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What Is the UIIA in Transportation?

February 22, 2023 Kevin Baxter

Truck by Port and Rail

There are a variety of abbreviations and acronyms that shipping and logistics pros must navigate each day, and an important one that affects intermodal transportation is the UIIA. The UIIA is the Uniform Intermodal Interchange & Facilities Access Agreement - a standard contract used in the intermodal industry that has been developed by water, rail and motor carriers and administered by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA). In essence, it allows drayage drivers to use containers, chassis and trailers owned by railroads, ocean carriers or other equipment providers without having to deal with excessive contractual hurdles. Not only is it "a" standard industry contract, it's "the" standard industry contract that governs this equipment exchange. In fact, if an intermodal trucking company - aka a drayage carrier - wants access to a port or rail yard, having insurance that meets UIIA requirements is a necessity.

What are UIIA insurance requirements?

As meeting UIIA insurance requirements is required for access to ports and rail yards, it's important for intermodal trucking companies to know what those requirements are. While there are specifics for each UIIA equipment provider, the general coverage requirements include:

  • At least $1 million in auto liability coverage, listing all trucks under the company's authority
  • General liability (for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage) coverage of $1 million per occurrence. Many companies opt for a $2 million aggregate for the policy period, but that is not a requirement
  • Cargo insurance, most commonly $100,000 with a $1,000 deductible, though these requirements depend on the individual equipment provider
  • Trailer interchange insurance for damage to equipment not owned by the trucking company again varies by equipment provider, but the vast majority require $30,000 or less

In addition to all the above, Workers Compensation, Employer Liability and other specialty coverage may also be required depending on the equipment provider.

With all those insurance requirements, registration is also a must. As of January 1, 2023, the annual fee for UIIA membership is $366, with a $45 discount for members of IANA's motor carrier division. Beyond meeting the aforementioned insurance requirements, applicants must also include basic company information like name, address, email, phone and fax, their SCAC code through the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, show active carrier status through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and provide a Tax ID or Employee Identification Number (EIN).

UIIA by the numbers

The UIIA has a few key numbers associated with it as the industry standard for intermodal equipment interchange, including:

  • 95 - as in 95% of North American equipment interchanges are managed under the UIIA
  • 14,000 - as in, more than 14,000 intermodal trucking companies participate in the UIIA
  • 67 - as in, 67 equipment providers are signatories
  • 10 - as in the 10-member Intermodal Interchange Executive Committee (IIEC) oversees and governs the administration of the UIIA

Need help navigating UIIA requirements or simply want to ensure you're using UIIA certified partners? We can assist, simply fill out a few lines on our quote request form, and we'll follow up to discuss your company's situation. For more information about us, or logistics and supply chain issues in general, check out our Freight Guides.

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