The Carrier Vetting Process - A Broker’s Guide

September 15, 2023
Cassandra Gaines

When it comes to the carrier vetting process, there is something so crucial that all brokers are aware of, and that’s the simple rule that states “The quality of your carriers can either make or break your business”. As a broker, ensuring that the carriers you work with are reliable and safe is not just a best practice; it's a matter of liability and reputation. 

With the evolving landscape of carrier vetting, there are now more efficient and accurate ways to evaluate their performance and anticipate an outcome.  At Carrier Assure, our commitment is to help you avoid the bottomfeeders, that’s why we will delve into why carrier vetting is crucial for brokers and outline essential methods to vet freight carriers effectively.

Why Carrier Vetting Is Critical for Freight Brokers

Carrier Vetting is one step that brokers should not miss because it serves as an important method for their operations and business strategies for the following reasons:

1. Liability Mitigation: Brokers can be held liable if a carrier they hire is involved in an incident while transporting freight. Vetting carriers thoroughly helps mitigate this risk.

2. Reputation Management: A broker's reputation is their currency in the industry. Hiring unreliable or unsafe carriers can lead to long-lasting reputational damage.

3. Meeting Shipper Requirements: Most shippers have specific carrier requirements, such as safety ratings and compliance standards. Proper vetting ensures that your carrier network aligns with your shippers' needs.

4. Business Agility: The freight industry moves at lightning speed. Brokers must quickly hire and onboard carriers to cover loads, keep shippers satisfied, and remain competitive.

How Can Brokers Vet Carriers? 

1. Use Technology Solutions:

The age of manual carrier vetting is behind us. Today, technology solutions can swiftly and accurately qualify carriers, saving brokers time and providing confidence in their choices. Consider using advanced performance scoring software like Carrier Assure to anticipate how any carrier can transport the goods. 

2. Check Experience Levels:

Experience matters in the freight industry! Carriers with several years of experience are often more stable and better equipped to handle market fluctuations. Look for carriers who can demonstrate their industry know-how.

3. Assess On-Time Performance and Reliability:

On-time delivery is a must of a reputable carrier. While this information may not always be readily available online, reliable carriers will gladly provide their on-time performance data or references from other satisfied companies.

4. Evaluate CSA Percentile Scores:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program to rate carriers on seven criteria. Review carriers' CSA scores and records to gauge their safety and compliance.

5. Review Carrier Insurance Certificates:

Carriers are required to maintain various types of cargo insurance based on their classification. Brokers must collect valid and up-to-date insurance coverage certificates from each carrier to mitigate potential liability and compliance issues.

6. Verify Carrier Authority:

Ensure that each carrier you work with holds the necessary authority issued by the FMCSA as a Motor Carrier of Property. To avoid conflicts of interest, it's advisable to steer clear of carriers that also possess broker authority.

For those eager to dive deeper into carrier vetting and problem prevention, we extend an invitation to explore our upcoming Carrier Vetting Bootcamp, "More Freight, More Problems." While the event itself may be overbooked, we're dedicated to nurturing your thirst for knowledge by sharing exclusive insights and highlights right here on our blog.

Discover what's in store at the boot camp and stay updated with the latest industry trends and solutions. Don't miss out on this opportunity to refine your carrier vetting process!

Visit our webpage at to learn more.