Did you know that 71 percent of all freight in the United States is moved by truck? The industry accounts for more than 5 percent of all full-time jobs in the country.
That also means that there are a lot of options to choose from. It can be difficult to know where to start or what to look for.
Fortunately, when hiring a trucking company, there are only a few major things to consider. The information below lays out some of the questions you should ask to find out if trucking company options line up with your shipping needs.
1. Licensing, Registration, and Insurance
One of the first things you should do when hiring a trucking company is to ask about licensing. All companies that move cargo in interstate commerce must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They also must obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number.
Ask for this registration information upfront to ensure you are hiring a company that is operating within the bounds of the law.
2. Driver Experience and Certification
One of the best questions for truck drivers is about their experience and qualifications. Ask a prospective company about their standards for hiring drivers and what certifications they require. Also, inquire about their policies to ensure the company delivers your goods in a safe and efficient manner.
Some companies contract out many of their services. Make sure you know who will be handling your freight from pickup to delivery.
3. Shipping Times
While unforeseen circumstances can impact shipping times, trucking companies should be able to give you an estimate. With basic information about freight size and destination, expect a prominent service to provide a timeframe. If they cannot, find one who is willing to commit to your scheduling requirements.
4. Capacity Constraints
Delivering large freights requires a lot of planning and anticipation of setbacks. Many reputable shipping companies maintain warehousing and cross-docking capabilities to expedite shipping.
By streamlining the process, this option also can decrease the risk of damage to products in shipping. Ask the trucking company about these options and how they can benefit your business.
Shipping rates can fluctuate based on product, distance, and timeline. But reliable shipping companies will be completely transparent about their rates and what services they include. Look for businesses that offer free estimates and be wary of those that do not.
When comparing trucking fees, take into account what you are getting for each quote. A budget shipping service may be suitable for your needs, but perks like temporary warehouse storage can be beneficial. Be sure you are getting the most bang for your buck.
Look online for ratings and reviews of a trucking company. Some businesses will put positive ones on their website, but these can be cherry-picked. Do a broader search to see what other businesses’ experience has been with the company.
Also, ask for references and reviews. It can be helpful to speak with a real person about their opinion of the trucking business.
Begin Hiring a Trucking Company
Now that you have an idea of what factors to consider when hiring a trucking company, you can find one that is compatible with your business’s shipping demands.
At Yep! Commerce, we offer shipping services for almost any sized load. We also have a rail intermodal service that extends into Canada and Mexico, and provide warehousing and cross-docking at competitive rates. Reach out to us today to see how we can meet your shipping needs.