The National Motor Freight Traffic Association recently made headlines with its changes to the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading. We’ve received calls from brokerage companies and motor carriers alike to better understand these changes.
Most concerns are about the rewording of Section 1 (a) and the removal of the “Party in Possession” wording. Several headlines falsely stated that the liability now lies exclusively on the Designated Carrier named on the Bill of Lading. The change in wording should not diminish the liability of others involved in the transportation.  (i.e. Brokers are not subject to Carmack).
Additionally, the issue regarding tariffs under section 5 (a) has been raising eyebrows. Though motor carriers have not filed tariffs since 1995, they have been permitted to use tariffs that are available to shippers upon request. These tariffs constitute the requisite notice that a limitation of liability exists.
We hope this helps resolve some of your immediate concerns regarding these chances.
If you have any questions about how this or any other legislation affects your business, please contact us at any time.