There are several ways for a boat owner or boat manufacturer to minimize risk when selecting a transporter to ship a boat or yacht. Don’t assume that all methods of transporting your boat will be legal & safe or that your boat will be properly insured. CMTBoats wants to help you to minimize the risks & problems of your boat or yacht move by providing the following information for your use.
Whether you do business direct with a motor carrier, go through a broker, freight forwarder, logistics company or on-line auction/market service, make sure the company you hire to move your boat has proper operating authority, is adequately bonded & insured, & is a sound & reputable company. Types of companies that transport or arrange for the transportation of boats
Common Carrier:a person or company that provides transportation of cargo or passengers for compensation.
Contract Carrier:Motor carrier that provides for-hire truck transportation to specific, individual shippers, based on contracts.
Private Carrier:Motor carrier that provides transportation of property or passengers, by commercial motor vehicle, & is not a for-hire motor carrier.
Broker:A person who, for compensation, arranges, or offers to arrange the transportation of property utilizing authorized for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. Brokers never take possession of the cargo
Freight Forwarder:A person holding itself out to the general public to provide transportation of property for compensation. Freight forwarders assumes responsibility for transportation from place of receipt to destination.
Logistics Company:There isn’t a legal or official definition of a logistics company & many companies call themselves logistics companies today. They can be anything from a warehouse/distribution facility, a motor carrier, a freight forwarder, a broker, a shipper’s agent, a consultant, or some combination of these functions.
Online Boat Transport Marketplace: Most of these are websites that consider their operation to be a venue where shippers & transporters can meet & enter into agreements. Most are not involved in the actual transaction between shippers & transporters & they assume no responsibility for the transaction or shipment.
BOAT TRANSPORT COMPANIES
Common Carrier:The definition of an authorized for-hire carrier is a person or company that provides transportation of cargo or passengers for compensation. A for-hire carrier, in addition to the USDOT Number, will also need to obtain Operating Authority (MC Number). Common carriers provide for-hire truck transportation to the general public. Common carriers must file both liability insurance & cargo insurance. Common carriers hauling low value goods as specified at 49 CFR 387.301(b) may request exemption from cargo insurance requirements. Selecting a transporter with common authority affords you the safest option.
Contract Carrier:Contract carriers provide for-hire truck transportation to specific, individual shippers, based on contracts. Contract carriers must file only liability insurance. A contract carrier cannot broker loads without first applying for & receiving a license to operate as a broker of freight. If a contract carrier is your choice, verify the carrier has valid commercial cargo insurance as standard insurance offers limited or no protection for your boat.
Private Carrier:Private motor carrier means a person who provides transportation of property or passengers, by commercial motor vehicle, & is not a for-hire motor carrier. This type carrier would not be a legal or safe option to transport your boat. Any authority & insurance in a for-hire situation would probably not be valid & would offer no protection.
Broker:A Broker means a person who, for compensation, arranges, or offers to arrange the transportation of property utilizing authorized for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. Brokerage or brokerage service is the arranging of transportation or the physical movement of a motor vehicle or of property. It can be performed on behalf of a motor carrier, consignor, or consignee. Brokers never take possession of the cargo. Brokers must file either a surety bond or trust fund agreement. If selecting a broker you will not only need to verify the broker is legal & bonded by verifying a valid MC number for brokerage, but that the actual transporter the broker assigns the load to is also legally authorized & insured for transporting your boat.
Freight Forwarder:A person holding itself out to the general public (other than as an express, pipeline, rail, sleeping car, motor, or water carrier) to provide transportation of property for compensation in interstate commerce, & in the ordinary course of its business:
Performs or provides for assembling, consolidation, break-bulk, and distribution of shipments:
Assumes responsibility for transportation from place of receipt to destination;
Uses for any part of the transportation a carrier subject to FMCSA jurisdiction.
Logistics Company:Many companies call themselves logistics companies today. They can be anything from a warehouse/distribution facility, a motor carrier, a freight forwarder, a broker, a shipper’s agent, a consultant, or some combination of these functions. There is, unfortunately, no legal or official definition of a logistics company.Motor carriers, freight forwarders & property brokers are required by law to register with the FMCSA & it is illegal to perform or provide these services without operating authority, insurance, surety bonds, etc. as provided in the Interstate Commerce Act & FMCSA regulation. Unfortunately, the FMCSA has limited resources to enforce the laws & many of them operate illegally.You must be extremely careful when dealing with a logistics company. Determine exactly what services are to be provided & demand copies of their operating authority, insurance, etc. before doing business. It is always advisable to enter into a written contract, which specifies the services, rates, rules, etc.
Online Boat Transport Marketplace There are several online marketplace websites that provide for shipping services. Most of them consider their operation to be a claim that the website acts as a venue where shippers & transporters can meet & enter into agreements. Most are not involved in the actual transaction between shippers & transporters. As a result, they claim no control over the quality, safety, or legal aspects of the transactions that take place on the website. They don’t pre-qualify or validate the claims of transporters including with respect to their licensure, insurance & registration. It is a website function solely as a neutral venue & digital clearinghouse where two parties may agree on a price for a particular type of service. They are the neutral venue for this connection between you & other members. They do not provide any endorsement for any, you acknowledge & agree that they do not provide the services & are not in any way responsible for assisting you in any manner with your provision of the services. They cannot & will not guarantee the ability of members to complete payment for any of the provided services. Furthermore, due to the difficulty of individual authentication, especially on the Internet, they cannot & will not in any manner, verify or confirm the identity or ability of members to pay for the provided services. Before entering into any agreement they require you to acknowledge & agree that any and all communications, correspondence, verbal or written, or any warranties or representations, made with regard to the services that are not provided by them & are specifically & solely between you & the other member. Because they are not involved in the actual transaction between shippers & transporters, they have no control over the accuracy of listings, the ability of transporters to transport items, or the ability of shippers to send items. They cannot ensure that a shipper or transporter will actually complete a shipment.
LEGAL ASPECTS OF TRANSPORTING
Interstate Commerce:Trade, traffic, or transportation involving the crossing of a state boundary. Either the vehicle, its passengers, or cargo must cross a state boundary, or there must be the intent to cross a State boundary to be considered an interstate carrier.
Intrastate Commerce: Trade, traffic, or transportation within a single State.If the operations include interstate commerce, the carrier must comply with the applicable Federal safety regulations & Operating Authority rules, in addition to State & local requirements.
IRP & IFTA: An interstate carrier must be registered in the State of operation to operate in interstate commerce to ensure that the vehicle is properly registered for purposes of the International Registration Plan (IRP), & International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). The base State will help by collecting the appropriate fees & distributing a portion of those fees to the other States in which the commercial motor vehicles are operated.
DOT & FMCSA: Commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating (whichever is greater) of 10,001 lb or more operating in interstate commerce must comply with the applicable U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) safety regulations concerning: CDL, controlled substances & alcohol testing. For all persons required to possess a CDL, driver qualifications (including medical exams); driving of commercial motor vehicles; parts & accessories necessary for safe operations; hours of service; & inspection, repair & maintenance are required.
To determine if a company has interstate Operating Authority (active MC Number) the information can be obtained on the FMCSA web site, DOT/FMCSA SAFER SYSTEM Company Snapshot. Enter either the USDOT Number, MC/MX Number, or Name of Company & search. If the entry is valid a Company Snapshot page for that company will come up containing some basic information concerning the company. To view the authority or insurance status, go to the top right section of the page, click on Licensing & Insurance & from that page click on the HTML report tab & a full report on the company operating authority & insurance will be displayed, along with links to other authority & insurance reports.
If a company is a broker only, & does not have carrier operating authority, they are not assigned a US DOT number, & may not show up on the Company Snapshot page. You can verify broker legal & bond status by going to the FMCSA Search Site DOT/FMCSA SAFER SYSTEM, & enter either the Docket Number/MC Number, the company legal name & state, or the company DBA name &state. If the entry is valid, a Company Snapshot page for that company will come up containing some basic information concerning the company. Broker Authority & bond information can be found by following the tabs as was done to search a carriers information.
If you have problems with the website or problems finding a company you can call the FMCSA toll free number at 800-832-5660 or FMCSA status line at 202-366-9805 between the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM eastern standard time.
Authority & Insurance Information for Carthage Marine Transport on the DOT/FMCSA SAFER SYSTEM.