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NITL and ATA Promote Model Truckload Contract

The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) has teamed with the American Trucking Associations (ATA) to develop a model carriage agreement for truckload shippers and carriers that the two associations believe will help improve the efficiency of contract negotiations and provide a “balanced agreement for shippers and carriers.”

The trade groups, representing shippers (NITL) and carriers (ATA), stressed the model agreement is intended as a starting point for negotiations. The agreement covers many of the standard or common provisions but must be customized to meet the exact needs of the contractual relationship.

Provisions related to rates, charges, limitation of liability, level of carrier insurance, and other related areas are left blank. In addition to negotiating these provisions, shippers and carriers can refer to optional appendices that cover scope of service, freight and accessorial charges, fuel surcharge programs, and a uniform freight documentation form that can be used as a pick up and delivery receipt.

The ATA began work on the model agreement in 2002 after the Department of Justice stated that creation and distribution of a voluntary motor carrier/shipper model contract would not raise antitrust concerns. ATA invited NITL to join in developing the agreement in 2003 to ensure shipper interests were fairly represented.

NITL and ATA are making the agreement and accompanying general instructions available at

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