Articles & News

Recent articles in the trade press have described “fines” that are levied by major grocers on refrigerated carriers transporting perishables for late deliveries and missed delivery appointments.  Among the retailers that have been named are three major grocery chains, Kroger, Safeway and Wal-Mart.  While it is well known that delay (and temperature abuse) can cause or contribute to spoilage or shortened shelf life, the carriers complain that often these penalties are unfair because they fail to recognize the problems that carriers run into with severe weather, bad roads, congestion and hours of service limitations.
Transportation & Logistics Council Asks STB to Suspend Changes to Uniform Straight Bill of Lading
On July 14th, the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), publishers of the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC), issued Supplement 2 to NMF 100-AP, effective August 13, 2016.  This Supplement contains changes to the bill of lading forms - the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading, including the Terms and Conditions on the reverse side, and the Straight Bill of Lading- Short Form, as well as to the NMFC rules in Item 360 - Bills of Lading, Freight Bills and Statements of Charges.

Details of the changes to the bill of lading and the Council's analysis of their impact are set forth in TLC's Special Report - NMFTA Changes the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading on this website.

On July 29th the Council filed a Petition for Suspension and Investigation with the Surface Transportation in opposition to the proposed changes to the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading.  On August 1st, the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council, (NASSTRAC) filed its comments in support of the Council.  The filings are identified as STB Docket number ISM 35008, and complete copies are available - click here for Petition.

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association has published changes to the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading and the legal Terms and Conditions set forth in the National Motor Freight Classification. The changes are in Supplement 2 to STB NMF 100-AP, and were issued July 14, 2016, to become effective on August 13, 2016. These changes significantly affect the liability of motor carriers for loss or damage, and will impact the ability of the shipping public to recover cargo claims. 

Freight Payment Terms and "Risk of Loss"

We often get questions about which party (the shipper or the consignee) is entitled to file a claim for freight loss or damage.  
Carriers have long charged more for transporting goods to and from places that are difficult or more expensive to serve.  They have published arbitraries or surcharges for large cities to cover congestion, tolls, etc. or have higher rates for certain areas of zip codes.  But here is a new one!

California Air Resources Board - Transport Refrigeration Unit (TRU) Regulations

Background:  TRUs are refrigeration systems that are powered by diesel internal combustion engines (inside the same housing) designed to control the environment of temperature-sensitive products that are transported in trucks, trailers, shipping containers, and railcars.  

For some time there has been continuous debate over the use of CSA data and "BASIC" scores by the public and whether the availability of this information imposes any duty of shippers, carriers and brokers to use the data when selecting and hiring motor carriers, particularly in view of the threat of "negligent hiring" suits in the event of highway accidents.
Transportation & Logistics Council letter to the Chairman of the Commodity Classification Standards Board dated May 20, 2015 regarding a 180-day time limit for the filing of "duplicate payment" claims.  click here

Does a broker have a duty to hire a carrier with adequate cargo insurance?  - This question has come up a number of times on the Council's Q&A forum, so we thought that this short memorandum might be of interest.  Two court decisions that address the question of whether a broker has a duty to hire a carrier with cargo insurance that adequately covers the commodity and/or value of the shipper's goods are discussed below

Imposter Theft - Can A Carrier Be Liable? - Unfortunately, impostor thefts have become all too common, partly because it is all too easy for thieves to obtain information about high-value shipments and how to steal them from various sources: truck stops, load boards, rate quotes, websites, emails, insider tips, etc.

CARGO LIABILITY OF MEXICAN MOTOR CARRIERS - Many U.S. companies are doing business in Mexico and questions frequently arise about the liability of Mexican motor carriers for cargo loss or damage.

CARB Reefer Regulations to Become Effective January 1, 2013 - New California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations will become applicable to reefer-equipped trucks, tractor-trailers, shipping containers and railcars for the transport of perishable goods on California highways or railways that will impact brokers, forwarders, shippers, receivers, carriers and drivers.

Anti-Indemnity Clauses in Transportation Contracts - Many shippers have been including broad indemnity clauses in their transportation contracts. Recent legislation could make these clauses void or unenforceable.

How to File a Freight Claim for Loss or Damage - The Council's popular information booklet on "How to File a Freight Claim for Loss or Damage" has been completely revised and updated. You may wish to print it out separately and retain it as a handy reference.

Wells Fargo - CSA Good Intentions - Critical report on the FMCSA's methodology for rating motor carriers in Compliance, Safety, Accountability safety program.

The FMCSA's "5-Year Strategic Plan" - New Regulations?

Broker out of Business?  Are trucking companies and/or their collection agencies seeking payment of freight invoices that you already paid to your broker?  Do you have to pay these charges . . . maybe?