Illegal Trucking is becoming big business thanks to uShip.com
Illegal transporting is becoming big business thanks to sites like uShip.com and ShipAlmostAnything.com. Too often I hear of illegal transporters underbidding shipments from legal providers at reduced costs. Since they do not pay licensing fees or carry proper insurance they can afford to give lower rates.
But at what cost is this savings helping?
Let us start with the issue of operating illegally versus proper authority:
I see all the time that on those mentioned sites legal bidders cannot tell a potential client that they are being underbid by illegal’s. That is pathetic to think website owners tell their users they cannot notify others why their rates are the way they are in fear of being kicked off the site. Unfortunately that is a self feeding beast. When you allow illegal transporters to flood a website and remove the ability to tell shippers they are illegal, the legal ones leave. That results in even more illegal shippers on a site.
The other issue is safety. When a FMCSA licensed carrier is on the road, they have weight requirements, safety requirements and driving times they cannot exceed. All this is in place for your safety and mine. Allowing someone the ability to underbid and ship a load illegally puts everyone in danger on our highways. Look at that failed show A& E Shipping Wars. These people are not real truckers. One was a model planted for the show and the others actually operated without authority before the show aired. Now the show says in their lead in “with a phone and laptop you can be a trucker”. that is so far from the actual law it is laughable.
If you have an illegal transporter on the road, they do not get inspected, they do not have proper insurance and they drive longer than the HOS rules state they can. This is a recipe for disaster. Without proper inspections or driving the proper time, they are a danger to everyone on the road. This is not just some guy driving a tractor trailer but it could be a guy towing a trailer with a piece of machinery on it or a box truck that you cannot see inside but is 4000 lbs overweight and the driver has been driving 24 straight without a break. DANGEROUS!
Lastly, these illegal transporters are a tax burden on us all. If they are trying to fly below the law, they can’t just list their illegal trucking on their taxes can they? Who picks up the tab for the tax burden of road maintenance and safety if they are not paying? WE ALL ARE. Any they get to use the roads they are not paying tax money on and we are footing their bill. Talk about injustice!
NOW TO VERIFY YOUR TRANSPORTER IS LEGAL
The easiest way is to ask the provider for their MC or DOT number before money changes hands. If there is any hesitation then that should be a warning sign.
Common warning signs are
- Hesitation or delay in getting you their DOT Authority
- Stating they will get it to you in a bit
- Stating they do not know what it is
- Stating they do not need it for your load
- Stating they are merely a broker (Brokers need authority too!)
- ANY excuse that does not produce their DOT Authority
NOW TO VERIFY YOUR TRANSPORTER’S AUTHORITY
Go to: www.Safersys.org. THIS IS ACCURATE AND UP-TO-DATE. Do not fall for any transporter stating they are “waiting for the update” or “the data is incorrect” these are lies!
1) Once on safersys.org click on: LICENSING AND INSURANCE Enter their information they gave you (you only need to select the state when entering a company name, not when entering a DOT or MC number). the resulting page will have information (only if you were given accurate data) with a button HTML select that to see the profile.
2) View under the column titled: Authority Status and check that there is at least one item stating ACTIVE IF there is no ACTIVE listed they are probably illegal.
3) On the bottom of the page in the footer there are several important links to see if they have insurance or if their authority was revoked: | Active/Pending Insurance | Rejected Insurance | Insurance History | Authority History | Pending Application | Revocation |
I am not saying the everyone on uShip and ShipAlmostAnything are illegal but due to their business model, they allow illegal transporters on their site and do not allow others to make you (the shipper) aware that they are illegal. In our book this a very shady practice and should not be allowed but until the FMCSA steps in and stops this you need to protect your business. Unfortunately Ray LaHoods office fails to act so sites that feed on the unsuspecting will continue to operate. If you are looking for horror stories of people that have been scammed on these sites. you can google the following phrases to see real people like you that were scammed.
Read some horror stories about people that got taken advantage of by illegal transporters: “uShip Pissed“