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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Good morning, I own a small trucking company in Colorado,

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Good morning,

I own a small trucking company in Colorado, 3 Semi trucks. Most companies, like mine, have to use load brokers, who are driving the pay for the trucking company down little or no profit. I would like to know, is their any legal action that can be taken or agency I can complain to? I was "told" by a DOT officer that owned trucks in the past, we have a right to know how much the load is paying to the Broker.
Just so you understand my complaint, I was in need to ship a product (I sell) to Oklahoma City and it was a rush. I told the broker since it was a rush I would pay $1450 for a 650 mile haul. Good pay. After 3 days of my pipe sitting and my customer complaining, putting it nicely, I called the broker to ask why I didn't have a truck yet. He told me, "no one will do it for the money I offered". Hmmm, I called a trucker I use for local hauls and ask how much the broker (CH Robinson) had the load posted for on a trucker only load board (I wasn't a member yet). He called back in 5 minutes and told me they were paying $750. So the math is simple. They were offering so little, my product would not move. Fired them naturally. Now that I own trucks, I find, brokers are not paying enough to move the trucks. I take less of a loss with my trucks parked doing nothing than I do hauling product, (No Shit). Who can check into this. I have 6 employees that are going to be let go soon.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

It is not illegal to use brokers to obtain loads I am afraid. Brokers are regulated under the Federal Motor Carrier Act and they must be licensed. Additionally, the broker must provide written contracts to customers, including the full cost of the service. The broker must disclose to the trucking company the full price they are receiving for the service and the amount they are charging the trucking company for their service and any fees they are charging must be in writing with the trucking company. If the brokers are providing false information to your company about charges for the load, the DOT is who regulates the FMCA and that is who you would report to for investigation. Additionally, if you discover they are shorting you pay on loads, you can also sue them for fraud and misrepresentation and breach of contract to recover the money you are due.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Very good information, thank you. How do I keep them honest. They can say anything on the phone? Also, they only give vague locations of pick-ups and drops until after the contract is signed. The example POSTED would be, Denver CO. to Dallas TX, 800 miles. More times than not (every time), it will be on the far sides of one or both cities, extra 150 miles and traffic... Are they required to disclose address to address? I know it is legal to broker, but are there any rules and/or regulations?



Thank you for your response.

The costs for the shipment should be on the bill of lading or the contract with the customer and you are entitled to ask for them to produce those documents to you. The FMCA mandates that their contract with the receiver of the goods specifies the terms of the shipment and where it will be delivered and the broker must disclose that to the trucking company as well. Again, this misrepresentation would be something that could be reported to DOT if the broker refuses to disclose the information to you.
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