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How to Find Freight Carriers and Haulers

What is a Freight Hauler? 

A freight hauler or freight carrier is the company or person who directly handles your shipment via truck, train, boat, or airplane. If you are shipping Less Than Truckload (LTL) or international freight, several carriers may handle and transfer your shipment. For some shipments, you might hire a freight broker or a freight carrier—companies that contract with a network of carriers to arrange for your freight shipment.

By creating a listing with the details of your freight shipment on uShip, you will attract customer-rated freight forwarders who are capable of completing your job. Freight carriers are usually small companies or independent owner-operators who offer great services at reasonable prices.

The first thing to check when hiring a freight carrier is their authority. A carrier must be authorized by the Department of Transportation to transport goods for hire, and should have a USDOT and MC number that can be verified on SAFER. These numbers can be found on their uShip profile. The only exceptions to this rules are freight brokers or freight forwarders. A freight broker or forwarder will only have a MC number. You can look up any company’s credentials by DOT number, MC number, or company name.

Next, verify your freight carrier’s cargo insurance. All freight haulers are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance, but you may want to purchase additional coverage from a third party. Ask your freight carrier for their claims-to-damage ratio. This statistic reveals the percentage of claims that have been paid as a result of loss, damage, or theft. A reliable company should have a claims-to-damage rate of 1.5 percent or lower.

Finally, take a close look at the freight carrier’s uShip profile to see customer-rated feedback and transaction history. Do they have a positive reputation among fellow transport companies and previous customers? Any reputable freight hauler should be able to provide positive references from previous customers. You may also want to look up the company on the Better Business Bureau website to see if any complaints have been lodged against them.

Are They the Right Freight Carrier for You?

A carrier’s authority, insurance, and references indicate a reliable, professional business. However, there are other considerations when hiring a freight hauler. You should review a carrier’s projected transit time and number of transfers; a long transit and multiple transfers indicate that your shipment may not be the best match for this carrier’s abilities. You should aim to hire the carrier who can ship your freight with the least amount of interlining possible. Also, check the company’s on-time delivery rate, which should be above 90% percent.

If you have researched a freight hauler properly, you should have no concerns when shipping. Authority, insurance, and business records confirm you are contracting with a reputable company, and open communication with carriers using uShip will help you find the right company for your shipment.