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Changes to the NMFTA Bill of Lading

Wednesday, November 02, 2016
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. [1] (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.

Commenting on the USDOT Speed Limiting Devices Proposal

Monday, September 26, 2016
In the continued pursuit of safer roads, the USDOT is proposing speed limiting devices on all heavy trucks.  The proposal highlights projected safety and cost benefits that will help the transportation industry.

Though the DOT is clear on the pros of lowering the speed of heavy vehicles, they are not clear on where the limit should be set.  The proposal references the top speeds of:
  • 68 mph
  • 65 mph
  • 60 mph
The comments period is open through November 7, 2016.  However, the ATA is asking for an extension.

Please make your voice heard by submitting your comments here.

Click here to view the proposal. 

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): The Series Part 3

Thursday, June 16, 2016

After 11 years of work, on April 6th, 2016, the FDA published the Final Rules regarding the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (“STHAF” or “Rule”). The Rule apply to Shippers, Receivers, Loaders, and Carriers engaged in transportation operations for food whether or not the food is offered or enters interstate commerce. It also includes foreign entity that ship food into the United States for later consumption or distribution in the United States.

Click below for a quick reference to the key changes that will affect Motor Carriers.

Anti-Indemnification Language

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

We are proud to report that Ohio has become the 44th State to enact Anti-Indemnification Language for Motor Carrier Contracts.

Some shippers have been passing their liability onto the trucking industry and forcing the motor carriers to bear the weight of the shippers’ actions, as they have the power in the relationship. This Bill will help level the playing field for trucking companies when negotiating contracts.

Dawson Transportation Services’ President, John Burtch, provided testimony as part of the process and is pleased with the outcome. 

“We are very excited regarding the passage of this legislation and proud the Ohio Trucking Association, under the leadership of Tom Balzer, spearheaded the effort. Tom asked our office for some case support and for personal testimony, which we were happy to provide. This legislation is fair and brings Ohio into line with several other states that have passed similar laws. Kudos to Tom B and his staff at the OTA for a strong lobbying effort.”- John Burtch

The law will go into effect in March 2016.

If you have any questions regarding any of your contracts, please contact us at any time.

Dawson Transportation Services

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): The Series Part 2

Monday, November 09, 2015

Last month we hosted a webinar to explore the current status of the FSMA. Jonathan Stringer, Sr. Corporate Cargo Claims Attorney for Great West Casualty Insurance, did a great job breaking down the proposed rules and answering some of the participants’ most pressing questions. We wanted to share the highlights of the presentation with you. Click the link below to learn more.

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): The Series Part 1

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On March 31st 2016, the FDA will submit the finalized rules for the FSMA to the Federal Register.   The proposed rules will address the sanitary transportation of both human and animal food traveling via motor or rail vehicle, by specifically defining requirements for: 

  • Vehicles and transportation equipment
  • Transportation operations
  • Information exchange
  • Training
  • Records
  • and Waivers

We, here at Dawson Transportation Services, will spend the next few weeks breaking down the new rules and showing what it means for modern trucking operations.

The History

  • January 4th, 2011, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, into Law. 
  • This is the first food safety law in over 70 years
  • The Purpose: To better protect human and animal health by helping to ensure the safety and security of the food and feed supply.

The focus of the FSMA, is to prevent food safety problems before they occur. The FSMA is to establish criteria and definitions that would apply in determining whether food is adulterated as a result of it being transported or offered for transport under conditions that are not in compliance with the sanitary food transport regulations.

The 6 Focuses of the Food Safety Modernization Act

  1. Preventive controls requirements for human food
  2. Preventive controls requirements for animal food
  3. Standards for produce safety
  4. A foreign supplier verification Program for importers
  5. A program for accreditation of third-party auditors to conduct food safety audits
  6. To Focus mitigation strategies to prevent intentional tampering to cause large-scale public harm

What to Expect

The Food Safety Modernization Act will affect all aspects of the current transportation landscape.  The rules on the horizon will address:

  • Vehicles and Transportation Equipment – requirements for the design and maintenance to ensure that it does not cause food that it transports to become contaminated
  • Transportation Operations – defining steps to ensure food is not contaminated during transportation (i.e. adequate temperature controls)
  • Information Exchange – Standardized procedures to share information between shippers, carriers and receivers, regarding prior cargos, cleaning of equipment and temperature controls
  • Training – Carrier personnel sanitary transportation practices and documentation of the training
  • Records – Requirements for maintaining written procedures and records related to equipment cleaning, cargo history, and temperature control
  • Waivers – Procedures by which the FDA will waive any of the above requirements

Over the next few months we will breakdown the definitions, requirements, and procedures as they are released.   Additionally, Dawson Transportation Service will be offering a 1-Hour Webinar on October 21, 2015 to discuss the FSMA and its implications for the modern trucking company.  Please sign up here: Webinar Registration Site

For more information, please contact

House Bill 71 Introduced in Ohio

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dawson Transportation Insurance wanted to let everyone know that House Bill 71 was introduced to the Ohio House this week. We believe this will be an important bill to follow regarding anti-indemnification agreements in transportation contracts. Feel free to contact Dawson Transportation Services with any questions regarding this bill.

See Bill Information at Ohio Legislature Website

For questions, please contact us at Dawson Transportation Services


FMCSA Asking for Comments on Insurance Proposal

Thursday, December 11, 2014
The FMCSA is looking for your comments on a plan to increase the insurance minimums for carriers and establish insurance requirements for brokers and freight forwarders.

The notice is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register this week. The agency said it will publish an insurance proposal for private carriers separately.

The agency is acting on instructions from Congress to update insurance requirements that have been in place for almost 30 years.

In 2012, Congress considered telling the agency to raise the general freight minimum to $1 million, but ultimately told the agency to prepare an analysis that could become the basis for a new standard.

The agency found that the insurance minimums need to be reevaluated due to increasing medical costs and changing the statistical life estimates. It is considering a range of numbers, but one would be to peg the minimums to the Consumer Price Index.

For questions, please contact us at Dawson Transportation Services

Property Brokerage Insurance Seminar

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Dawson Transportation Services is excited to announce that we will be hosting our second Property Brokerage Insurance Seminar on Thursday, October 16th. Seating is limited. Please RSVP by October 6th at the link below.

We have arranged multiple speakers including, but not limited to Jonathan Stringer of Great West Casualty and with Marc Blubaugh of Benesch Law. Marc is currently President of the Transportation Lawyers Association and has litigated a wide variety of transportation and logistics-related cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States as well as before administrative bodies.

Please click here to learn more about this FREE seminar or to register online.

We hope to see you there!


Supreme Court Allows Cities to Regulate Towing Companies

Thursday, February 06, 2014
By: Anthony E. Palmer, Jr. ./ AldenLaw

In its January 21, 2014 decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that a state law that prohibited municipalities from licensing, registering, or regulating towing companies was unconstitutional. In the case, Cleveland sued the State of Ohio over a state law passed in 2003 that provided for statewide regulation of towing companies. The state law expressly prohibited cities from imposing regulations on towing companies. The Supreme Court found this ban to be unconstitutional because it limited the power of cities to enact similar regulations that were not in conflict with state law. This decision now allows cities to regulate towing companies, in addition to PUCO regulations, so long as the city regulations are not in conflict with state law. The court did not decide whether Cleveland’s towing regulations conflicted with Ohio’s regulations. That dispute will be settled another day.

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