Tucker Blog

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

69% of Carriers Screened Do Not Meet Tucker’s Safety Standards

Tucker’s general counsel and director of risk management, Darin Day, has reported to our management that in the past few months, a whopping 69% of the motor carriers reviewed for compliance, safety and fitness did not meet Tucker’s standards. In recent years Tucker has taken a nationally recognized leadership role in reevaluating carrier screening, selection, and ongoing risk management, including by writing and speaking regularly on the subject. Today, both shippers and brokers/3PLs may be found liable for accidents caused by the carriers they hire, despite carefully drafted carrier contracts with aggressive indemnity provisions and other measures designed to protect shippers and freight managers from liability. Put simply, courts are saying that the responsibility for safety cannot be delegated. The duty of reasonable care in operating a fleet of trucks rests with the carrier, but the duty of reasonable care in selecting carriers rests with the companies who hire them. Essentially, only 30% of the nation’s motor carriers meet Tucker’s safety requirements. Many larger competitors are simply too big, too decentralized, or they believe their stock prices will be harmed too much, to “turn on the safety switch” at their organizations. At Tucker, we’re thankful to be doing our part for highway safety and to enhance our customers’ risk management efforts. Additionally, since we’ve been operating in this new fashion for nearly four years, we have enjoyed a competitive advantage by building a carrier base that is competent and reliable (as always) but also less likely to expose a shipper, or Tucker, to risk.