How to Vet a Logistics Company for Your Freight: Important Credentials and Accreditations to Consider
Choosing a trusted carrier and logistics provider can be a daunting task. However, we’ve made it easy by laying out every detail on the table. In this article, we’ve explained how Lone Star Logistics, a federally licensed, non-asset freight brokerage, understands the unparalleled importance of your cargo’s safety throughout the transport process.
What to Look for in a Trusted Logistics Company or Freight Carrier
When vetting a logistics company or freight carrier, there are several specific credentials and considerations you should keep on your radar.
Licensing & Accreditations:
Motor Carrier Number (MC Number): A unique identifier issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for interstate carriers in the United States. Ensure the company has a valid MC Number.
Department of Transportation (DOT) Number: A unique identifier issued by the DOT for tracking a carrier’s safety records and compliance. Verify that the company holds a valid DOT Number.
International Licensing: If you require international shipping, check if the company has the necessary licenses and accreditations for handling shipments across borders.
Cargo Insurance: Ask about the insurance coverage provided for goods in transit. A reputable freight carrier should have cargo insurance to protect against loss or damage.
Liability Insurance: Inquire about the carrier’s liability coverage in case of accidents or incidents during transportation.
Industry Associations and Certifications:
Membership and certifications can enhance a company’s reputation and credibility within the industry and among potential customers. It demonstrates a commitment to professionalism, continuous improvement, and adherence to industry standards.
Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA): Membership in TIA signifies a commitment to ethical and professional standards in the transportation industry.
TCA (Truckload Carriers Association) membership and certification can provide several benefits for a logistics company or freight carrier.
International Air Transport Association (IATA): If you require air freight services, IATA membership indicates adherence to industry best practices for air cargo handling.
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT): C-TPAT certification demonstrates compliance with supply chain security practices and a commitment to reducing the risk of terrorism in international trade.
Experience and Previous Track Records:
How long has the company been in operation?
Can they provide references or testimonials from satisfied customers?
Do they specialize in specific industries or types of cargo?
Technology and Tracking:
To operate and deliver cargo from point A to B effectively, a logistics brokerage company typically requires the following technology:
Transportation Management System (TMS)
Online Load Board or Freight Marketplace
Tracking and Visibility Tools
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System:
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and API Integration
Document Management System
Communication and Collaboration Tools
Data Analytics and Reporting
Integration with Financial Systems
It’s important for logistics brokerage companies to select technology solutions that align with their specific business needs, scalability, and budget. Customization and integration capabilities are also essential to ensure seamless connectivity between different systems and stakeholders.
Additional Qualities to Consider
In addition to the above, here are some additional features and qualities you should look for in a logistics company:
Customer Service and Communication
What are their hours of operation? Do they offer support during the weekends or holidays? Make sure to inquire about their customer service channels, are they reachable via phone, email, chat, or all three, in addition to response times? How do they handle communication in case of delays, changes, or issues during transit?
Safety and Compliance
Check the carrier’s safety rating with the FMCSA or relevant authority in your country. Ask about their driver screening and training procedures. Inquire about their compliance with regulations, including Hours of Service Rules. Some examples include:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)-Safety Measurement System (SMS)
Carrier Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System
Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) Program
Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) Watchdog Service
Industry-Specific Rating Services
It’s important to leverage multiple platforms and resources to gain a comprehensive view of a carrier’s ratings and performance. These platforms can help you track carrier ratings over time, identify any safety or compliance issues, and make informed decisions when selecting carriers for your logistics needs.
Lone Star Logistics is Your One-Stop Freight Brokerage
It’s important to carefully plan and implement programs that align with a company’s financial goals and effectively meet the needs and expectations of its clients. By offering rebate programs to prestige clients, Lone Star Logistics LLC fosters customer loyalty, encourages repeat business, and gains a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Our 24/7 bilingual customer support is here to enhance communication through every step of the process and receive tailored services based on your transportation needs.
Get A Free, Personalized Quote from Us!
When you work with Lone Star Logistics LLC, you will discover our personal approach to working with our trusted carriers from building long-term relationships and signing contracts that contribute to building a stronger network. With that, you’ll receive enhanced service quality and greater reliability in meeting your transportation needs every time.