Fraud is a continual threat to the transportation industry. Scammers threaten the livelihoods of shippers, carriers, & brokers, and increase the price of good for consumers. A key agency in the industry, the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), constantly works to develop new strategies and tips that industry stakeholders can use to combat theft and fraud issues. They note that the single most important practice is employing preventative measures. Here’s some of their best tips:
- Protect company information. Whether you are a carrier, shipper, customer, or broker, you must protect your sensitive company information. For example, do not put bond documents or your authority paperwork on your company website. Once these types of documents are requested by other parties, verify the recipients before you send over copies.
- Use a rigorous set of metrics to measure your performance, along with the performance of any other parties you deal with. For brokers, this means creating a carrier selection framework that ensures you are dealing with reputable carriers, right from the get-go. TIA also suggests creating metrics that measure your company’s performance relative to your customer’s demands, along with metric that evaluate how your carriers perform while hauling customer’s freight. Recording carriers who do not meet your service & performance needs will be beneficial in the long term.
- Gather detailed and regular information. Brokers should search watchdog agencies regularly for complaints and warnings on carriers, and carriers can search sites such as the Internet Truckstop, which report on brokers credit, days to pay and experience factors. Remember to use industry recognized sites and different sources to verify the accuracy of information.
- Share information that can help prevent fraud. Key info such as the drivers name and vehicle used are important to share across the carrier, broker and shipper. It is also key that shippers provide paperwork, which verifies that the load has been picked up and delivered. Another great tip is to notify agencies you deal with, such as the TIA, if you become aware of a person or persons attempting to illegally represent/impersonate a carrier company or brokerage. They will often send out banner emails to all their members to notify them of the issue and any important details.
- Manage your own risks and exposures. One key way to do this is to use contracts. A signed contract provides a written guarantee between all parties that clarifies liability and can provide recourse in courts.
Using these steps will ensure that your company and those you deal with are protected from fraud. Need some more tips? Check out the TIA’s fraud prevention video.
If all stakeholders in the transportation industry do their part, we can make it tougher for scammers to operate, which will save everyone time, difficulties, and protect everyone’s bottom line.