Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Our open community forum is for general moving related questions, comments, and useful information about local and interstate moves.
User avatar
twalker
Site Admin
Posts: 3493
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 11:46 am

Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby twalker » Sun May 06, 2007 7:02 am

I wanted to bring some attention to a class action law suit filed this March which names all of the major van lines, the AMSA, and un-named moving companies who have used the industry standard 400-N tariff. The tariff is the price structure used by moving companies to determine the cost of a move. The law suit claims that the calculations used to determine "fuel surcharges" amount to "unreasonable, excessive, and unlawful rates charged", price-fixing by the AMSA and it's members, as well as other allegations.

Here is a link to the brief that was filed in the South Carolina Federal Court:


http://www.movingscam.com/files/2007-Mo ... Action.pdf

Tim

Fred0844

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby Fred0844 » Sun May 06, 2007 7:28 am

What stupidity...the fuel surcharge was stated on their estimates. If they didn't agree wih it they could have gone to other means to transport their goods. The van lines didn't force them to use their services, they chose to knowing the charges.

If you want to talk abot price fixing and fuel...go after the oil companies.

BBATCO1
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby BBATCO1 » Sun May 06, 2007 11:05 am

Fred0844 wrote:What stupidity...the fuel surcharge was stated on their estimates. If they didn't agree wih it they could have gone to other means to transport their goods. The van lines didn't force them to use their services, they chose to knowing the charges.

If you want to talk abot price fixing and fuel...go after the oil companies.



AMEN and well said Fred....

Rick
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:59 pm

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby Rick » Sun May 06, 2007 12:02 pm

Wait a minute Fred. Maybe we can get in on this.

This morning’s ads show that whole, fresh, vine-ripened watermelons were selling at $6.99 at all the stores and produce stands throughout the area. A check at my favorite grocery confirmed that the melon that I paid $3.99 for last season had increased in cost by over 75%. Matt, the produce manager, said it was because of the high cost of transportation.

According to the Indian Spring Farmers Cooperative Association, a member of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, “The cost of transportation and related expenses are included in the selling price. “For a case of watermelon, we pay $1.50, $2.00 a watermelon from a co-op member and we try to get $3.00 when we’re taking it to Memphis, Tennessee or to Oxford, Mississippi markets. So you try to fill that cost in that price.” All of these additional prices cover the cost of transportation. “

This wasn’t explained anywhere in the ad. Or on the melon!

Meanwhile a check of the beverage aisle found that Evian, a brand of mineral water that comes from several sources near Évian-les-Bains, a few kilometers to the east of Thonon-les-Bains along the southern French shore of Lake Geneva, had dropped in price by $1.10 for a case of 24 bottles – a reduction of more than 22%.

As a consumer, you’d think that a case of imported water (the major ingredient in watermelon), would increase in price at a much higher rate than nationally grown melons because of the high supply chain distribution costs of transporting it from Europe.

Perhaps we should consider a class action lawsuit against watermelon growers and the stores that distribute their products. :lol:

User avatar
twalker
Site Admin
Posts: 3493
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 11:46 am

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby twalker » Sun May 06, 2007 3:31 pm

Actually, the case complaint is about how the fuel charge is calculated, not the cost of the fuel. I'd love to hear opinions from people who have taken the time to read the actual complaint.

Tim Walker
Movingscam.com

BBATCO1
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby BBATCO1 » Sun May 06, 2007 4:26 pm

I have taken the time to read it and still feel the same way. I have many thought on this and many other issues, but you here have it all figured out already....

Fred0844

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby Fred0844 » Sun May 06, 2007 7:32 pm

The fule surcharge is calculated as a % of the linehaul based on the increased rate per gallon on a per month basis and adjusted on the 15th of the month.
The lawsuit is against the van lines and states that they are making outrageous profits from the surcharge.
The revenue from the surcharge goes to, in our case, the driver to offset the high cost of fuel.
When one of my drivers recently stated that he was loosing revenue due to the price of fuel, I calculated his average cost for a trip from Ontario to Atlanta and back. Based on total fuel purchased and the total miles travelled, adding in the rev. from the fuel surcharge and allowing for the % of the linehaul for fuel cost. He ended up $0.01 per gallon ahead. However since the fuel s/c is based on a national average, drivers going on a western trip were on the negative side.
The lawsuit is a complaint after the fact, after the service was provided. no more was charged than what was on the order for service. If you don't want to pay the price as per the contract go by other means.
This is like me hiring you Tim to do a job, you quote a price, do the job, get paid and then years later I decide that you charged me too much.

The consumer does not have to pay our rates, he can go elsewhere, but if he wants our service he pays our prices.

User avatar
twalker
Site Admin
Posts: 3493
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 11:46 am

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby twalker » Sun May 06, 2007 11:44 pm

It seems as though a few folks thought I was trying to pick a fight, however, I would rather have a thoughtful discussion.

Thank you Fred for taking the high road here. It's nice to hear about the actual calculations with your driver and the comparison to the actual fuel charges. Has anyone else done this?

Tim Walker
Movingscam.com

Nancy
Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby Nancy » Mon May 07, 2007 12:20 am

I've done the calculations before. If our drivers have to buy fuel in CA, they come out under (fuel plus the base price before surcharge kicks in).

If they can make it to the NV or AZ border before having to fully fuel (not possible, but they try), then they can come out about even on the trip. However, if it's CA based loading and they spend several days here, they come out pretty far below.

As Fred said, it's a regional difference on fuel costs, but the surcharge is based on the national average. So here in the west, it HELPS the drivers, certainly. But it still doesn't make them whole. Our company has to help offset a bit, which we do by auditing fuel receipts vs. the revenue.

I understand part of the argument of the tariff equaling price fixing. However each carrier has the right to DISCOUNT off the tariff. There is no collusion in that, so the base tariff is the tariff, however not everyone charges the same at the end of the day due to discounts.

Also, the van lines have NOT gotten ahead or pocketed millions of profits due to fuel. 100% of the fuel surcharge collected goes to the driver. Our van line doesn't withhold one penny of it. So they haven't made any profits off the fuel surcharge whatsoever.

Are these consumers going to sue the drivers and expect to get the funds from them? That's where the money is, and I'm sure it's already gone into fueling their trucks.

Fred0844

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby Fred0844 » Mon May 07, 2007 4:07 am

Not picking a fight with you Tim, people who sue before understanding. The fuel surcharge is % of the discounted linehaul which can change from carrier to carrier, shipper to shipper and time of year.
The majority of Over-the-Road drivers own their tractors and some own their trailers also. On a $ 1000 of total net linehaul revenue, the driver might only see $ 500 - 600 depending on his contract. Out of that comes his labor, truck payments, meal and road living expenses, uniforms, fuel, vehicle maintenance, profit (less taxes). After that he has his home and family to take care of, not much left.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby ArchieWhite » Mon May 07, 2007 8:32 am

I read it. Fred's right, weak case. One flaw in the complaint, the sample shipment from DC to SC paying $9,000 is not accurate...this must be the full tariff price, and if the typical discount is 65%, then you could move 2 loads for $9,000.

If the estimate/bill of lading is a contract, and the shipper accepted the terms, how can they now complain? My guess is, shipper is a lawyer....ala Angie Chen.

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby MusicMom » Mon May 07, 2007 8:56 am

My guess is, shipper is a lawyer....ala Angie Chen.


This is the only case that those names are involved in, and other search hits show they come from all walks of life.

I'm proud of what Angie was able to accomplish on her own.

EastCoastMover
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:48 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby EastCoastMover » Mon May 07, 2007 10:29 pm

:evil: not to mention the matrix they used in the suit is 2 years old..as of today the surcharge kicks in at 1.45 a gallon and as of may 15 that starting point rises to 1.95...as earlier stated, 100% of the fuel surcharge goes to the driver...this is a dead dog.........stop beating it

Ruges
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:41 pm

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby Ruges » Tue May 08, 2007 3:27 am

Also, the van lines have NOT gotten ahead or pocketed millions of profits due to fuel. 100% of the fuel surcharge collected goes to the driver. Our van line doesn't withhold one penny of it. So they haven't made any profits off the fuel surcharge whatsoever.


So when the fuel surcharge was decreased and the tarrif increased to off set the surcharge decrease. Or the surcharge starting point is raised and the tarrif increased to offset the raise, Both of these do not increase revenue to the vanlines and the agents at the cost of the drivers income?
Ruges

Fred0844

Re: Class action anti-trust law suit against van lines

Postby Fred0844 » Tue May 08, 2007 5:32 am

Fuel surcharge should be revenue neutral. Problem is that a lot of drivers see that money as "paying" for their fuel. It is meant to subsidize for the fluctuation in the cost of fuel.

The cost of the fuel has always been a part of the calculation if the rate structure of the linehaul.

This might take greater mathematical minds than mine but if, according to the matrix the fuel surcharge kicks in a $ 1.45 then that is the amount allocated from the tarrif for fuel costs. If the tarrif increases 3% then that amount should also increase 3%, approx. $ 1.50.

Why is the starting point $ 1.95?


Return to “Open Community”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MSN [Bot] and 14 guests