How To Choose The Right Motor Carrier

February 08 2021
Motor Carrier

The motor carrier itself has an enormous responsibility. Whether it’s a TL or LTL, how the company moves a shipper’s freight is crucial. Not only for the difference between a happy or an unhappy customer, but also between effective distribution of products or careless, wasteful handling of them.

What is a Freight/ Motor Carrier

A freight carrier is an individual or a commercial company, legally authorised and specialises in transporting cargo from one place to another. There are both international freight carriers and domestic carriers. Both types of companies will have to follow a strict set of regulations governed by their respective territories, and both will have certain legalities to uphold.

Freight Type Options

All major freight types can be split into their own associated service groups. Depending on your products, suppliers, and trade patterns, you may need one, or a combination of freight options to get your shipments where they need to go.

Truckload (TL)- Truckload shipping refers to moving large volumes of freight, enough to fill the entire truck trailer, over the road. Usually, full truckload loads are shipped in trailers that can handle up to 45 pallets or 43,000 pounds of goods. Standard trailer dimensions for FTL transportation are 48 ft or 53 ft. Full truckload is chosen for large shipments that fill an entire trailer, time sensitive freight and when the weight of the goods make it more cost effective than LTL. One of the great benefits of TL shipping is transit time, as there won’t be any other stops to unload the shipment. 

Less Than Truckload (LTL)– Less than truckload freight shipping (LTL) is used for the transportation of small freight or when freight doesn’t require the use of an entire trailer. This shipping method can be used when freight weighs between 150 and 15,000 pounds.  LTL is when multiple shippers’ freight is on the same trailer rather than having a single company’s freight exclusively on an individual trailer. This is beneficial for the shipping needs of small businesses. It reduces costs and provides your business with the flexibility to book more pallets whenever you need them.

Partial Truckload (PTL)- is that sweet spot between less than truckload (LTL) and full truckload. Partial truckload transportation is the ideal and most economical transportation option for larger loads that do not require to use all the space available on a full trailer. It is more affordable than the Full Truckload freight service because the customer doesn’t pay for a dedicated trailer. 

How To Choose The Right Motor Carrier 

A broker/shipper needs to understand how important it is to select the right carrier to transport his goods. A shipment which is not dealt with correctly can lead to damage, lost goods or in general, delays.

Use a vetting process

As a broker/ shipper you better use a vetting process that combines several of the largest and most trusted online carrier databases (DAT & ITS), the FMCSA safety rating and the CSA history. The carrier must meet your requirements through each of these tools and databases before you place them on a load.

Another important thing is having into consideration their hauling history. Not every motor carrier has a defined or detailed history listed, but when you come across an entry, good or bad, you better take that into account when considering whether or not to do business with them.

Service Offered

Before heading out for a frantic search for your freighting partner, ask yourself several things: What services does your business require? What transportation services does the carrier provide? Can one company handle all of your needs, or do you need to work with multiple shippers to move your freight? The three most valuable commodities moved by the U.S. freight transportation system are machinery, electronics, and motorized vehicles. What freight services does your business require? It may be beneficial to work with a carrier that offers multiple services, and can meet all of your company’s needs.

Cost, Quality and Time

When it comes to choosing a carrier, there are three things to prioritize. 

It is important to consider both quality and delivery time, in addition to pricing. There are chances for sacrificing the quality and the delivery time in addition to saving money by choosing the least expensive carrier. Matrix trucks is the golden middle company when it comes to those factors. Affordability and quality don’t have to be at odds with each other – not with Matrix. Our unique business model means we can keep costs low, while still providing the exceptionally reliable service we’ve built our reputation on.

Use Tech Tracking

Having driver location visibility while the shipment is in transit is quickly becoming the industry standard. For shippers, it is not an exception, it’s an expectation. Carriers who track electronically will have an easier time getting freight than those who do not.

Matrix gives you the opportunity to to track your shipments in four different ways. 

  1. Directly from the website- Track a Shipment. All you need to do is to type in your load number and your zip code. Our ‘track a
  2. shipment’ feature helps you monitor loads 24-hours-a-day!
  3. Have access to a personal customer portal- You can see all your shipments, invoices, availability, trucks and equipment as well as tracking your shipments
  4. Auto Check Calls email- You get auto updates directly from our TMS for every change of the driver’s status
  5. Driver’s current location link- we can provide you with a link where you can track the live location of the driver whenever you need it.

Safety

Shipping with a carrier that prioritizes safety can help to build your supply chain image, leading to increased sales. Matrix is one of the very few companies with an outstanding safety score.  We use electronic logging devices (ELDs), meaning our drivers are 100% legal, and have one of the top safety ratings in North America.  Safety within the logistics industry depends on the integration of technology with trucking management systems. The electronic logging devices allow you to track the movement of your shipment at any specific time.

Customer Service

Choosing a carrier who provides transparent communication about your shipment is important, as it keeps the carrier accountable for the load and keeps you in the loop as to your shipment’s status. Communication can have a significant impact on the delivery of services. You should endeavor to work with a team that is accessible and one that offers regular updates.

Not only does Matrix provide its brokers with highly experienced dispatch teams and drivers, safety and support services – we also have a number of other state-of-the-art resources to keep your operations running smoothly and efficiently. That includes 24-7 live freight tracking, automated check calls for each completed trip milestone and 24/7 Dispatch service whenever you need.

Reliability

A reliable carrier can help to build your company’s positive reputation and in turn, grow your business and meet your customer expectations. Your business success may depend on the timely arrival of your freight through your chosen trucker. Double-check the ability of the logistics company to adapt to your growing demands. An unreliable carrier only results in increased operational costs through late or spoiled loads. With each and every client, we always look to establish a trusting, long-lasting, and respectful relationship because we want to be

the transportation company that our clients can rely on. Get to know us better HERE

Capacity

The freight carrier should have a sizable fleet of trucks to move your materials. Not every carrier will be a good candidate for your business. Some carriers are stronger than others in certain regions. At Matrix, we work with brokers to provide our transportation services, along with a large fleet of independent owner-operators who are experienced HazMat-certified drivers. To

us, nothing is more important than securing your delivery and ensuring that it arrives at its destination on time. Not only does Matrix support TL and LTL shipments, but we’ve also specialized in the use of cargo van transportation. We offer you our expedited freight services for an immediate freight delivery! 

After you have chosen the right motor carrier for your needs, you will most likely want to keep it. Read our Tips for improving your relationship with carriers.