A carrier is any individual or company that engages in the transport of freight for profit. There are a lot of different types of carriers in the shipping industry – some of the types can be dictated by the carrier size, while others are more about whom the carriers works with or in what area. Regardless, the type of carrier that a company is can dictate what work they do. The different types of carriers are:
A carrier that publishes their rates and offers their services to anybody for interstate transportation of freight is known as a common carriers. They don’t work exclusively for any one company, working instead for anybody that needs their services and will pay their preset rates.
Those carriers that work with one or a limited number of shippers are known as contract carriers. Their contracts with these shippers spell out what hauling they will do, including frequency and possibly even the region the shipping will be done in. All the details of the shipping will be defined in the contract, which can be negotiated at the outset.
Much like a contract, a dedicated carrier works with one shipper, though part of their contract guarantees a specific lane or region of operation. These types of carriers allow a shipper to provide regular service to a region that they may not be able to otherwise.
An exempt carrier refers to a trucking company that is exempt from certain economic rules and regulations. These exemptions may be the result of various permits handed out by the state or due to logistics such as the location of the company in relationship to where they operate.
A for-hire carrier is similar to a common carrier, with the exception of the posting of their rates. They don’t work on regular contracts, instead operating as something of a freelance carrier, taking work from whomever comes and will pay them a rate they’re willing to transport for.
There are certainly carriers that function as a type of hybrid carrier, such as an exempt carrier that works as a dedicated carrier in a certain region. Many shippers will work with a variety of carrier types to ensure that their customers can get their products in a timely manner at at the best cost possible. Also, some larger shippers, companies such as large retailers and manufacturers will have their own carrier fleet instead of working with an outside company as they are then in control of the shipping part of their business instead of having to work through the logistics of working with another company and their availability.