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Carrier

What is a Shipping Carrier?

A shipping carrier is an organization that provides transportation services for goods. They manage the logistics of moving cargo, which includes loading, transporting, and delivering goods to the specified location. Shipping carriers handle various types of shipments, from small packages to large freight consignments, using different modes of transportation such as maritime, air, rail, and road.

Freight Forwarder vs. Carrier

A freight forwarder acts as an intermediary between the shipper and various transportation services. They do not transport goods themselves but arrange and coordinate the logistics, documentation, and compliance for shipping cargo. In contrast, a carrier owns and operates the transportation assets (ships, trucks, planes) and is directly responsible for moving the cargo from origin to destination.

What is a Common Carrier in Shipping?

A common carrier provides transportation services to the general public under license or authority provided by a regulatory body. They are obliged to offer their services to any customer under the same terms and conditions. Common carriers typically publish their schedules and rates, which are accessible to all potential customers.

Common Carriers vs. Contract Carriers

A common carrier offers transportation services to the general public and must adhere to published rates and schedules. In contrast, a contract carrier provides transportation services to specific clients based on individual contracts, which typically specify the terms, conditions, and rates for the transportation of goods.

Examples of common carriers include major shipping companies like FedEx, UPS, and DHL, which provide transportation services to the general public and adhere to published rates and schedules. In contrast, contract carriers include companies like Ryder and J.B. Hunt, which provide transportation services to specific clients based on individually negotiated contracts that outline the terms, conditions, and rates for transporting goods.