ATRI: Most carriers experience ‘predatory towing’ practices

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 535 views 

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a nonprofit research organization of the trucking industry, recently released a report that shows more than 80% of carriers have faced excessive and unwarranted charges from towing companies.

The report also provides the causes of these “predatory towing” practices and how to combat them.

“Trucking companies doing business in Arkansas are often faced with the conundrum of overpaying for services provided or disappointing their customers and disrupting the supply chain,” said Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “The vulnerability of a company when they need services and the lack of accountability for providers leads to excessive, unexpected costs to trucking companies.”

According to the report, the most common types of predatory towing include excessive rates, experienced by 82.7% of trucking companies, and unwarranted extra charges, experienced by 81.8% of carriers. Most carriers also faced additional issues, such as truck release or access delays, cargo release delays, truck seizure without cause and tows misreported as consensual.

The report shows some of the strategies that carriers can use to avoid, identify or address predatory towing, like how to review invoices for predatory billing and how to gather data to dispute towing companies’ incident accounts.

“In the face of inflation, fuel prices and other rising expenses, the cost of operating a trucking company is at an all-time high,” Newton said. “These unpredictable and unfair towing rates are unnecessarily contributing to those costs. People are going to continue to need goods, and trucks are going to continue to deliver them, which means these excessive towing fees are going to be passed along to consumers. Ensuring fair towing practices benefits carriers, shippers and consumers alike.”

Link here to access the report.