TransComply, manager of the Uniform Food Safety Transportation Protocol (UFSTP), has launched at www.ufstp.com/verify public listings of motor carriers that have complied with all the requirements for participation in the program.
The UFSTP offers a way for shippers, brokers, warehouses, and others to identify carriers that have committed to the standards they will expect for compliance with the new US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food. April 6 is the initial compliance date for the rule, which was mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
As of March 20, more than 200 carriers have applied for participation in the UFSTP, and interest is accelerating as the April 6 deadline approaches. To be confirmed, a carrier must satisfy the program's requirements:
• Executing the UFSTP agreement, which commits the carrier to compliance in areas such as equipment management and temperature control; following shipper specifications; and training and record keeping;
• Providing evidence of insurance--at least $750,000 BI/PD and at least $100,000 cargo--and making TransComply a certificate holder; and
• Maintaining active FMCSA authority
TransComply maintains the executed UFSTP agreement and certificates of insurance on file for each confirmed UFSTP carrier and continually monitors FMCSA authority and insurance coverage. Carriers that fail to meet the standards for ongoing participation are removed. Shippers, brokers and others confirm a carrier's participation at www.ufstp.com/verify. Shippers and brokers can use UFSTP participation as a vetting tool, or they can incorporate the UFSTP agreement's terms into contracts and load confirmations by reference.
Although carriers with less than $27.5 million in annual revenue have another year to comply directly with the FDA rule, many major shippers that must comply as of this April are asking that all carriers, regardless of size, confirm their compliance with the FDA standards.
"Small carriers are beginning to realize that even if they don't have to comply with a federal regulation, they still must show they comply with the rule's requirements if they want to haul for some major shippers and brokers of perishable food," says Avery Vise, president of TransComply. "The UFSTP lets compliant carriers of all sizes declare their use of best practices and remain competitive for spot-market loads of regulated freight."
Meanwhile, acceptance of the UFSTP grows. For example, some major intermediaries have expressly endorsed the program for use in vetting carriers for FSMA-regulated freight.
"We depend upon small carrier partners in the spot market," notes Cassie Icamina, director of logistics for KLLM. "The UFSTP will allow a streamlined vetting process to meet our obligation of ensuring that carriers are licensed, authorized, insured, and in compliance with best practices for the handling of perishable commodities under the Act."
Kenny Lund, vice-president of Allen Lund Company Logistics, says: "Multiple variations in carrier expectations and contractual language that tries to shift all the compliance burden to brokers and carriers is unworkable. There is an immediate need to define a protocol that will serve the interests of all parties. That is why we endorse the Uniform Food Safety Transportation Protocol."
For more information on the UFSTP, visit www.ufstp.com.