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Logistic Carriers: Everything You Should Know About Carriers for Shipping

Logistic Strategy, Shipment Solutions
Image of a lady carrier providing logistics services

Chances are that your cargo may be delayed unnecessarily or cost you more, among other challenges, if you downplay the services of a logistic carrier. But we’ve brought you everything you need to know about carriers for shipping goods from one place to another.

Image of a lady carrier providing logistics services

Image of a lady carrier providing logistics services

Image Source: Google

The’re several ways to ship goods to and from China to the USA or anywhere in the world. That is the responsibility of a logistic carrier. Legal individuals or companies work through a network to deliver goods and products to customers. A logistic carrier manages, coordinates, and monitors supplies to safely deliver products/goods in a timely, effective, and reliable manner.

Carriers in logistics

What is a carrier in shipping and trucking

A carrier in shipping and trucking is a firm, person, or company legally entitled to carry goods by air, water, and land from one place to another. Examples of carriers include trucking companies, airlines, railroads, parcel/express companies, etc.
The four major types of carriers for shipping in logistics are trucking, ocean, air cargo, and railroad. The most common type of carrier is trucking because it’s cheaper than others and arrives destination on time.

Shipping Methods that Carriers can Transport

The different shipping methods that carriers can transport include;

  1. Flat-rate Shipping
  2. Overnight delivery
  3. Same day shipping
  4. International shipping
  5. Expedited shipping
  6. Local shipping
  7. Real-time rate carrier rates

How Carrier Network is Important for Global Supply Chains

The carrier network is the bedrock of the supply chain’s global visibility network or solution. In simple terms, a carrier is a vessel, truck, container, asset, or organization contracted to ship products from one place to another involving a global supply chain that uses a multi-modal transportation network.

The Carrier network is essential for global supply chains because it has multiple means of transportation; first mile, mid-mile, or last mile. And carriers take responsibility for transportation in the different standards used in the supply chain.

Types of carriers in logistics

Contract Carriers and Common Carriers

Contract carriers or logistic carriers are companies and transport providers transporting goods for a particular shipper over an agreed period. Contract carriers stay true to a specific shipper and cannot carry goods for other businesses.

On the other hand, a common carrier is a legal transportation firm or a person whose services are available to all shoppers. For instance, your phone stand can make its way to you via a common carrier who isn’t in a signed agreement with the shipper or via a contract carrier specifically for that shipper only.

Local, Regional, and National Carriers

  • Local carriers offer door-to-door services, the least expensive and more flexible option. Their cost is often determined by fuel cost and the vehicle’s state.
  • Regional carriers combine door-to-door and one-stop shopping services for more miniature freight goods. They offer pick-up from multiple locations or have truck terminals where you can drop off your goods.
  • National carriers also provide door-to-door services with a more extensive network of regional cities nationwide. Their services are higher than regional carriers and are more costly.

Private Carriers and For-hire Carriers

  • Private carriers are companies that offer truck transportation for their cargo, being a part of the business that produces, uses, buys, and sells the cargo being transported. Private carriers are like contract carriers that do not carry goods to other firms.
  • For-hire carriers are companies providing truck transportation of cargo for other companies and getting paid for doing so. A for-hire carrier can operate as a common or contract carrier but must register separately to obtain both certificates.

How Do I Define if a Carrier is Good or Not?

It isn’t just about selecting a carrier for your business; a carrier should have skills in the logistics industry that you need to look out for. These qualities/skills include;

  • Ability to think critically and visualize processes from the beginning to the end.
  • Ability to adapt to changes and flexibility in the supply chain.
  • Carriers should be calm under pressure as the logistic industries can often be fast-paced, and each step must be completed.
  • Carriers must effectively solve problems, be honest, and continually seek improvements.

How to Choose a Right Carrier

Choosing a suitable carrier is crucial, and that’s why we’ve brought you the factors to be considered when selecting the right carrier based on real shipment needs.

  • Cost: The type of products you’re shipping is fundamental in selecting a carrier. This is because the weight of the goods will determine their prices. The size and shape of your cargo will equally influence the airline’s consideration.
  • Schedule: It’s necessary to look for carriers or logistic companies that offer automated scheduling options.
  • Speed: The right carrier needs to meet up with your required rate. For instance, if your cargo requires urgency, the right carrier must be able to meet up with overnight or weekend delivery.
  • Service quality: This is another crucial criterion. The services of a shipper carrier must tally with your specific needs. For instance, for last-mile delivery, you need a carrier with two-weeks, same-day, next-day, and five-day delivery. You also need to look for carriers that do weekend and holiday deliveries.
  • Delivery scope: Another consideration is your delivery location. This will determine whether you’ll select an international carrier or not. A regional carrier may be the best option for shipping domestically, etc.
  • Brand awareness: Having adequate brand knowledge is essential when considering a logistic carrier. A carrier must have logistic processes and software integrated with its internal processes. For instance, the carrier with a tracking system integrated with your inventory software works more effortlessly for you.

Best Shipping Carriers

Let’s further consider the best shipping carriers/brands operating in the USA;

  • United States Postal Service (USPS): The only carriers covering all US locations, including 160 million residential addresses, businesses, and PO Boxes.
  • United Parcel Services (UPS): They are a shipping industry leader and provide domestic shipments to more than 220 countries and territories.
  • FedEx: They collaborate with USPS and UPS offering domestic and international shipping in the US.
    DHL: DHL partners with USPS to deliver small packages using its network.

Why There are so Many Logistics Carriers in the US

According to the Logistic Performance Index, the United States is one of the leading countries in the logistics market. The logistics services cut across all levels in planning and executing the transportation of goods, including freight rails, maritime or trucking, air, and express delivery.

To serve customers efficiently due to its significant export, multinationals and domestic companies in the US collaborate to provide logistics solutions tailored to customers’ needs. This accounts for the increasing number of logistics carriers in the US.

Shippers VS carriers VS consignees

New to the logistics world? Get familiar with all the parties in your bill of lading; shippers, carriers, and consignees.


A shipper on your bill of lading is a legal person or firm responsible for packing and preparing shipments to be delivered to the carrier. Shippers send, receive, and keep records of the movement of goods, products, supplies, materials, etc., to and from an organization.

For instance, if you’re buying goods from a seller in China or anywhere in the world that you hope to resell in the US or UK, etc., the seller/vendor packages and prepares the goods for shipments via air or ocean freight. In this case, the person will be the shipper on the bill of lading.
On the other hand, the vendor/seller, the shipper, transfers the goods to the steamship line carrier. The carrier is the second party in your bill of lading which owns and operates its transportation system.


The third-party in your bill of lading is the consignees. That is the entity that is responsible for receiving your shipments. In most cases, the consignee is the same as the receiver. In simple terms, the supplier (the shipper) sends the goods via the steamship line (the carrier), which gets delivered and received by your organization (consignee).

For instance, a company supplying food items to restaurant factors shipping into the overall cost instead of charging separately for freight. So when the supplier needs to send the items to the restaurant, it just pays the freight forwarder to deliver the shipments to the restaurant. However, the restaurant is still the consignee, though it isn’t paying for the freight but receiving it.


The essence of this blog is to keep you abreast of the happenings in the shipping industry and how things work and guide you through selecting a suitable carrier for your cargo. Thus far, we’ve explained explicitly everything you should know about carriers for shipping. The information here is well-researched and detailed enough to help you through.

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