A common question in the courier industry and beyond has always been, are couriers transportation brokers? If you want a simple answer, yes they are. If you want to take it a step further, a recent law signed in July of 2012 allows for fines to be levied against couriers who do not follow the rules.

What is the MAP-21 Law?

So, what is the MAP-21 law? The MAP-21 law requires freight forwarders, couriers and motor carriers to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). MAP-21 stands for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century. All three of the industries mentioned above are required to operate under individual authority.

The law confirms what many in the industry have wondered for quite some time; you will need broker authority in order to tender packages or freight across state lines.

A broker is defined by the FMCSA as an entity or person other than a motor carrier that arranges for property to be transported by a motor carrier for compensation. On the other side of things, the broker is not the actual one transporting the property or taking responsibility for the property.

Surety Bond Amounts Increased with New Law

When the law was passed, the surety bond amounts also increased and did so immensely. The bond amounts increased from $10,000 to $75,000. Any courier who acts as a broker without proper registration will face a fine of $10,000 per violation.

Couriers looking to comply with the law should not have much trouble securing the bond, which should take about a day or two. It also shouldn’t cost couriers too much more than the original $10,000 amount.

Most surety bonds will come with an indemnification agreement, which would require the courier to reimburse the surety if it needs to be paid out.

Contact Econo-Courier to discuss your options as a courier. The office in Parsippany can be reached at 973-882-8004.