On December 4th, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act”, was signed into law. The FAST Act has major implications for truck transportation in the U.S., including the mandate that the FMCSA remove BASIC Scores from public view. The scores are to remain private until the FMCSA can make changes to the program, as presented by the GAO. Some reports have suggested that these changes may take up to 2 years before they are completed and approved.

Now that the FMCSA has pulled BASICs, the trucking industry is faced with a new landscape to work through. There are several areas that we believe will experience the greatest impact. First, we believe that there will be major changes in how legal liability claims are brought and defended. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, Shippers, Brokers, and 3PLs are often held liable for using carriers whom fall outside of certain BASIC thresholds. Before the FAST Act, the BASICs were the gold standard for these types of liability claims. Companies of all sizes used the BASICs as a guide to set internal thresholds for what they viewed as an acceptable carrier. Insurance providers often held their customers to these standards and in some cases would deny coverage if a carrier was used outside of these thresholds.

Now that the BASICs no longer exist, what will become the new standard of measure in these liability claims? Violations? OOS Rates? Some ratio of inspections vs. violations? The problem is that these metrics, when viewed independent of each other, can be misleading.

Secondly, how will companies evaluate new and existing carriers in their day-to-day operations? Let’s face it, today’s Shippers, Brokers, and 3PLs are busier than ever. You’re asked to do more, in a shorter period of time, and with more precision than ever before. The removal of the BASICs has put further pressure on you to ensure the safety of your cargo and the quality of the carriers you select to handle your transportation.

To understand the quality of a carrier, you need to analyze their performance data against all other carriers in their peer group. You’ll want to see how they perform nationwide and how they perform in specific regions (or lanes). Our product, Reload, provides this level of sophistication instantly and in an easy to understand manner. The best part is, it’s blazing fast and FREE to use. With our upcoming release, you’ll be able to establish company-wide thresholds to ensure that everyone in your company can quickly and easily see if a carrier meets your company’s requirements.

So what are the next steps for Shippers, Brokers, and 3PLs?

  1. Talk with your insurance provider to understand their new requirements in the post-BASICs era. Of major significance is understanding what they will view as proper diligence and what they view as an acceptable carrier.
  2. If you’re fortunate enough to have a compliance department, get their new guidelines (or established agreed upon metrics for your company).
  3. Use Reload to find new carriers and instantly review their performance history.

What are you doing in your company to ensure safe carrier selection in the post-BASICs era? Let us know in the comments section below!

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