Benchmarking Legal in Transportation

File this essay on there has to be a better way department.  How often as a transportation contract between a carrier and a shipper taken months to resolve, usually over one word, liability?

After months of negotiation, red-lining contracts, sending out emails, and having a bunch of meetings a contract; it is resolved in a way almost all parties could have predicted at start. Carriers know what shippers will want. Shippers know what carriers will want. Yet the original contract contains pie in the sky liability sentences which could only exist if due diligence is not done by the other party to the contract. Yes it happens, but 99% of the time, it does not.

It is safe to say that lawyers are trained to be advocates for liability protection for their clients being they shippers or carriers. It probably also safe to say also that lawyers were never trained to due the process efficiently. Trained appropriately on the details of law, but left out on how to get this done efficiently.

So let me propose some professional organization, provide contract benchmarks. Say this is the standard on liability that 75% of the shippers and carriers agree to. It would be more efficient and save time if the standards were agreed upon being written down on paper. Negotiation time would be cut in probably by 80% and a clear path to written contract could be accomplished.

So you ask why will only lawyer or lawyer firm agree to that since it would cut the amount of revenue each contract brings in? Corporate lawyers are going to be paid anyway and they can be incentivized to bring efficiency into the process.  Carrier attorneys can be rewarded the same way. And ultimately it will be a survival strategy, somebody is going to come in with a legal business model to promote efficiency and take a large share of the business anyway.


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