Direction Jan Feb 2014 - (Page 38)

Washington WATCH Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Industry Members Share Concerns With SDDC Staff By Scott Michael, Vice President for ProMover, Membership and Military Affairs JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2014 T Direction 38 he Defense Department's Personal Property Forum on Oct. 29 in St. Louis, Mo., answered some questions for household goods carriers, but the semiannual session with the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) staff raised others. Some 271 companies applied to become approved military carriers during the recent open season; 49 passed the initial screening process. They were to provide financial, insurance and bond information before being formally approved in time to file rates for next summer, starting in February. Hundreds of companies didn't apply after learning SDDC would reject any applicants associated with currently approved carriers, including all van line agents and any approved warehousemen. Several unsuccessful applicants persuasively expressed their unhappiness and were told to try again next year. The discussion turned to SDDC's plans to make all approved carriers requalify next year under unspecified new restrictions. Most attendees were anxious to hear how this would work, but few details were provided.  FMCSA Tweaks Regs for Property Brokers and Freight Forwarders SDDC is concerned about companies that turn over shipments to another company to "manage" without doing any substantive work themselves. The military would prefer to give the business directly to the company that will do the work. The command also wants companies to limit their rate filing to those channels they can service directly, rather than filing everywhere and then passing some of the moves on to someone else. To solve the problem, SDDC is taking a three-year average of the shipments handled by each group of carriers and "right-sizing" them down to a proportionally smaller number of approved carriers based on the number of shipments. Industry attendees were greatly concerned about how this would work, especially for carriers that might decide to drop out of their "group" and handle their own shipments rather than be eliminated.  The upcoming rate filing will allow carriers to file separate discounts for peak and nonpeak, but this change will also eliminate the current 10 percent peak season adjustment to the base rates, so carriers will need to decide independently what type of adjustment to make for peak season. DPS Program Management Office (formerly known as JPMO) representatives discussed invoicing problems. They explained that invoices were not being transmitted to DPS because of issues related to the file size. Therefore, they were not being reviewed and processed. The staff said they believe most of the problems have been resolved. They also provided a timeline of upcoming enhancements to DPS that will be performed by the new programming contractor, CACI. The focus for the next year will be on the basic infrastructure of DPS and getting the new programmers familiar with the software. In 2015, they plan to implement document imaging to store key documents and to start implementing electronic data transfer with the industry, although a full two-way interface will take longer to put in place.  The SDDC rates team discussed providing an additional explanation to document the need for a shuttle service. They said they think they have a plan with General Services Administration audits to resolve earlier shuttle disputes.  FMCSA has provided guidance concerning the registration and financial security requirements for property brokers and freight forwarders. This notice, published Sept. 5 in The Federal Register, reflects changes that were included in MAP-21 legislation passed last year. These changes include a requirement that motor carriers must also register as brokers if they are engaged in brokerage activities. Also, the minimum financial surety bond amount for brokers and freight forwarders was increased to $75,000 from $10,000.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Direction Jan Feb 2014

From the President
Industry News
Penske Trucks
News Briefs
In Memoriam
International Update
State Line
What's New at AMSA
Fall Board and Committee Reports
Safety Conference Wrap-up
Annual Conference Heads to San Diego
New Members
Office Max
Movers & Shakers
Ready to Grow
Going Green
Driving Down Fleet Costs With Solar Power
Regulatory Affairs
Advertisers' Index
On the Hill
Product Portfolio
Fast Facts

Direction Jan Feb 2014