OSFS Tracking – Case Study

OSFS Tracking Device – Case Study

One Source Freight Solutions was contacted by the President of a local Election Printing and Services company in early 2016.

This company had been contracted to supply the election ballots for the 2016 Presidential Election for several states Nationwide.

It was estimated there would be close to 200 palletized orders routed […]

By |August 7th, 2017|Asset Recovery|0 Comments

2017 UNEDA Conference White Paper

We had a great time sponsoring and attending UNEDA’s North American Conference. Take a look at our OSFS Asset Recovery Logistics White Paper summarizing our offerings and capabilities!

Reach out via email to John Martin or John Genzale for more information or to quote. We look forward to building a customized and cost effective solution to your asset recovery, reverse logistics, […]

By |April 28th, 2017|Asset Recovery|0 Comments

Super Charlie Scramble – Charlie Luther Fundraiser Golf Tournament

Come join us for a great cause on Friday, January 13th, 2017 – 1:00pm shotgun at Lone Tree Golf Club to help raise money for Thomas Luther’s son Charlie Luther who was recently diagnosed and being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We’ll be doing a 1pm shotgun start and the format will be an 18 […]

By |January 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Trojan Horse

A further examination of the NPRM for the agency’s Safety Fitness Determination suggests the surprise rulemaking may be a Trojan horse.  The idea that rehashed SMS methodology will be used to find approximately 300 carriers per year unfit based on roadside inspections appears to be a concession to the critics of SMS methodology, only penalizing the “worst of the worst.” Similarly, the agency’s rulemaking says that it has heard from SMS critics and in unexplained ways addressed concerns about peer group anomalies enforcement inconsistencies.

Unfortunately, when called SMS methodology, we had 5 years, first-hand experience, and at least half a dozen formal requests for comments to examine the SMS scores and then convince Congress, the GAO, the IG and the agency’s own internal review panel that changes needed to be made.  Now, without supporting data, we are told that the new SFD solves all of our concerns and should be quickly blessed in a 2 month public comment period based not upon contemporary studies of the SFD but upon stale studies of roadside enforcement from 2011.

The little noticed trap door in the Trojan horse is the agency’s proclamation that somehow roadside data can be unhinged from crash data and used to measure 75,000 motor carriers who presumably will be measured but permitted to operate without any formal fitness safety rating.  Somehow the agency proclaims that the new system, which will include at least abbreviated audits for approximately 1,500 new carriers found to be unfit will be conducted without any consideration of which of these carriers could effectively appeal an unfitness finding or satisfactorily complete a compliance agreement (see Table 5).

That is twice the number of carriers found unfit annually based on a new formula which disregards crash data!

The Trojan horse is really the conclusion that a certain percent of carriers must be excluded from the industry based upon compliance data alone to justify the agency’s existence, no matter the individual’s safety performance.

Congress told the agency that it clearly had to treat the elephant in the room – determining crash preventability as a prerequisite to any critical cost benefit analysis of a new rule.  What has been proposed is a rule which assumes there is public value in decimating carriers based on roadside inspections with no basis in large part on roadside inspections and “raw score” limbo bars without connecting the dots to individual carrier safety performance.

Now, that’s an idea we cannot allow to go unchallenged. 

By |February 9th, 2016|ASECTT|Comments Off on A Trojan Horse

Warmed over SMS

For over a decade, the FMCSA has tried to develop a system to rate carriers based on roadside performance alone – depriving carriers of an audit and due process.

SafeStat, which had percentile rankings in 3 safety event groups or BASICs, was a bust.  So the agency created 7 BASICs, arbitrarily constructed peer groups, and started feeding the system with highly granulated, non out-of-service violations to increase the data count.

Without tying the resulting scores to a fair measurement of individual carrier performance, the agency went live with its scoring methodology in December of 2010.  It told the public on the one hand that the data is for our use in determining progressive intervention and, on the other, touted its rating system as intended and fit for shippers to use under peril of negligent selection liability.

From 2011 through 2015 the agency conducted over half a dozen informal “listening sessions” and “request for comments” as it tweaked SMS methodology but never addressed its critics – cut off – major and systemic flaws such as data inadequacy, enforcement anomalies, peer group creep, statistical flaws and due process issues.  All were presented to the agency but have never been addressed.

Finally, Congress intervened.  In the FAST Act it directed the agency to go back to the drawing board, conduct a thorough investigation of its roadside inspection methodology and issue a corrective action plan beforeproceeding to the rulemaking stage.  It also told the agency in no uncertain words that no major rulemaking could be issued until the effects on all aspects of the industry were considered.

Less than a month after the FAST Act was passed, the agency issued the Safety Fitness Determination which looks an awful lot like warmed over SMS methodology.  It is not something new or different which is not subject to all of the criticism which Congress said must be addressed in the corrective action plan.  It is the same roadside inspection data, the same weighted infraction methodology and it is based on the same self-serving and often discounted studies the agency has used over the past 10 years to justify SMS.

All that is really different is an acknowledgement by the agency that it cannot statistically measure accurately carriers with few inspections.  Higher but still arbitrary thresholds have been introduced.  In addition, the agency proclaims the relative measurement stick of percentile rankings has been removed, but actually it has retro-engineered the measurement system using percentile rankings to fix raw scores by safety event groups. 

All this effort that after 10 years of trials ostensibly to determine based on numbers alone that 320 carriers should be placed out of service?  That is what the agency states but there is more. Somehow this warmed over SMS will allow the agency to measure 75,000 carriers although they will not be assigned a safety rating. 

Get this.  The agency will still conduct audits and somehow will double the number of carriers found unfit as a result.  Apparently by employing the presumption that half their job is done as soon as any carrier peer group creep puts a carrier over the threshold in a single safety event group (deficiency in 2 is needed for an unfit finding on scores alone). 

So what is the long awaited Safety Fitness Determination all about?  Is it finding 320 carriers unfit based on the numbers?  Or is it a new calculus which admits that the agency will only declare carriers licensed, authorized and insured or unfit and out of operations?  What about SMS scores and the Congress mandated corrective action plan?  Is that even necessary?

Or is the rather surprising safety fitness rule just the nose of the camel under the tent since it seeks a finding that roadside inspections alone have a sufficient correlation to safety to place carriers out of service.  Would its passage forever establish for plaintiff’s bar that raw scores and percentile rankings are fair game in up supply chain lawsuits?  Moreover, look what is happening to treatment of the FAST Act in the process.  Although SMS methodology is tainted and subject to a corrective action study, it is the very process and data the agency relies upon to avoid the zero based cost benefit analysis and economic impact studies which the Administrative Procedure Act and the FAST Act require.

After 10 years in development, SMS has not been scuttled, it has been transformed as a proposed rule for a lifetime which the agency could largely recalibrate based on its own guidance.

The industry has 2 months to respond and make its case.  This improvident rule should be shelved.  The shipper and broker community deserves agency affirmation of the final rule that “Unless a motor carrier in the SMS has received an UNSATISFACTORY safety rating pursuant to 49 C.F.R. Part 385, or has otherwise been ordered to discontinue operations by the FMCSA, it is authorized to operate on the nation's roadways.”  This language is already in the NASTC et al. v. FMCSA settlement and in the FAST Act but the agency must be held accountable for not addressing this issue in the SFD rule.

Also, by ignoring crash preventability altogether, the agency seeks to turn a safety fitness determination into a question of roadside compliance without establishing an individual carrier’s nexus to safety or affording judicial appeal. 

ASECTT and a coalition of 7 trade associations will be analyzing the over 1,500 page agency docket of mainly conclusionary statements and previously rebutted warmed over SMS materials and needs your financial support.  Contributions can be made by going to http://asectt.blogspot.com/p/donate.html.

By |February 4th, 2016|ASECTT|Comments Off on Warmed over SMS

FMCSA proposes new safety rating system

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Jan. 21 will officially publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would change how the agency decides which motor carriers are unsafe. Comments on the carrier safety fitness determination (SFD) NPRM will be due March 21, and there will be another 30 days for rebuttal comments.

Although the new highway law known as the FAST Act generally requires FMCSA to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) before proposing a major rule, the agency granted itself a waiver as allowed by the law, saying that an ANPRM is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. A coalition of trade associations representing primarily small trucking operations had argued that FMCSA could not issue the NPRM due to the ANPRM requirement and other FAST Act provisions. The agency did not address the group's other claims in the NPRM it will publish Jan. 21.

What follows is a brief summary of the changes FMCSA is proposing.
Read More » "FMCSA proposes new safety rating system"   - TransComply

By |January 19th, 2016|ASECTT|Comments Off on FMCSA proposes new safety rating system


LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY UPDATEAugust 12, 2015Highway Bill Related Legislation Involving SMS MethodologyBefore the Senate skipped town for a month, a Bill was introduced as a compromise in an effort by the Senate to pass a highway funding bill (S....

By |August 13th, 2015|ASECTT, Legislative Update, SMS Methodology|Comments Off on LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY UPDATE August 12, 2015

SMS Update

SMS Update
            1.         Legislative Initiatives.  There are 3 Bills pending in Congress:

                        (1)        H.R. 1120 – "To Enhance Interstate Commerce by Creating a National Hiring Standard for Motor Carriers."  Introduced by John Duncan (R-TN) on 2/26/15.  This Bill, supported by TIA, would establish a new hiring standard of "licensed, authorized and insured" and is designed to protect shippers, brokers and intermediaries against negligent selection lawsuits.

                        (2)        H.R. 5532 – Reintroduced as H.R. 1371 – "Safer Trucks and Buses Act of 2015." Introduced by Lou Barletta (R-PA) on March 16, 2015.  Supported by NASTC, OOIDA and ATA, this Bill would require removal of SMS methodology from the website pending further study of its efficacy and a report back to Congress.

                        (3)        S. 1454 -Transportation and Logistics Hiring Reform Act. The third Bill which has been introduced in the Senate by Deb Fischer from Nebraska would combine both the House Bills and would force the Agency to address its job of coming up with a safety fitness determination.
While it seems that Congress and industry as a whole is finally getting the issue, there are two problems:  (1) Congress seems deadlocked in getting a highway funding bill which SMS methodology could coattail; and (2) The Agency still seems recalcitrant in responding to broad based criticism.

            2.         Changes to SMS Methodology.  Attached is a Notice from the Agency of further changes it proposes to SMS methodology.  Comments are due July 29th.  Any member with concerns is urged to share them with us.  The Agency appears to continue to solicit opinions but not to address the overriding issues.  See http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/notices/2015-15907.

            3.         Finally, there are rumors of rulemaking.  The Agency has sent a safety fitness determination rule to OMB for approval.  Its contents are unknown but it appears to abandon percentile rankings for purposes of making an actual safety fitness determination. Eliminating peer groups and percentile rankings unfortunately will not solve the problems of misuse of SMS data unless the Agency answers the following systemic problems:

                        (1)        The law of large numbers/inadequate data.  Both the Gimpel and the GAO Study say there is insufficient data to accurately statistically measure 90% of the carriers the Agency regulates.

                        (2)        Data accuracy, enforcement inconsistencies and corrupted data preclude an accurate assessment of carrier compliance (an 80% error factor occurs in the Agency's measurement of crashes because preventability cannot be determined).

                        (3)        Due process – Any monthly publication of statistical findings based on roadside inspections alone could deprive carriers of freight before they have any opportunity to appeal.

In any event, the Agency is clearly under pressure from NHTSA and others to act more quickly on identifying "at-risk" carriers.  The "independent" intra-agency report Secretary Foxx commissioned over a year and a half ago has issued a report with voluminous recommendations.  See  http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=38710.  It offers a lot of suggestions but no answer to the criticism that was represented to the task force concerning the flaws in the methodology. 

In sum, over 4 years in the making, we may soon have a rule to respond to and only several months in which to do it.  Believe it or not, rulemaking will be the court of first impression which the Agency actually has to come to grips with a cost benefit analysis and overcoming the showing that SMS methodology and its use has an overwhelming anti-competitive effect, particularly on small carriers.

We have had progressive interventions, focused audits, using SMS methodology and broad "stakeholder" second guessing in the name of safety.  If this DOT crash data for the years since SMS methodology and progressive intervention have been in place, the Agency cannot point to a quantifiable improvement in crash reduction to justify that its initiative has been successful.

By |July 2nd, 2015|ASECTT, SMS Update|Comments Off on SMS Update

NMFC’ National Motor Freight Class guidelines, effective April 18, 2015, concealed damages must be reported to carriers within 5 days after delivery.

Currently, concealed damages can be reported up to 15 days after delivery for consideration of a valid claim, but per NMFC guidelines effective April 18, 2015, the time period for reporting concealed damages is being reduced 5 days.  .


Supplement 1 to NMF 100-AO, effective April 18, 2015



(a) When damage to, […]

By |April 21st, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments


See below for regulatory update. Law Office of Seaton & Husk, LP Transportation News & Upcoming Events: REGULATORY UPDATE March 1, 2015

By |February 25th, 2015|ASECTT|Comments Off on REGULATORY UPDATE March 1, 2015