• ITVI.USA
    15,494.200
    152.800
    1%
  • OTRI.USA
    25.070
    0.290
    1.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,447.770
    158.270
    1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.700
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.550
    -0.030
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.030
    -0.080
    -2.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    0.150
    11.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.700
    -0.040
    -2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.020
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,494.200
    152.800
    1%
  • OTRI.USA
    25.070
    0.290
    1.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,447.770
    158.270
    1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.700
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.550
    -0.030
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.030
    -0.080
    -2.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    0.150
    11.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.700
    -0.040
    -2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.020
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    0.000
    0%
Driver issuesNewsTrucking Regulation

Brokers push back against Trump’s price-gouging claims

Representatives of the truck brokerage industry swiftly refuted President Donald Trump’s allegations of price gouging against small-business truck drivers after the President took sides with the drivers on the issue.

Trump, who tweeted his support for the drivers during last week’s “May Day” demonstration rally held by truckers near the White House, maintained that they are being “price gouged” when asked today (May 8) about the allegations – and what he plans to do about it – by a co-host of the television show Fox & Friends.

“All they want is to be treated fairly, and we’re going to treat them fairly. They’re great people, and they’re successful, they have these big beautiful trucks, and they want them made in the USA. They’re not asking for much, so we’re going to take care of them.”

Trump added that he “brought my people out to see them” during last week’s demonstration. “I even brought out some red hats for them,” he said.

The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), which represents brokers and other third-party logistics companies (3PLs), immediately pushed back. “As the President should know, real estate agents don’t determine the sales price of buildings, the market does. The same is true in trucking,” responded TIA President and CEO Robert Voltmann.

Brokers and 3PLs, he said, “are not price-gouging – there is simply not enough freight to support all of the carriers. In this case, we simply aren’t shipping much of anything and there are too many trucks chasing too little freight. TIA welcomes the opportunity to discuss the situation with the Administration, as well as with all parties involved, in a formal setting – not through completely misconstrued and misrepresented statements across social media and other channels.”

Voltmann pointed out in a separate response that his association’s most recent quarterly market report shows that 3PLs are keeping a 16% gross margin for their service and passing on 84% to the carrier.

While President Trump did not provide details on how he planned “to take care” of the trucker’s allegations of price gouging, he’s limited in his options, according to Donald Baker, senior counsel at the law firm Baker & Miller.

“If there’s any hint that the brokers are cooperating with each other, then you’ve got a price-fixing violation,” Baker told FreightWaves. “I don’t think there’s any credible antitrust violation unless they have some evidence of collusion among the brokers.”

Baker, a former head of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, said the President has the authority to instruct the Justice Department to investigate. “If he were to do that they would look at it, but I don’t see how they would come up with a violation, based on the evidence,” he said.

Pressuring lawmakers to enforce laws already on the books, however, remains an option. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents small-business truckers, wrote to all 535 members of Congress this week seeking enforcement of a regulation requiring brokers to keep records of transactions with motor carriers.

Those records include compensation paid to the broker, the identity of the payer, and “the amount of any freight charges collected by the broker and the date of payment to the carrier.”

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John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.

42 Comments

  1. I had a broker say to me I hate to say it but I can get a truck to go to the northeast less than dallor a mile I am loving it my pockets get FAT RIGHT NOW.

  2. Brokers are an obsolete relic of the days when truck stops had a wall of pay phones. They’re completely unnecessary, and could easily be 100% replaced by load boards or even Facebook groups.

    16% going to those parasites is completely unacceptable. Even 1% is too much.

    1. Ban all brokers even on pop up broker’s overnight brokers the one that just got started the Convoy tql that never have they miles right double booking six or seven going to the same place more miles they want you to actually pay for the load to deliver it the list could go on and on and on all you have to do is get on all you have to do is get on load board and you’ll see the prices

  3. But no mention of the politicians and Wall Street brokers who made millions when the market plunged a month ago. And no mention of when the weather is bad a natural disaster occurs, carriers price gauge. It’s the market. The problem is that ever since we went into a trade war with China, there has been a sharp decrease in freight. I guess CNN is to blame for that.

    1. Carriers price gauge when the natural disaster occurs ? Really ? How about to mention that the loads that goes to natural disaster areas are one way loads, since no freight to haul are loaded in those areas, so carriers has to charge more to go there ? Typical broker mentality, you have no idea whats involved in getting your load from point a to point b, only that trackers can blow drivers phone when he is trying to rest and deduct $ from carriers rate for “no updates ” bs. Its all about #’s for you brokers

      1. You speak very well. How about calling the customer for yourself? Did we forget that part? Let’s not act like the market never sways in the carriers favor is all I am saying. More importantly broker vs. Trucker is not the issue at hand. Since the trade war with China tonnage has gone down. The big 3pls are taking over a market with decreased freight for us all to move. That is the bottom line.

  4. I heard a lot of broker talking about the market, but the thing is that that market doesn’t exist for brokers they never follow the market, from them is always the same is not because of Covid-19 is since back ago.
    Dat load board show tx to Ca $2.30 a mile they want to pay us $ 1.70 $1.60 and this is only an example of all the shit they do. that’s the way that they works and because a lot of carries do the same shit they will keep doing it. I was trying to cover my trucks this weekend. I only do flatbeds the Dat show fl to Md
    $1.70 and this broker tell me if I can do for $ 98 cents
    And this load is 48K pounds and also tarp This is another example of all the ridiculous prices out there.

    Brokers will never understand the stuff drivers must have to go thru to move this country. If they would sit behind a wheel to be able to see drivers passing a lot of days without a hot plate of food, without seeing theirs families, not every day the can take a shower, they have to pay high insurance prices that are over the clouds and this is one of couple stuff that comes to my mind without saying the maintenance the tires all the permits they need to have to be in compliance so how is posible to keep the trucking business like this? Is hard to see how at the end of a year they reported gains in the business making drivers suffer.

    Last thing, they said America have shorter of drivers and when they post a load in the board the load is take it immediately.

    1. You dont have to take the load. Stop whoring yourself out. The big 3pls cant treat you like a whore if you dont act like one!

    2. Joey – there are some of us BROKERS out there that DO understand and try to be fair to the carrier. The gouging goes both ways. I have yet to offer a carrier a price for service and NOT have them come back with “IS that the best you can do” A 159 mile run with straight truck paying $500 (that’s over $3 per mile) and the carrier wants more.
      Today’s dispatchers are trained so that no matter how much they are offered – always ask for more. And I cannot tell you how many times the carrier thinks they deserve more because it is a holiday week, Or it’s their birthday, or
      their wife just had a baby, or the sun is shining…..what-ever…Greed is Greed, whether it comes from the shipper, the broker, or the carrier. After over 35 years in the transportation industry, I have seen much, but there is always a new surprise waiting around the corner.

  5. In regards to being offered $0.98 a mile. Fuel cost is based off of 5.5 MPG. With that being said, With no discount program for gallons purchased and fuel at the big chain truck stops costing $2.48 cash price (depending on location) fuel cost is $0.45 per mile. Average Driver wage is $0.45 a mile. (even independent has to pay himself/herself). This does not include insurance cost, Heavy Highway use tax, unified carrier registration, Plates for tractor and trailer, IFTA, log sheets/eld service and equipment, KYU, NY permit, NM permit, pay to park (depends on area), Tolls (depends on route), self employment tax, Tax preparation, (if not done yourself), Truck payment (if not paid off) trailer payment (if not paid off) PM service, tire wear, equipment depreciation, office supplies, THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. If you don’t take all these expenses in to consideration when booking your loads or bidding on a contract you are setting yourself up for failure. I REFUSE TO HAUL CHEAP FREIGHT. You can stay home and go bankrupt, Why line someone else’s pockets and still go bankrupt

  6. All of these Brokers have Ben price gouging even before this happened this is not the first time they’ve done this it’s been going on a long time we can’t even pay my bills at home taking loads that we are actually paying for I hope Donald Trump shut them down like I said a thousand miles for $1,000 that’s ridiculous

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