Transport Insights

Do You Really Know Who You’re Doing Business and Sharing Risks With?

Thomas Bray, Sr. Industry Business Advisor

Date: 12/19/2023

Are you a company that hires motor carriers? Are you a shipper, a broker, or a carrier with broker authority? If you are, you really need to be able to answer the question, “Do you know the carriers you’re hiring and the risks they come with?” If you don’t, you may be making some potentially expensive decisions.

Imagine hiring a carrier with a high rate of roadside inspection violations, a high out of service rate, or worse, suspended or revoked credentials or no or inadequate insurance. Now imagine this carrier that you just hired causing a serious crash. Since they have no or inadequate insurance, the victims of the crash are going to come after you.

The fact that you hired a carrier with a lot of problems will come to light quickly. As a result, your reputation will be tarnished, and you could lose business. You are also potentially on the hook for a lot of money due to vicarious (shared) liability. How much money? There are brokers, shippers, and carriers with broker authority that have been hit with multimillion dollar settlements or verdicts after they hired a questionable carrier, and the carrier had a serious crash.

So how do you prevent this from happening? You have a process in place to collect data on every carrier you want to hire. This means knowing what data is available and how to retrieve it, deciding what data matters, and then gathering, organizing, and prioritizing it. Once you have gathered, organized, and prioritized the appropriate data, the next step is analyzing it. Finally, you decide which carriers you want to hire.

The other choice is to hire someone that knows what data matters and the various data systems to do the leg work of gathering, organizing, prioritizing, and analyzing the data. This way, all that is left for you to do is make the decision of, “Is this someone I want to be sharing risks with?”

Learn about J.J. Keller's NEW Carrier Risk Review Service for shippers and brokers!