9. July 2012 09:49
On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law the long-awaited Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21. This legislation will ensure the funding of transportation and other projects until December 2014 and comes (finally) after the previous law had been extended ten times. Notwithstanding that, while the new law is not perfect by any means, it will keep current projects moving for the next two years and preserve three million jobs. Most industry watchers agree that it certainly is better than it could have been, given the polarization in Congress.
While most of the attention has been on the funding and job preservation aspects, the bill covers a multitude of other things, as well. It is 599 pages long and deals with everything from Asian Carp in the Chicago River to student loans, not to mention driver hours of service rules, motor carrier safety, electronic onboard recorders (EOBR's), the BP oil spill and dozens of other subjects.
One of the most important provisions to many will be those containing the changes in the regulations for financial responsibility of brokers and freight forwarders and unlawful brokerage activities.
The new law requires a surety bond of $75,000 for brokers and forwarders, rather than the current $10,000. This should help weed out the underfunded firms that are at the root of many of the problems in the industry, e.g. not paying carriers or clandestine rebrokering. There are also other provisions controlling certification and operations – all in all, positive changes for the industry.
If you are a broker or deal with brokers, you would do well to read carefully Sections 32918 and 32919 of the new act. In fact, I would recommend that everyone skim at least the Table of Contents. You might be surprised at what you find there.
Image by Kyle Taylor
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