Primary carrier

Tags: Glossary

In freight transportation, a primary carrier is a carrier with which the shipper has a guaranteed price for a specific lane or lanes. Normally, a carrier becomes a primary after winning an RFP.

What is Primary carrier?

In the world of freight transportation, the concept of a primary carrier plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth movement of goods from one place to another. To put it simply, a primary carrier is a carrier that has been selected by a shipper to handle the transportation of their goods on a specific route or routes, and a guaranteed price has been agreed upon between the shipper and the carrier for this service.

The process of becoming a primary carrier typically begins with the carrier participating in a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the shipper. An RFP is a formal document that outlines the shipper's requirements, expectations, and desired pricing for the transportation services they seek. Carriers interested in securing the business submit their proposals, which are then evaluated by the shipper based on various factors such as pricing, service quality, reliability, and capacity.

Once a carrier is selected as the primary carrier, it means that they have successfully won the bid and have been awarded the contract to transport the shipper's goods on the specified lane or lanes. This designation as a primary carrier brings several advantages for both the shipper and the carrier.

For the shipper, having a primary carrier means they have a reliable and trusted partner to handle their transportation needs. The shipper can have peace of mind knowing that their goods will be transported by a carrier that has been thoroughly evaluated and deemed capable of meeting their requirements. Additionally, by having a guaranteed price with the primary carrier, the shipper can better plan and budget for their transportation costs, avoiding any unexpected or fluctuating expenses.

On the other hand, being selected as a primary carrier is a significant achievement for the carrier. It not only provides them with a steady stream of business but also establishes a long-term relationship with the shipper. This relationship can lead to increased trust, repeat business, and potentially even exclusivity on certain routes. Furthermore, being a primary carrier allows the carrier to optimize their operations and resources, as they can plan their capacity and schedules more efficiently based on the guaranteed volume of shipments from the shipper.

In conclusion, a primary carrier is a carrier that has been chosen by a shipper to handle the transportation of their goods on specific routes, with a guaranteed price agreed upon. This designation is typically achieved through a competitive bidding process, such as an RFP. Being a primary carrier brings benefits for both the shipper and the carrier, including reliability, cost predictability, and the potential for a long-term partnership.

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