A Checklist to Help Spot Fraud

This post covers the following:

  • FMCSA Checklist on protecting your brokerage from fraud.
  • AFS Cowen Freight Index look ahead at Q1.

FMCSA Checklist

FreightWaves posted an article covering the FMCSA’s checklist on spotting fraud. Link

Here are our thoughts on this checklist:

A checklist is a good thing. Training your people how to spot inconsistencies with a carrier is a good thing. Using services that provide information on carriers (Carrier411, Trucker Tools. etc.) are helpful, but depending on them to protect your business is not a solution either. They are supplemental services and, for a fee, will provide information on carriers that you can easily find on your own for free. The reason these services exist is because most users are not interested in taking time to do necessary research. This industry lives on the load board “hamster wheel” and time is something that automation and digitization have stolen.

The moral of the story is this: please be careful and do not rely soly on software and subscription services that claim to protect you from fraud. Only you can protect yourself completely.

Here are a few of our checklist items you can employ in your operations to help mitigate risk that don’t require an expensive subscription eating your margins:

  1. Reduce your use of one and done carriers by creating a profile in your TMS of every carrier you use. Every TMS has a feature that identifies carriers most suited to take specific loads based on history.
  2. Reduce your use of owner-operators. Owner-operators serve a purpose, and that is taking spot loads your regular carriers cannot take.Owner-operators do not run in lanes and should not be used for regular freight. Just because they were in Chicago today, doesn’t mean they will be back anytime soon, or they want to go back to Dallas again. This is how you get hooked on using load boards. Instead, identify fleet carriers that are more likely to run in lanes.This mitigates risk for you and improves reliability.

AFS / Cowen Freight Index

AFS Logistics produces a quarterly freight index looking across $39B in freights rates and settlement data, using previous quarter data to forecase for the next quarter. The most recent index can be found HERE.

Here is a quick look at AFS and Cowen’s TL forecast for Q1 2024. All experts are predicting no improvement until Q2. We shall see how this plays out. Stay tuned.