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How to "check out" a carrier (applies to Uship)

Discussion in 'Used Plowing and Truck Equipment Forum' started by Mick, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Since I quit being a freight broker, I have been contacted several times for advice on getting stuff shipped. Usually I advise people to check out the carrier they're going to use. There have also been several threads related to Uship for getting stuff transported. This can be a very good alternative if you are careful. The following is what brokers use to check out a transportation company before giving them a load. This is really public information that anyone can use:

    using Google, Search "FMSCA"
    under "Federal Motor Carrier Administration", click on "Registration and Licensing".
    look/scroll down left-hand side and find "Find a Company Status"
    click on "By Operating Authority"
    click "Continue"
    on the right-hand corner, click on the Menu and select "Carrier Search"
    click on "Go"
    enter the USDOT or MC number, whichever you have ( ignore the rest )
    click "Search"
    click "Report"

    They MUST have a USDOT # to be a legal carrier, brokers only have an MC # and are NOT carriers ( unless they also have a DOT number).

    Check ALL information against what this person gave you. If it shows an application is PENDING, they are not an authorized carrier. Make sure BIPD and CARGO insurance is shown as "ON FILE - YES".

    Make sure this carrier is authorized to haul this load ("PROPERTY" "PASSENGERS" or "HOUSEHOLD GOODS"). Many carriers are hauling what's listed as household goods on Uship who are registered for "Property" only. Many shippers ( you will be a "shipper") become sadder and wiser. Pets are not covered under "property".

    Insurance - Cargo insurance is what you will be most interested in ( it's like General Liability for plowing snow). Contact the insurance agent for "Proof of Insurance". The agent's telephone number will be listed on the FMSCA site in the insurance section. Carriers and insurance agents expect this. You will need a fax machine or possibly it could be e-mailed to you. DO NOT accept proof of insurance from the carrier - these are easily forged or might have just been canceled.

    There is another site called "SAFER" for checking a company's safety record, but it can be really confusing. Don't get hung up there less you can really look beyond the numbers.

    If you care to practice, you can use my broker number - MC 595589. Note that this is an MC number, not a DOT number. You can also use a DOT number off the door of any truck.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  2. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    This info from Mick is good enough to become a "Sticky"
  3. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    since its not a sticky, i'll bump it for now!