Freight fraud is spreading across trucking networks as tech-savvy operators impersonating middlemen skim off payments for shipping goods that can total thousands of dollars, industry executives say.
The fraudulent tactic, long a nagging problem in trucking, has gained momentum in the past two years as the business of matching loads to trucks has moved online and heated competition for shipments has cut short the time spent checking the backgrounds of businesses.
Carrier-payments platform TriumphPay, a division of Dallas-based TBK Bank SSB, estimates at least $500 million to $700 million of shippers’ and brokers’ freight payments are going to double brokers annually.
“We consider this really a threat to the way of doing business,” said Anne Reinke, chief executive of the Transportation Intermediaries Association, an Alexandria, Va.-based trade group representing freight brokers. “How can a shipper trust either a carrier or a broker if they’re not sure their shipment is going to get to where it’s going to go?”