On the same day that truckers around the country protested against “cheap brokers” and low rates, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) issued a warning and guidance to members about how to avoid exploitation.

On May 1, OOIDA shared guidance with members addressing low freight rates, “unscrupulous” brokers, and how independent truck drivers can best protect themselves.

You can read OOIDA’s full message below.

On behalf of everyone at OOIDA, thank you for everything that you do. We realize this is a very challenging time. We are doing the best we can to be helpful and address as many issues as possible. 

We are aware that freight rates are at historic lows. Trucking has often suffered from chronic overcapacity – too many trucks and trailers and not enough freight. The resulting market conditions (i.e. low rates) are magnified right now. While there is no quick or easy solution, hauling cheap freight is not a viable or sustainable approach and we strongly advise against it – just as we always have. 

We also realize some brokers and shippers are exploiting the ongoing crisis. While federal regulations require brokers to be transparent about certain rate information, there are far too many loopholes that effectively undermine those regulations. We continue to work with FMCSA and Congress to require additional transparency and close as many loopholes as possible. Unfortunately, this will not provide any immediate relief. 

You should also be mindful of hauling for brokers that you are not familiar with. Especially during times like this, some unscrupulous brokers have no intention of ever paying carriers and drivers for the services they provide. When someone files a claim against the bond, the result is usually a payment of pennies on the dollar or maybe nothing at all. We refer to this issue as “Broker Bond” and have been trying to get FMCSA and Congress to remedy it for nearly a decade. 

Finally, if you have an issue with a broker, we would strongly encourage you to file a complaint with FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database (NCCDB). While the NCCDB is far from perfect, we need complaints to be filed because it helps us show just how broken it is and might hopefully lead to meaningful changes. You can file a complaint by clicking on the following link: https://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/nccdb/home.aspx. If you do file a complaint, you should also forward a copy to your lawmakers and OOIDA via [email protected] 

Again, thank you for everything you do. As always, we appreciate your support and are happy to answer any questions you might have. 

Sincerely,

Lewie Pugh

OOIDA Executive Vice President

On May 1, trucker protests against low rates and exploitative freight brokers took place in multiple locations across the U.S., including Washington D.C. and Chicago.

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