FMCSA Releases Anticipated Guidance on Dispatch Services

Alexandria, VA – On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is set to release interim guidance on the definitions of broker, bona fide agents, and the role of dispatch services in the supply chain. The guidance from FMCSA is part of a mandate in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law a little more than a year ago.

TIA’s members continue to see a rise in the amount of unlawful brokerage activities and an increase of dispatch services that illegally broker freight by handling “traffic allocation” for multiple motor carriers without the proper registration and regulatory requirements. This mandate is an issue TIA has advocated for to Members of the House and Senate.

The Agency’s guidance proposes conditions that would require brokerage authority for dispatch services, as well as other conditions that would not require brokerage authority. Specifically, the Agency outlined that if dispatch services handle the exchange of money between shippers and motor carriers, then broker authority would likely be required. Additionally, dispatch services will need brokerage authority if they do business with more than one entity if they handle traffic allocation.

“TIA applauds the Agency for releasing this interim guidance promptly to address a serious concern of the brokerage industry,” said TIA President & CEO Anne Reinke. “The Agency listened to our concerns and incorporated several of TIA’s suggestions on dispatch services. This is a positive first step, but TIA believes it should not be the final step. The number of unlawful brokerage activities continues to rise and these illicit dispatch services skirt registration and regulatory requirements. TIA looks forward to continuing to work with the FMCSA on this important issue.”

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