The difference between a Broker and a Carrier

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Check the Difference Between a Broker and a Carrier

Hiring a vehicle transportation service can result in confusion in terms of where to begin, especially for first-time movers. Understanding certain differences between carriers and brokers are key when researching the steps, since knowing them will allow you to define your needs and necessities during a car shipping process. 

Freight broker and freight carrier: are both the same? Well, although they may seem the same, they actually have quite a few crucial differences. Factors such as access, liability, responsibility, and geographical coverage are main aspects that differentiate them from each other. Getting to know these differences will help you understand better how the process works and the things to take into account when moving a car. 

We know that generally, most auto transport companies won’t explain the meaning of both terms. As such, we will discuss them throughout the reading so you become an expert in shipping terminology, let’s go!


A motor carrier, or car carrier, as frequently called, is a truck that ships different types of vehicles. They depend on the broker's instructions, since brokers are the ones in charge of the carrier network alternatives for the customers. 

Most of the drivers who are part of a carrier network, depend on a broker to schedule their shipments and usually work fully in that manner. Only the driver of the carrier is responsible for accepting or denying the service, depending on its availability, time, equipment and vehicle features. 

Carriers that work with brokers are always verified, experienced, have their licenses updated, cargo insurance, and USDOT credentials. Carriers vary in size, since some of them are specialized for transporting different kinds of vehicles.


What brokers basically do is arrange the whole transportation process of your shipment. They work with multiple carriers, and they are in charge of assigning the services between drivers and customers. 

Brokers are always qualified and responsible for your moving process in terms of logistics. They work as a main organizer of the entire process, while the carrier will be in charge of transporting the vehicle to the destination. 

What About Freight Forwarders? 

Well, they are pretty much similar to brokers in the way that they control and manage the whole shipping process. However, while brokers work with some designated carriers, freight forwarders have a network of importers and exporters that store different types of cargo and negotiate freight rates. 

Is it Better to Ship directly With a Broker or a Carrier?

As you’ve noticed, carrier and broker shipping differ in many aspects. While shipping with a carrier can result faster or “easier” in terms of time, vehicle transportation with a broker is a much more reliable and safe method. 

Imagine getting your car damaged during the journey. You probably never thought of getting full insurance coverage, or thinking of an alternative if an unexpected issue would happen along the road. You would not have support in verifying the carrier’s credentials and insurance if working privately. As such, your shipping could be delayed, canceled, and if things turn worse, you’ll have to pay more money and have no support to handle these situations on your behalf.

On the other hand, shipping with a broker, no matter if it's local or cross country shipping, will be much better for you. A brokerage will solve any inconvenience along the way until you get your car delivered. The company will ensure your car’s safety, professional movers (carriers), and will suggest you different tips like full vehicle coverage before starting the shipment. 

Also, if you’re researching for an experienced and reliable moving company, you’ll be asked to pay competitive and affordable rates found for you; far from the chance of getting scammed outright with a privately booked service on your own. 

Plus, different car shipping companies have the option of free quote requesting, which will allow you to get an estimate of what your total shipping cost might be, by simply typing in your main shipping details. 

Customer service and individual attention is another advantage as to  why shipping with brokers brings more benefits for you and your car. Most brokers have specialized agents that will provide you full information of your shipment, will solve all your inquiries, and will provide you tips and support throughout your journey. 

Reach Out to AmeriFreight 

As a professional broker and freight forwarder company, we have a wide range of car carriers qualified for vehicle transportation across the country. Besides our amazing and competitive prices, we ensure your vehicle will be delivered safely, and your whole shipping experience will make you return to us for your next trip. 

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