Hiring a Carrier

May 13, 2019

You need something transported, do you just call the first trucking company or broker you find? What should you do? Before you contact a carrier or broker be ready to provide lots of information and be ready to ask lots of questions.

Basic Shipment Information needed:

  • Origin & Destination: (location, hours of operation, contact info)
  • How big of a truck can the O&D handle.
  • When is the shipment ready?
  • When do you want delivered?
  • Commodity?
  • Quantity: Pallets, cases, and weight.
  • Product on pallets, slip sheets, or carton clamped.
  • Dimensions of pallets (Length, Width, Height)
  • Special handling equipment required to load or unload: IE; Lift Gate, Pallet Jack
  • Value of shipment.
  • Temperature Requirements.
  • Trailer requirements IE: air ride suspension, swing doors, e-trac

Questions to ask and get in writing:

  • Carriers USDOT number.
  • Safety record of carrier (it’s Federal law you check, you cannot pass that responsibility on). If you ship with a broker, you are still required to ensure they are hiring a safe carrier. Link: https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/SMS/
  • Does the truck have Elogs / GPS?
  • Does the trailer have GPS and reefer temperature tracking?
  • Cargo Insurance / Cargo value limitations….. (rates typically aren’t set by value)
  • Reefer Breakdown insurance?

Recommendations / Words of Wisdom:

  • Develop a relationship with a safe, compliant, eco-friendly and socially responsible asset-based carrier.
  • Have a signed transportation contract on file.
  • Utilize the carriers web site to input shipments requests and the technology they provide to help you operate your business.
  • Obtain annual Certificates of Insurance.
  • Always insure your inventory when in transit.
  • Knowing that you hired a safe, compliant, eco-friendly, socially responsible and insured carrier may cost you a few more pennies per bottle, but it will save you in the long run.