Carrier Operations are the service side of all industries. They are the Logistical integration, between shipper and receiver, per the desires of the customer. The customer of this service operation, can be either party, but not limited to these two designations of shipper and receiver. The customer can also be an outside party. These outside parties come as freight brokers, freight forwarders, brokers or middle men of a vendor transaction, warehouses and 3PL’s, but not limiting these “titles” on this list.
Departments within the Carrier Operation
Safety is the mandates, who enforce rules and regulations from within the organization. They are responsible for the log books, and driver operations while they are Leased to, apart of as an employee, SubLeased (aka Trip Leased), or working as a Temporary transporter. They ensure that all the mandates are followed from Recruiting and New Hires, to any training and violations write-ups, to the close of the driver file; after the departure. They also help regulate the Dispatching Department by making sure that they are dispatching to ensure procedures and regulations are followed per FMCSA. This position is regularly utilized to handle the IFTA (International Fuel Tax) that the carrier must provide for fuel taxes within each state, by the assistance of mileage (typically provided by dispatch from each truck operation), however with the digital age of computers- The reporting is primarily automatic based on GPS Tracking.
Typically, these people are the Incoming and Outgoing transactions of the outfit. They are the Accounts Receivables, Account payables and the Payroll, with Benefits processing as well. They ensure everyone gets paid, from the employees, to the vendors, any loans for the operation, property taxes, registration, and then after everyone else is paid–if anything is left over the owners get the profits/losses- or the combinations thereof.
Paperwork-and monetary financials are these guys only job. If a customer owes, they know. If the boss is winking through the back vault space—They know–the numbers tell the tell………
Operations of the Carrier-
This is the portion of the Carrier managed by the Board of the entity, or authorized licensed carrier. Larger operations may have a Vice President, Division Manager/President, Vice President of Operations, or Operations President–Title is not important- These are the daily task keepers and responsible parties for the proper flow and whole operation part of being a Carrier.
Fleet Dispatch and Planning-
These guys are the people who send the customer’s Load information to the Drivers. They ensure assistance is on way, if something happens to the truck- during transit to, from, and enroute to the locations. They also arrange for contractors to be paid, typically- by the major payment processors– Comdata and T-Chek or any other means that the carrier utilizes for needs.
Fleet Maintenance Department-
These guys fix the trucks, and trailers of the fleet. Typically, if a truck breaks down then these guys are the fixers –of the equipment–since maintaining the fleet is vital to the carrier operation. Violations while transporting freight is and can be a shut-down with your friendly, local chicken coop—representatives. They love the utter enjoyment of stopping a carrier with major violations- cold- no more making money with that hunk of junk—until it is fixed there….onsite—–cant move any further.
These guys are worth their weight in gold if they know what they are doing—90% do not!!! I can say that —- I have two men, that are mechanics—-call them up say this or that is what it is doing—–9/10 times they can tell you what it is……and if it can be fixed enough to get from the location you may be in!! Call me partial——
I have met quite a few—“mechanics” that didn’t know shit from fresh shit—Ask a question that you know an answer to—-see what these so called fucking “mechanics” think——-
A Good Fleet maintenance department can save a carrier thousands per week—-with a large enough fleet—-
A bad one—well lets just say they end up costing 3 x the cost of doing it, although higher price–may just be a cheaper solution——
Without dead bodies, holding them steering wheels—–the freight won’t move, the trucks wouldn’t (until recently) move, the lot lizards wouldn’t have on salami on rye, and well shit——not a penny is made—-
This guys keep the dead strokes, warm and fuzzy—-filling them seats – Slip seat, team, solo—–WHO CARES, get the qualified ones—–
Want to know what a driver is worth——-to a recruiter outside the carrier team that is in house….
Independent Recruiting Headhunters—if you will—-qualify a driver for a carrier—
At hire—-the recruiting firm—Can collect—anywhere from $600-$3000 per driver up front at hiring.
Bet you did not know that many negotiate up weekly or monthly stipends–for the drivers seat longevity up to 6 months in term—and up to as high as 25 cents per mile ran the first 6 months of hire………..Do the math——
Think they make some change?? I do not know about the rest of the drivers here—-but bet you wondering where all this sudden monetary gain is coming from —-especially when I know I am not the first—-but the motherfuckers always said there was no money in trucking anymore—–
There is always a sales department–even when there is not one!! Sales are a must for every one!!! I mean everyone~!
These are the wheelers and dealers, the constant phone jockey, the traveling gypsy in nice attire. They get the deals for contracting closed—–locking them down getting the deposit
Sometimes Dispatch and Planning will handle these needs—-in the smaller operations. However, the larger guys don’t use these due to contracts that they hold they keep these guys down to a minimum….They expect everyone to be able to handle in-bound calls. They stay on the phones all day…….phone and computer………cubicles—typically with computer—dispatch 150-200 guys……..Experienced—over 5 yrs at the fleet manager position. more of the fleet managers go up to the Load planning — The contracts carry a lot of weight…..long term guaranteed money per load—
Now—-here is the tricky side—-
It must be noted here that when a carrier owns a brokerage—that they can not co-mingle funds between the two financials- The brokerage must have it’s own accounts, separate from the carriers financials. The ensures the outside vendors are paid, the carriers monies are in the proper funding account-
This is also a Sales Department —-division or Department within the Sales Arm of the Carrier–
The main difference with the sales and brokerage is- Brokerages- Sell their service of brokering, due to the ability to quick turn these loads at the desired strike price the customer does not pay over—Then these teams sell to the brokerages list of approved carriers that are qualified and approved by management. These outside carriers are typically independents that are needing the brokers assistance by reloading as soon as possible without the headache of finding another load.
Brokers sale both ways—inbound and outbound
However the most effective that I have seen operate—-is by utilizing a call center type of “orientation” if you would indulge me……. These typically use a load side and carrier side. Load side finds loads- carrier side sells the loads. This gives the more experienced guys the ability to use the team functions……and separate the performance of the jobs—it also creates less stressing environment—the carrier side knows they are using their time booking the freight on the board (inhouse-and outside bookings) to carriers—-
Brokerages have some advantages in the “good ol’ boy network.” Typically, brokers were the connections through networking —-They would specialize for customers, hand shake would give the exclusivity for the clients freight to the broker , and guaranteeing contracting for the Shipper–through the brokers network of his carriers signed up to his brokerage house. Loads sent in the early morning–typically between 4am-10am-depending on timezones the broker worked. Load speed of booking carriers from the approved list and their call in’s from their dedicated carriers—-Call in’s are guys that are in the deadhead zone of the Brokerages customer, and they need to move a lane towards xyz point………..for their next portion—–
Brokers that have a lock in following of accounts—typically, have a carrier following—many times brokers are dedicated–however with the advent of technology–Many are branching off and getting additional teams to utilize their knowledge and find different ways to profit…..
Coyote is one that was a team center mimic’d from the CHRobinson Group’s team utilization. They came out of no where and made a immediate shift in the industry—by controlling a mass of the industry’s customers-Nationwide……….with the new upcoming industry freight technology and ELD–we are seeing another shift to the technology based of brokerage firms just to be able to handle majority of the work-load electronically which gives less need for human input, which increases profit 10x based on the firms lack of human through the automation of technology and storage capabilities, and allows automatic booking—-push a button systemic needs if you will—– Push Now- to get your truck booked on this load, and have that invoice paid within 48hours of delivery for the no nonsense rate of $x.xx per mile= No calls, no mess, no problem: ALL profit!!!
There you go–the basics of the Carrier Operation Departments- Not all are the same, but all have a similar operational layout, and utilize similar profit avenues and team make ups. The basis and foundation for understanding are the same. When you take the time to understand how the teams flow, then while you may be looking to build yours to a higher standard, and make yours the next hot commodity on the market.
Remember, the Carrier may go a little further—like creating a finance department, benefits department, Fleet sales department, investment department, OTR division, Regional Division, Local haulage, Intermodal Division, Heavy Haul, Ect. breaking these divisions and departments into further smaller areas of specialty creates a more dedicated approach to the carrier as a whole. Either way—the concept is the same.by