Owner-Operators Push for New Fuel Surcharge Legislation

As explained by the OOIDA’s executive vice president, Todd Spencer, FITT would require that if a surcharge is assessed and is paid by the shipper, then that surcharge must be passed through in its entirely to the person who paid for the fuel. “On most shipments, a fuel surcharge is already collected,” he says. “In most instances it doesn’t get through to the person who paid for the fuel.”

More, the legislation being proposed would require accounting of any and all fees paid by the shipper to all parties involved in the transaction which, according to Spencer, would allow everyone to see exactly who gets the money and where it went. “You have truckers basically being hammered, big time,” he claims. “And right now, it’s all hidden. Everybody would like to know who is getting the money.”

Spencer adds that the legislation being proposed takes away a key argument by its opponents – that it’s a step toward re-regulating the trucking industry.

One group in strong opposition to FITT is the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), a professional and educational organization of the third party logistics industry. TIA president and CEO, Robert Voltmann, counters that, despite OOIDA’s claims to the contrary, the proposed legislation has nothing to do with accountability, and it is an obvious attempt to re-regulating the trucking industry. “The proposed legislation would eliminate private contracts and return the industry to the equivalent of published rates,” he says.

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