A Push to Clean Up the Logistics Industry

New rules make it harder for brokers to cheat truckers

Jim Kienbaum hauls produce from California for a five-store chain of high-end grocery stores in the Midwest. Like many truckers, he has horror stories about freight brokers, who act as middlemen between carriers and companies that need goods moved. One broker filed for bankruptcy before Kienbaum could collect $1,500 due him. Another’s $40,000 in checks to Kienbaum bounced. “I got really nervous because I have a truck and a family,” says Kienbaum, whose Stepping West is a single-rig operation based in Whitewater, Wis. “I had hauled for him forever, but he got a divorce and started drinking and gambling, and things just went downhill.” After weeks of hounding, Kienbaum finally got paid, but many other truckers didn’t. “One guy got burned for $18,000,” he recalls.

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