The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) released its new Carrier Selection Framework at its Convention on April 8, 2011. The Framework is designed to assist third-party logistics firms in developing and implementing their own individual carrier selection policies and procedures in light of the launch of CSA.
The Framework does not provide a checklist or an industry standard for what should or should not be done, as there are no right or wrong answers. Rather, the Framework continues to stress TIA’s position that the FMCSA is the sole determinant of a motor carrier’s safety rating, not shippers or brokers. However, the Framework does suggest that brokers and shippers still check a carrier’s SafeStat safety rating and not use carriers with an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.
At the heart of the framework is a list of possible considerations for selecting or reviewing motor carriers. The suggested considerations include:
- Verify that the carrier’s DOT and MC numbers are active;
- Verify the carrier’s BOC-3 filing;
- Verify that the carrier’s licensing and insurance filings are current;
- Verify the carrier’s Safety Rating;
- Not knowingly using carriers with an “Unsatisfactory” Safety Rating;
- For carrier’s with a “Conditional” Safety Rating asking for a copy of the carrier’s plan submitted to the FMCSA for improving their rating and asking the carrier if it has filed a formal request for a safety rating upgrade;
- Obtain copies of the carrier’s insurance certificates directly from the insurance agent;
- Check for reports of unethical, fraudulent, or other incidents against a carrier by reviewing www.tiawatchdog.net, or through other online services; and
- Review the carrier’s operating authority history on FMCSA’s website.
The key takeaways from the Framework are that the only motor carrier safety “authority” is the FMCSA and that a carrier’s safety rating should always take precedence over, and clearly outweigh any single score, or collection of scores, or data set, including CSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) or BASIC scores.
Members of TIA may download a complete copy of the Carrier Selection Framework from the TIA website located at www.tianet.org.