OOIDA Applauds Bipartisan Bill to Fight Freight Fraud

July 2024

WASHINGTON, DC…  The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA)  recently  announced its strong support for the bipartisan Household Goods Shipping Consumer Protection Act, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Congressman Mike Ezell (R-MS) to enhance the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) ability to crack down on freight fraud. Motor carriers are victimized through unpaid claims, unpaid loads, double brokered loads, or load phishing schemes on a daily basis. This costs the trucking industry over $800 million annually.

"Freight fraud committed by criminals and scam artists has been devastating to many small business truckers simply trying to make a living in a tough freight market,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “OOIDA and the 150,000 small-business truckers we represent applaud Representative Holmes Norton and Representative Ezell for their bipartisan leadership to provide FMCSA better tools to root out fraudulent actors, which are also harmful to consumers and highway safety. Because of the broad industry support for these commonsense reforms, we hope this bipartisan legislation will move through the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee without delay.” 

 “FMCSA receives thousands of complaints every year from Americans who are the victims of fraud in the shipment of household goods by licensed entities," said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). "This bill would provide FMCSA with explicit authority to assess civil penalties for violations of commercial regulations, and crucially, to withhold registration from applicants failing to provide verification details demonstrating they intend to operate legitimate businesses. Americans moving across state lines need to be able to have confidence in FMCSA-licensed companies transporting their physical belongings, and I'm proud to introduce this bill with Rep. Ezell to strengthen protections.”

“The Household Goods Shipping Consumer Protection Act works to address illegal practices in the shipping and moving industry that ultimately undermine consumer trust and harm our nation’s supply chain,” said Congressman Mike Ezell (R-MS). “Holding these fraudulent actors in the transportation sector accountable will not only protect individuals but also benefit trustworthy companies and their employees. I am glad to co-author this critical initiative to stop fraud and establish greater law and order in our economy.”

Problem: Professional truckers have been telling the U.S. Department of Transportation for decades about inadequate broker regulations that are rarely, if ever, enforced. This has resulted in an inequitable economic environment for truckers, especially small-businesses who are victimized by unscrupulous brokers and other fraudulent entities. The current regulatory framework limits fraud enforcement, enables bad actors to operate with impunity, and forces out drivers who want to build sustainable trucking careers. 

Solution: The Household Goods Shipping Consumer Protection Act restores and codifies FMCSA’s authority to issue civil penalties against bad actors. The legislation also requires that brokers, freight forwarders, and carriers provide a valid business address to FMCSA in order to register for authority.

The bill has been endorsed by the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), American Trucking Associations’ Moving & Storage Conference (ATA-MSC), Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA), the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC), Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), Institute for Safer Trucking (IST) and Road Safe America.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members nationwide in all fifty states that collectively own and operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks. OOIDA’s mission is to promote and protect the interests of its members on any issues that might impact their economic well-being, working conditions, and the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles on our nation’s highways. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.