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?
- 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.