5 New Regulations That Affect Freight Brokers

New food safety regulations that define brokers as shippers began earlier this month, and the FMCSA put on hold a new method for determining the safety of carriers. These are just two of the regulations we’ve covered recently in the DAT blog.

Below are five regulations that freight brokers should be aware of—either because they apply to brokers directly, or because the rules will have an impact on truckload capacity.

1. New food safety rules began earlier this month – These regulations apply to brokers, carriers and shippers. What makes these regulations different is that they define brokers as shippers, making them equally responsible for ensuring the safety of food during transportation. Large companies were required to comply by April 6, 2017, while other companies have one more year to comply. See if your company falls into the “large company” category.

2. Carrier Safety Fitness Determination put on hold – On March 23 the FMCSA announced that it is postponing its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would revise the method for issuing a Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) for carriers. Many carrier associations have opposed the SFD because the proposed guidelines are based on safety data they consider to be flawed. Brokers are disappointed that they still won’t have clear guidelines to help them select safe carriers.

3. 2013 hours-of-service rules gone for good – More restrictive hours-of-service restart rules that were put in place in July 2013 and suspended in December 2014 will be permanently eliminated. Those rules required that a truck driver’s restart must include two rest periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., and that the restart could only be used once per week. That’s good news for freight brokers, as industry analysts estimated that the 2013 rules resulted in a 3-5% productivity loss when the rules were in place.

4. Final stage eliminating MC numbers suspended – In January, the FMCSA suspended the final phase of the new Unified Registration System (URS). The URS will eliminate docket numbers for carriers (MC numbers) and brokers (FF numbers, etc), identifying them solely by their DOT number. While NEW carriers and brokers are now required to use the URS, the final phase applies to EXISTING carriers and brokers.

5. ELD mandate is only 8 months away – There are only 8 more months before all heavy-duty trucks (with a few exceptions) must use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to log their hours of service. The deadline to comply is December 18, 2017. And while large carriers have been using ELDs for years, many small fleets and owner-operators have yet to make the switch from paper logs. That could be a problem because industry predictions about the reduction of capacity following the mandate vary from 3-5 percent, to 6-10 percent.

DAT offers a variety of products that help freight brokers and 3PLs increase efficiency and grow their businesses. Learn more about our tools that help you find trucks, monitor your current carriers, onboard new carriers, check current and historical freight rates, and help you run your business with transportation management software made exclusively for brokers.

Photo by F.Malotaux