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Motor Carrier Contracts Annotated

  Created by - Brent Wm. Primus, J.D. Order Motor Carrier Contracts Annotated
  Edited by - Laurel E. Learmonth, J.D.

  20 years in the making! The only such resource available today!!

  • Motor Carrier Contracts Annotated is a contract form book with complete contract templates and a CD-ROM designed for easy use by shippers and their attorneys.
  • The contracts include optional provisions with comments and instructions on how to use, allowing the user to tailor the contracts for individual clients or situations.


"Just one of the reasons you need to have a contract"
Without a well drafted motor carrier contract in place with the companies used by you, your subsidiaries and affiliates, you are likely not compliant under GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley). Companies are required to reflect contingent liabilities on their balance sheets. However, if your organization uses trucking companies without a contract in place, your company faces substantial contingent liabilities for late payment penalties which most companies are unaware of and thus don't report them.

The late payment trap... and how it can be avoided

Most medium and large size trucking companies quote their rates in terms of a discount off of their standard rates. In today’s market, these discount ranges are typically in the range of 60%, 80%, or even higher.

When there is no individually negotiated contract between the trucking company and its customer, the transactions are governed by the carrier's standard trading conditions and tariffs. These tariffs typically provide that when a payment is “late”, that is, not received by the trucking company within 30 days, there is a late payment penalty imposed of the loss of discount.

For example, if a company had an 80% discount with its carriers, had an annual freight spend of $1,000,000 and paid all of its invoices 31 days or more after receipt, it would have a contingent liability of $4,000,000! This liability can be imposed whenever the carrier chooses to impose it. For instance, if your company were to take its business to another carrier or if the trucking company went into bankruptcy.

With a properly drafted individually negotiated contract in place between your company and the trucking company, such late payment penalties can easily be negotiated away and replaced with commercially reasonable service charges.

Motor Carrier Contracts Annotated
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Why spend valuable time and money to “reinvent the wheel”?


Overview of Motor Carrier Contracting:


Prior to 1980, virtually all transportation provided by motor carriers moved according to the terms and conditions of the Uniform Bill of Lading as contained in the National Motor Freight Classification. This is why the Bill of Lading was often referred to as the “contract for carriage.”

After 1980, shippers and carriers began to negotiate individual contracts. The primary motivation for shippers to negotiate individual contracts is to avoid the “unintended consequences” and tariff “surprises and traps” which are typically found in a carrier’s private tariffs, terms and conditions, service guide, etc. These could relate to limits of liability for loss and damage, accessorial charges, or other “special charges”, late payment penalties, and other items which a shipper would not knowingly agree to prior to doing business with a carrier.

The drafting philosophy of the Contract template is to be “shipper friendly” in that its terms are generally more favorable to a shipper than those that would be found in a carrier’s own tariffs or terms and conditions. However, at the same time it is drawn so as to not be so onerous for a carrier that a carrier would automatically reject it.


Here is what Mike Regan , President of TranzAct Technologies, Inc., Logistics Management magazine featured blogger, and industry leader had to say about this great resource in his 2:00 Minute Warning - Click Here.

Click here to view or download the Table of Contents pdf format


What do you receive?


  • 80+ pages of contract clauses and commentary placed in a 3-ring binder so as to allow easy updating of future editions.
  • A CD-ROM with a Contract for Transportation by Motor Carrier template and a Contract for Brokerage of Motor Carrier Transportation template in both a Microsoft Word format and a PDF format.
  • Purchasers of the text will be entitled to a complimentary 30 minute consultation with the Author.

About the Author:


Brent Wm. Primus, J.D., represented the shipper in the pivotal case of The Bankruptcy Estate of United Shipping Company, Inc. v. General Mills, Inc., 34 F.3d, 1383 (8th Cir. 1994). This decision of the former Interstate Commerce Commission set the stage for modern motor carrier contracting in a deregulated environment. Since that time Brent has worked extensively with shippers to develop and negotiate their contracts.

About the Editor:


Laurel E. Learmonth, J.D., is a shareholder in Primus Law Office, P.A. and a Senior Editor for transportlawtexts, inc. Laurel has represented both corporate and individual clients in a variety of business transactions and litigation matters in both state and federal court. This includes transportation matters such as pursuing and defending cargo claims and collecting or defending disputed freight charges.

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