Companies tendering freight to U.S. truckers would have to check the carriers’ federal registration, insurance levels and safety rating before using them under a bill introduced in Congress this week. The bill would create a “national hiring standard” and clarify the legal responsibility of U.S. brokers, third-party logistics operators and shippers, its supporters claim.
The new bill is identical to one that was introduced last year; it would require that before hiring a trucking firm, shippers, brokers, forwarders and receivers ensure that carrier is properly registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has obtained the minimum insurance required by the FMCSA and has not been given an “unsatisfactory” safety fitness rating.
Under the CSA program, carriers are assigned scores in several safety categories, including unsafe driving, hours of service compliance and vehicle maintenance. Those CSA scores, which change monthly, are not linked to a carrier’s safety fitness rating.
A U.S. standard sanctioned by Congress would head off a patchwork of state-by-state “standards” that could evolve from local court decisions on what shippers, brokers and other third parties must do to ensure they are using a safe trucking company.
The bill, H.R. 1120, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. John Duncan, R-Tenn., Rodney Davis R-Ill., Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. The most likely route to its passage would be a multi-year surface transportation spending bill. Current transportation funding expires May 31.
The bill only requires customers ensure a carrier doesn’t have an unsatisfactory safey rating. The legislation doesn’t address what could or should be done if a carrier has neither a safety fitness rating nor CSA scores. That’s the case with the majority of U.S. trucking companies, according to several sources, including QualifiedCarriers.com.
Here at HG Logistics, LLC, a third-party logistics company and freight broker in Cincinnati, OH, we are always taking the necessary precautions to ensure that our carriers meet the proper qualifications so that we can provide the best service possible. For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact HG Logistics’ General Manager, Doug Bierman at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.