Working with a Carrier vs. a Broker


Not all service providers are the same. It's important to know which type of services each provides. Find out by searching for the entity section, within the Company Snapshot of all service provider profiles. You'll likely see one of two entity types: carrier or broker.


Working with a Carrier:

Carrier companies directly handle the transport of your shipment, meaning there's no middle man. They can range from owner-operators to large fleets. Carriers are usually able to operate under more exact time frames, and are fully responsible for lost or damaged items.

Once you work with a carrier, we'll release contact information so you can both reach out to each other to confirm pickup and delivery details. You'll keep in direct contact with the carrier for status updates along the way.

If you've booked with a carrier but you have reason to believe your shipment was outsourced without your express permission, please inform Member Support. This could be a case of brokering without authority, which is prohibited, and includes outsourcing to couriers such as FedEx or UPS. Check out out Safe Shipping Guide to learn more.


Working with a Broker:  

A broker's job is to arrange the transportation of your shipment. Brokers don't actually have their own trucks and drivers. Instead, they assign carrier companies within their networks to service shipments at booked prices, while striving to meet the time frames requested.

After booking a shipment with a broker, it's important that both parties connect to confirm details. You should receive an email or phone call directly from the broker. Once details are confirmed, your broker can get to work reaching out to carrier companies in an attempt to secure transport of your shipment.

It's important to note that shipment time frames provided by brokers are estimates only. This means that although they will take the proper steps to ensure your shipment is picked up within the time frame indicated on a bid, it's possible they'll need additional time to assign the shipment to a carrier. Please communicate directly with your broker for up-to-date information regarding the status of your shipment.

Similar to brokers, freight forwarders arrange transportation for shipping customers as well. The difference is that freight forwarders work with various exporters and importers and have the ability to store cargo, negotiate freight rates, and arrange distribution.

If you have any questions, or you are unsure which entity type you booked with, please contact our Member Support team.


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