Transportation and Distribution

Shumaker has deep capability to serve the legal needs of motor transport carriers and the shippers that rely on them.  Trucking companies and the brokers that help shippers select their carrier ask us not only to handle claims, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, employment law and liability issues, but to be their outside general corporate counsel – and we know how to serve them in an industry where lean operations and cost effectiveness are paramount.

Plus, Fortune 500 producers of finished goods and raw materials in a variety of business sectors depend on our understanding of shipping contracts to advocate for them when goods are lost or damaged, or other problems arise.  This kind of full service capability means that we understand the common interests of carriers and shippers, and work to advance their mutual interests in the competitive logistics marketplace.

What Makes Us Different

We understand transportation law in the post-deregulation era, offering a breadth of knowledge to serve clients in that environment.  Our transportation law insight on logistics, safety, insurance and contracts, combines with in-depth corporate law capabilities and the bench strength to handle relevant tax, labor law, litigation, employment law or environmental issues.  And we meet the high demands of carriers and shippers for prompt, responsive service, giving them answers to contract or insurance coverage questions in a matter of hours, not days.

Because only the largest carriers have in-house lawyers, many trucking companies find that Shumaker is fully prepared to work directly with CEO-owners as a cost-effective member of their business team.  Similarly, national shippers know that we have the breadth of practices throughout our firm to work with them as corporate counsel with a solid logistics emphasis.  We thus offer a broad range of transportation law services.

Our Clients

  • We represent motor carriers of freight and related broker operations, with operations focused in Northern Ohio.
  • Our base of shipper clients is national in scope and encompasses leading manufacturers of glass products, building products, chemicals and other industrial commodities.
  • As outside general counsel for a national trade association representing the transportation interests of the glass industry, we advance member company interests in everything from competition law matters to filing with the federal Surface Transportation Board.

Why You Benefit

For carriers and brokers, as well as shippers and receivers of freight, Shumaker is a full-service law firm that can handle all your logistics issues – from licensing to drafting contracts and dealing with insurers and transport or labor regulators.  We know that responsiveness is critical to our clients, and offer advice that is both timely and practical, and demonstrates our understanding of logistics issues.  The result is customized counsel tailored to the specific needs of every company.

Core Services

  • Assist motor carriers with licensing, insurance issues, claims handling, liability issues and corporate matters.
  • Advocate for carriers in disputes with their insurers and in handling liability issues for companies that are self-insured.
  • Represent shippers in loss and damage claims against carriers.
  • Represent shippers with railroad negotiations and contract issues.
  • Handle contract review for shippers and carriers, proactively identifying potential concerns.
  • Represent sellers and buyers of trucking companies in merger and acquisition transactions.
  • Represent motor carriers in employment law issues.

Additional Services

  • Advise shippers and carriers on antitrust compliance.
  • Provide comprehensive labor and employment law services, from creating employee handbooks to resolving wage and hour claims and discrimination allegations, and helping to ensure proper record-keeping for driver time.

What you can expect from Shumaker

We offer the kind of preemptive advice that helps our clients avoid problems before they happen.  When safety and service hour regulations change, we strive to keep you up to date and in compliance.  And when major challenges loom, like current attempts by governmental agencies and owner-operators to treat independent contractor drivers and their leased rigs as employees, Shumaker understands the high cost implications and stands ready to help carriers and shippers defend their business interests.  We use the same kind of insight on everyday employment law issues, such as advising carriers on audits of their driver time logs.

We routinely represent motor carriers in purchase and sale transactions and we have the ability to "network" within the industry to facilitate such matters.

A particular aspect of our logistics counsel is the ability to advise clients on antitrust and competition law compliance.  Shumaker's work as outside general counsel to a national trade association that represents the transportation interests of the glass industry and raw material suppliers puts us on the front lines of competitive issues involving rail transport, rate challenges and regulatory initiatives and antitrust concerns for shippers.  Our lawyers also understand the unique antitrust exemption enjoyed by the rail industry, and the cost impact it has for other carriers and shippers alike.  It's the kind of broad perspective that makes our firm the counsel of choice for a full range of logistics clients.


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