Friday, February 8, 2008

Carrier Files

Yesterday I gave a list of things to include in permanent customer files. Here’s an idea of what your permanent Carrier files should hold:

1. Your master Carrier-Broker Contract Agreement
(you MUST have this before you arrange the first load with them)
2. Their insurance certificate showing adequate cargo and liability limits. It should list your brokerage as a certificate holder.
3. A copy of their motor carrier authority and MC#
(motor carrier #)
4. A W-9 from the carrier. If the carrier doesn’t
send back their W-9 information you required with their Carrier Packet, call them before you pay their first invoice, explain that you have to have their W-9 to get their payment out, and they will fax it right over. If the carrier is a sole proprietor rather than a corporation, their W-9 will have their social security number on it instead of a corporate tax number, and you will need to send out 1099 income forms to the sole proprietors each year.
5. Any notes on the carrier (such as reasons that they are gold start/premium carriers for you, or any reason not to use them); if you have an unfortunate situation with a carrier on a shipment, and you will no longer be able to use that particular carrier, don’t get rid of the file! Instead, keep the reason on file, and in your system. That way you won’t forget and accidentally set them up at a later date.
6. Marketing information on the carrier (brochures, etc.)
7. Their contact information
8. Equipment types, specialized equipment & # of trucks
9. Any special services that they offer
10. Any special niches that they focus on, or geographical
areas that they service (favorite lanes, etc.)
11. Any correspondence that you receive regarding the carrier

None of these are date regulated files; in other words, they are not related to income and expenses that will be used for tax reporting. Do not put individual rate confirmations for shipments, and carrier bills/invoices in your permanent carrier files, they need to be in your annual files and by year. Insurance claims on loads also don’t go in the permanent file, they should go in separate claims files.

Keeping up your organization get increasingly important as you grow. You need to always easily locate the info you need to work efficiently and profitably.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

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