers. According to Regulation 371.3, freight brokers must maintain documents of their transactions as records.
The FMCSA Regulation 371.3 C clearly states that any party involved in the brokered transaction has the right to view these documents. This means, a carrier has the right to request for documents showing what the broker earned from the load that he hauled.
Usually, carriers have to sign contracts in order to work with the broker. And in most cases this contract waves the right to view those documents. Even if there is no such clause in the contract, and the carrier asks for it, there is a high probability that he will be blacklisted.
TQL and other brokers are making truckers give up their right to know what’s going on by making them agree to these waivers. And carriers think this is against the law.
What actually happened?
Dakota Springfields is a lawyer and an owner operator who hauls intrastate in Florida as Pink Cheetah Express. She is a proud member of SBTC (Small Business in Transportation Coalition). About a year ago she wanted to know what her broker (TQL) actually earned from the shipper for the load that she hauled. So, she requested TQL, the 2nd largest brokerage in the trucking industry to show their documents, which they denied.
And so with the support of SBTC she raised a complaint with Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation against TQL.
The FMCSA finally got an eye on her complaint and requested TQL to show the records. TQL sort of ignored them for a few days. So, the FMCSA conducted a virtual investigation and finally on Nov 30, 2023 TQL gave the withholding documents to the carrier. Dakota says,
“No wonder these brokers don’t want to turn over their documentation to let me know what’s going on because when I finally received TQL’s documentation I learned i only got paid 56% of the load”
Will it end?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) held TQL responsible for the initial request. However, when Dakota requested documentation for an additional 15 loads, TQL was once again not responding. They seem to be withholding information as if they are unaware of the previous communication.
So to conclude, we think there is a long way to go to bring broker transparency. It’s all in the hands of FMCSA!
I am copyright writer with OpenFR8. I take a little bit of time to complete my blogs because I undergo research and analysis of each and every article to gather accurate information. For me, writing is not just a job; it feeds my creativity and desire to share insightful information with readers. As a writer, I like to present content that is valuable and easily understood by every individual. I believe in the power of words, and if they are used in a good manner, they can create many positive changes around us.