The Transportation and Logistics Council

TLC is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to serving the interests of the shipping community through education and representation in issues relating to the transportation of goods. Virtually anyone that is directly or indirectly involved in transportation, distribution, logistics, purchasing, shipping, risk management, insurance, cargo inspection and surveying, loss prevention, packaging, customer service, consulting and legal services can benefit from membership.

Got a question? Visit our Q&A Forum to get answers to your questions about loss and damage (OS&D) claims, freight charge disputes, CSA2010, transportation contracts or other transportation law issues.

Take a look at our most Recent Publications.

Transportation and Logistics Council
Virtual Fall Seminars

                                                                 

One of the lessons learned from this current crisis is the new found appreciation for the transportation industry and the supply chain and how vital this industry is to the country.  The Council and its Members have always known this. Now, the rest of the country and the world are opening their eyes to this reality.
 
With that in mind the Council has moved its popular Fall Seminar Series to a virtual format being held October 13th through November 19th.
  • Transportation Logistics and the Law
  • Freight Claims in Plain English
  • Contracting for Transportation and Logistics Services
 All three seminars will be in an interactive format allowing for interactions with the presenter and the other attendees.
 

 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

By George Carl Pezold
Executive Director, Transportation & Logistics Council
 
                 We all see and hear the constant barrage of news about the Coronavirus every day, not to mention experiencing the real-world effects of being quarantined or sheltering in place.   Amidst the anxiety, individual hardships and drawn-out economic impact this pandemic is causing, we naturally wonder what the future holds in the aftermath of this crisis.  The Council remains optimistic and hopeful that we will persevere and overcome this crisis as we have with other past catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina.
                To be sure, federal and state measures such as the CARES legislation and bailout funds for small and large businesses will be a great help towards recovery.  But there will be businesses that have closed and will never reopen again, workers that have lost their jobs and may not be able to get another one, and lingering effects of the damage to our economy.
                As you know, we had been looking forward to the Council's 46th Annual Conference, "Education for Transportation Professionals" and the awesome program that had been planned for the end of April.  As events unfolded, the Council’s Board of Directors became increasingly aware of the ominous cloud that was approaching.  We began to hear from folks that had planned to attend, as well some of the moderators and panelists for the educational sessions, that they might be unable to attend because their companies banned "non-essential" travel and attendance at conferences for indefinite periods. Added to this were the growing possibilities of quarantines, flight cancellations and other closures outside of our control.
                Clearly the health and safety of attendees and participants had to come first. Although this was one of the most difficult decisions that the Council has had to make in our forty-six years of successful conferences, we made the right decision and cancelled the Conference. 
                The Board of Directors explored the possibility of rescheduling the Conference in September with the Doubletree by Hilton at SeaWorId.  We no longer believe this is a viable solution.  Planning a major educational conference takes months, and it is very likely that potential attendees, as well as panels of experts and speakers may still not have the ability to participate. 
                So, what are our plans?
                We plan to be true to our Mission, which is the “Education of Transportation Professionals.”  One of the lessons learned from this current crisis is the newfound appreciation for the transportation industry and the supply chain and how vital this industry is to the country.   The Council and its Members have always known this.  Now, the rest of the country and the world are opening their eyes to this reality. 
                Therefore, we will continue to provide ongoing updates and status of important developments in the TransDigest, with informative articles and educational information, our popular “Questions and Answers” forum will be open on the website, and we will continue to be available to give advice and answer questions for our members.  We also anticipate presenting our intensive full-day Fall seminars, including “Contracting for Transportation & Logistics Services” and “Freight Claims in Plain English” later this year. 
                In short, we remain dedicated to providing the services and information about the transportation and logistics industry that can help you to maintain and improve the skills that you can use in your daily business.

 
ARTICLES & NEWS
 
FOOD SAFETY – BROKEN OR MISSING SEALS
The Coronavirus pandemic has made us all very aware about the threat of possible exposure to contagious diseases.  Viruses, bacteria, fungus, mold and other harmful substances can be anywhere and can travel around the world.
So what about food safety?  Click here to read article. 
 
By Air Or By Ground - Does It Matter?
Federal Express recently announced that its FedEx Express unit, which handles time-definite shipments typically moving by air, will contract with its FedEx Ground unit to deliver residential parcels as long as they meet specific operating criteria. Click here to read article.
 
Filing a Claim Against a Broker’s Surety Bond or Trust Fund 
We often get questions from carriers or others about collecting unpaid freight charges from a broker. 

All brokers are required by federal regulations (49 CFR §387.307) to obtain and file evidence of either a surety bond or trust fund in the amount of $75,000.  You can find out information about the bond or trust fund on the FMCSA Licensing and Insurance website: 

Click here to access the letter to provide detailed information to accessing the website and instructions on how to search.
 
Filing a lawsuit against a motor carrier or broker
We often get questions about how to bring a lawsuit against a motor carrier or broker that is located n another state.  The FMCSA maintains a website with a “Licensing & Insurance” section:
Click here to access the letter to provide detailed information to accessing the website and instructions on how to search.
 
ARE CLAIMS AGAINST BROKERS PREEMPTED BY FEDERAL LAW?
A recent trend which merits scrutiny by transportation claims professionals and the legal bar is the purported preemption of certain claims against brokers who arrange interstate motor carriage of goods Click here to read full article.
How to Hire a Trucking Company (or a Broker)
Trucking companies come in all sorts and sizes from little one-truck companies to giants like UPS and FedEx.  There are an estimated 790,000 companies that operate commercial motor vehicles, including private fleet and “exempt” carriers, which are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), of which about 240,000 are active interstate “for hire” carriers that serve the general public.  There are also about 20,000 licensed freight brokers - intermediaries that arrange for motor carrier services on behalf of shippers and receivers of freight. Click here to read the full article
Dropped Trailers" and Liability for Shortage or Damage at Destination
Many large retailers and distributors control their inbound freight.  They arrange for the transportation, have contracts with the carriers, pay the freight charges, and require their vendors to use only their designated carriers.  And often they have "drop trailer" agreements with their carriers. Click here to read full article
Fines for Late Deliveries or Missed Appointments
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. Click here to read full article.
We often get questions about which party (the shipper or the consignee) is entitled to file a claim for freight loss or damage.  
FMCSA Website 

THE FMCSA HAS REDESIGNED ITS WEBSITE - MAKING IT VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND SOME OF THE MOST FREQUENTLY USEFUL WEBPAGES.  HERE ARE SOME HELPFUL ADDRESSES:

The Licensing and Insurance (L&I) home page is now at: 

http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_carrquery.prc_carrlist

The Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System is now at: safer.fmcsa.dot.gov

The Safety Measurement System (SMS) which shows a carrier's Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASIC scores) is now at: http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/default.aspx
Imposter Theft - Can a Carrier be Liable? - Unfortunately, imposter 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 tip, 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.
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.
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.
Those Pesky Shortages     "Shortages" are a perennial problem and it seems there is an epidemic, particularly small shortages in shipments of consumer goods to retailers. Many of these shortages are from sealed or "dropped" trailers, or shrink-wrapped pallets, and are not discovered or reported until after the truck driver leaves. . . .
Ocean Service Contracts & Service Agreements If you are an importer or exporter with a significant volume of ocean freight, you should definitely consider entering into a formal contract with the ocean carriers and/or NVOCC's that you deal with.
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?
 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Freight Claims in Plain English (4th Ed. 2009) - New Soft Cover Edition
 
By George Carl Pezold and William J. Augello

Since its first publication in 1979, Freight Claims in Plain English has become "the Book" for transportation and logistics professionals throughout the country who are involved in claims for loss or damage in transit. It is used as a text for students of transportation, and as a reference for attorneys and paralegals involved in claim problems. . . . read more. . . .

To read the table of contents click here or to order your copies click here for an order form

 
Q&A in Plain English Books XI 
 
By George Carl Pezold and Raymond A. Selvaggio
 
"Transportation & Logistics - Q&A in Plain English - Book XI", is the eleventh in this series of the Transportation & Logistics Council's popular texts, and is a compilation of 275 of the most recent questions submitted to the Council's “Q&A” forum and published in the TransDigest.

Q&A in Plain English Books 7,8 & 9 A Compilation on CD Disk

By George Carl Pezold and Raymond A. Selvaggio

"Transportation & Logistics - Q&A in Plain English - Books 7, 8 & 9" is a compilation of the seventh, eighth and ninth books in this series of the Council's popular texts that were originally published in 2009 through 2013. Since these were about to go out of print, the Council decided to re-publish this valuable reference material in a single CD version. Read More 
 
 
 

Transportation & Logistics Q & A in Plain English - Book X

by George Carl Pezold and Raymond A. Selvaggio
 
Q&A in Plain English - Book X, is the tenth in this series of the Transportation  & Logistics Council's popular texts, and is a compilation of hundreds of the most recent questions submitted to the Council's “Q&A” forum and published in the TransDigest ...Read More..

                                                                                             

Transportation & Logistics Q & A in Plain English - Book IX

by George Carl Pezold and Raymond A. Selvaggio

Book IX is the ninth in this series of the Council's popular reference materials. The new text is a compilation of recent questions submitted to the Council's "Q&A" forum by shippers, carriers and logistics professionals and published in the TransDigest, and is loaded with informative answers by George Carl Pezold and Raymond A. Selvaggio, two leading transportation attorneys         ....read more....

 

Q&A in Plain English Books IV, V & VI A Compilation on CD Disk

By George Carl Pezold and Raymond A. Selvaggio

“Q&A in Plain English – Books 4, 5 & 6” is a compilation of the fourth, fifth and sixth of the Council’s popular texts that were originally published in 2004 through 2007. Since these were about to go out of print, the Council decided to re-publish this valuable reference material in a single CD version. . . . read more. . . .

 

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Transportation & Logistics Q & A in Plain English - Book VIII

by George Carl Pezold and Raymond A. Selvaggio

This is the eighth in this series of the Council's popular texts that are based on hundreds of actual questions submitted to TLC's "Q & A" forum on the Internet, to the TLC HotLine and to the TransDigest by shippers, carriers and logistics professionals. The new text is loaded with informative answers by George Carl Pezold and Raymond A. Selvaggio, two leading transportation attorneys. . . . read more. . . .

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Shipping & Receiving in Plain English - A "Best Practices" Guide

By George Carl Pezold

Implementation of a "best practices" program, together with planning, good procedures, instruction and education of employees will help your company to avoid or mitigate many of the problems and conflicts over freight claims, freight charges, legal disputes, violation of laws or regulations and other matters that come up in the area of transportation and logistics and save money for your company. . . . read more. . . .

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