August 20, 2015

Proper licensing & insurance – check your transportation provider

All shippers and purchasers of transborder or crossborder LTL and truckload services should be diligent in making sure the trucking and transportation providers they are employing are properly licensed and insured. Using legitimate transportation and trucking companies makes our highways and roads safer and its good business. You should know that your transportation company is professional and cares enough to make sure it is in compliance with licensing and insurance requirements.

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an arm of the Department of Transportation (DOT) now requires freight brokers who arrange transportation in or through the U.S. to possess a valid and current Motor Carrier number (MC #). In order to qualify to have a Motor Carrier number, a freight brokerage must maintain a $75,000 (U.S. funds) surety bond. Previously, freight brokers only needed to maintain a $10,000 surety bond. These new regulations came into effect in 2014. Shippers and truckers had been pushing U.S. legislators to increase the surety bond amount for many years.

These new regulations also mean that any freight company moving freight between the U.S. and Canada or within the U.S. needs a valid Motor Carrier number – even if the freight company is Canadian based and owned.

Hot Freight is properly registered with the FMCSA under Motor Carrier #428706.

Purchasers of transborder or crossborder transportation services – both LTL and truckload – are encouraged to check the credentials of the freight brokerage or trucking company to which they are entrusting their shipments. Any carrier or freight broker can be checked on the FMCSA website which features a handy search tool: All you need is the name of the freight brokerage or carrier and then click search.

Your transportation provider should also be happy to provide you with proof of a $75,000 U.S. funds surety bond.  If your transportation supplier is loath to provide you with evidence of proper licensing and insurance – you should keep shopping.

Many transportation and trucking associations in North America now require member companies to provide proof of proper licensing and insurance to maintain membership in good standing. In the U.S. the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) vets all member companies each year. In Canada, the National Transportation Brokers Association (NTBA) also make proper FMCSA registration and a surety bond conditions of membership. Hot Freight is a proud NTBA member in good standing.

By John Tittel, Hot Freight