More and more brokers using 'model' contract

| 8/25/2006

A “lopsided” contract unveiled by a brokers’ organization is apparently catching on in popularity among the group.

The Transportation Intermediaries Association issued a press release proclaiming that 850 of its 1,000-plus members had downloaded copies of the contract.

“Based on the results of a survey TIA sent to these individuals, the association estimates that the contract has been used more than 30,000 times,” the release states.

“That’s about 30,000 times too many,” said OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Rick Craig. “This contract is filled with language that is clearly not in the best interest of the trucker.”

The contract was unveiled in June. And, it didn’t take long for staffers at OOIDA’s national headquarters to give the contract a big “thumbs down.”

Clauses such as “Carrier shall not seek payment from shipper if shipper can prove payment to broker,” and the fact that the contract attempts to have any truckers who sign it waive their rights and remedies under Title 49 of the U.S. Code – left OOIDA no choice but to urge truckers to not sign.

While it would be nice if the contract always had the TIA logo on it, brokers who want to change the contract are instructed to make the changes conspicuous and to not use the broker association’s logo.

“These contracts can appear in just about any form with more than 850 brokers already using them,” Craig said. “It’s just smart business to read every contract thoroughly and any contract that asks you to sign away your rights needs to be thrown in the trash.”

And OOIDA isn’t the only industry group cautioning against the use of the contract.

According to the ATA publication, Transport Topics, ATA officials also declined to put their stamp of approval on the model contract.

– By Jami Jones, senior editor