LAS VEGAS — The Moving Authority Association (MAA) says new regulations that are soon to go into effect for the interstate moving industry stand to have negative impacts on trucking companies.
The changes go into effect on June 27.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is implementing the new rules at the behest of Congress.
The rules include:
- Allowing for virtual surveys of household goods;
- Requiring motor carriers to conduct surveys beyond a 50-mile radius;
- Removing the requirement for an order for service;
- Updating the requirements in the bill of lading;
- Requiring the bill of lading to be provided earlier in the moving process; replacing the requirement for a freight bill with an invoice; and
- Requiring all motor carriers that have a website to display prominently a link to either Ready to Move? on the FMCSA website or to a true and accurate copy of Ready to Move? on their own websites.
These policy changes, however, stand to harm the industry, according to the MAA.
MAA officials laid out a laundry list of problems they see with the new regulations, including: increased likelihood of audits and suspensions; new fines and suspensions for tariff-related infractions; stricter fines and penalties for companies or individuals supplying blank or unfilled moving documents; a more streamlined consumer complaint system; regulation revisions to the mandatory rights and responsibilities document; and increased license suspensions for hostage load violations.
“In fact, a consumer shipment hostage situation can now lead to a suspension of between 12 and 36 months,” an MAA news release stated.
“The apparent goal of the FMCSA’s policy changes is to fine non-compliant carriers out of existence,” according to the news release.
“This should come as no surprise to moving industry professionals. They witnessed an increase of almost 8,300 complaints directed at carriers from 2020 to 2021. That increase led to a new record of more consumer complaints than were ever previously recorded by the government. The complaints took place amid the devastating 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, which was when millions of US citizens were depending on the assistance of moving companies.”
Each of the estimated 8,300 complaints was added to the FMCSA’s consumer complaint database.
The FMCSA reported that fines increased 62 percent during carrier investigations from 2020 to 2021.
“There is strong speculation that the combination of increased fines and penalties led to the FMCSA adjusting its current policies,” the MAA opined in its news release.
Rachel Weiss, the operations manager at Moving Authority, stated that “the whole team has been working overtime to keep all carriers compliant.”
Weiss also commented that her organization has updated all contracts and tariffs so that carriers can be compliant with the policy changes.
FMCSA officials said the changes “will result in benefits related to consumer protection and potentially motor carrier fuel savings.”
“The final rule will result in shippers receiving accurate and clear information earlier in the process, enabling them to make more informed and better decisions regarding which household goods motor carrier to hire,” according to the FMCSA.
“Additionally, the final rule will aid in obtaining more accurate estimates of moving fees based on physical surveys for those interstate moves that are beyond 50 miles from a motor carrier agent’s location.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.