Common freight carrier services can be advantageous for your small business. Common carriers are available on demand using a load-by-load contract with no long-term commitment for either party. Without the need for an extended service contract, your business is free to utilize common carrier freight companies as frequently–or infrequently—as desired.
Trucking carriers come in all sizes; from small companies with a single truck to huge corporations with terminals in numerous states. You can access these common carrier trucking services by contacting carriers directly, or by hiring a broker to act in your stead.
Savvy business owners streamline their shipping and receiving departments by knowing:
1. Where to find common carrier trucking companies with available trucks.
2. When to use brokers to obtain common carrier services, and when to avoid them.
3. How to lessen risk factors by screening trucking carriers.
Utilize load boards to find common carrier services in your areaExpedite your shipments by choosing common carrier trucking companies that have empty equipment nearby. Load boards can show you which common carriers have local trucks available for immediate or scheduled pickup of your product.
Keep brokers on standby to provide common carrier truck backup in a pinchAccess additional equipment as needed through brokers; but be aware of their drawbacks. The middleman element provides more opportunity for miscommunication and shipment delays. Use a brokerage with stringent requirements for its brokers. If an unscrupulous broker refuses to pay the carrier, the shipper can be held legally responsible even if the shipper has already paid the broker for the move.
Screen a potential common freight carrier to lessen risk factorsBefore loading a carrier, find out who you're dealing with. Limit your financial risk by verifying every potential freight carrier's common authority, insurance coverage and safety rating.
FMCSA’s L&I Report and SafeStat system can provide you with all the tools necessary to ensure a potential freight carrier has an adequate safety record and is in good legal standing.
- Small owner operators are typically eager to please shippers in hopes of return business. Large corporate carriers often lack customer service skills; with statistically higher driver turnover rates, you may never see the same driver twice. This means with large carriers, you'll have to give directions and explain shipping and receiving procedures again and again.