CarrierLists FAQs

How is CarrierLists different than other carrier databases?

CarrierLists is only carrier database that provides a comprehensive profile of carriers that go beyond what is available in public records.

We do this by calling and interviewing each and every carrier in our database. During our interviews we collect the non-public information that every broker needs to source carriers.

This includes trailer types, prefered lanes, specializations, and direct phone and email info for dispatch and sales.

This means our users do not have to search blindly in FMCSA directories hoping a search by commodities yields the carriers they need.

How does CarrierLists compare to load boards? ​

Load boards are a must have for every broker. I couldn’t imagine moving loads without one (I used every major load board as a broker).

Only 20% of carriers use load boards though. CarrierLists has conducted extensive survey research with FreightWaves on how carriers source their loads, Carriers still getting a majority of loads directly from shippers, while digital apps are a non-factor.

Our research shows 63% of carriers source loads directly from shippers, 24% directly from brokers, but only 14% from load boards.

So, how can you reach the other 80% of for-hire carriers when you’re striking out with post and cover, and coming up empty with your internal carrier network?

We searched for a solution to this problem but couldn’t find one. So, we created the solution ourselves.

We did this by using our experience as brokers to make the grueling cold calls for you to compile the Rolodex of carriers it would have taken decades to build on your own.

Using CarrierLists your brokers can now use this hidden capacity turn around bids, quotes, and loads in a fraction of the time it takes now fumbling around searching for carriers.

How is CarrierLists different than using our carrier set-up packets to source trucks?

If carrier packets were highly accurate and easily searchable, then nearly every brokerage would have built their own searchable database long, long ago.

Unfortunately, the self-reported profiles in carrier packets are mostly inaccurate and incomplete.

Carrier profiles are the last item carriers or brokers want to deal with when a load is on the line. You’ve been on the phone all morning trying to cover the load, you’ve negotiated pricing, you’ve looked up safety info…the last thing on your mind is the information in the packet.

So, it doesn’t matter to anyone how carriers fill out the form, just so long as it gets returned ASAP, so you can get it through compliance and the driver dispatch.

None of the 25,000 carrier profiles in CarrierLists include self-reported data from carriers. Our research staff calls and interviews every carrier in our database at least once per year. This allows us to control the quality of information that is available to help you source the carriers you need based on trailers, preferred lanes, and specializations.

How does CarrierLists keep its carrier information up to date?

We use two methods to keep our carrier info as current as possible:

  1. We call each carrier in our database at least once a year to confirm all operational and contact information is current.

  2. CarrierLists OnLine users can flag any carrier whose information is incorrect. We receive a report every morning of all flagged carriers. This list is uploaded in our daily research list where each is called to update their profile.

To learn more on how any of our thousands of users can flag carriers check out our 90-second tutorial.

How can 25,000 carriers give your team access to 50% of all for-hire trucks on the road?

There are roughly 250k interstate carriers with 1.7m registered semi-trucks on the road today.

Of these 250k interstate carriers only 45k operate five or more trucks. CarrierLists has called and interviewed 35k carriers with fleets from 5 to 500 trucks.

Only 60% of these carriers have made our list. The other 40% have outdated contact info, have never answered the phone, are private fleets with for-hire authority, or are garbage haulers, environmental waste companies, tow trucks, etc.

If you then subtract out the semi-trucks operated by the mega fleets, you're left with a count of for-hire trucks of 1m to 1.2m for-hire trucks.

CarrierLists database currently has 25,000 carriers operating 600,000 trucks. This includes 10,000 dry van carriers, 7,000 reefer carriers, and 5,500 flatbed carriers.

We’ve been in business for years and have thousands of carriers in our system. What if we have most of the carriers in CarrierLists already?

Please email us at if you’d like an Excel file with the USDOT numbers of all 25,000 carriers in our database. A simple match formula will give you an answer on the overlap in less than 5 minutes.

We’ve bought lists in the past, and they’ve been total garbage. How is CarrierLists any different?

This was our experience with buying lists as well. We couldn’t find a list we could pick up and use to cut down the number of phone calls it took to cover a load.

So, we decided to build what we needed ourselves. This included calling and interviewing all 25,000 carriers in our database. Removing the disconnected numbers, ghost MCs, private fleets, tow trucks, garbage haulers etc.

During our calls, we’ve collected the info you can’t find on any other lists. This includes trailer types, preferred lanes, specializations, and updated contact info for dispatch and sales.

It’s the information we know you need because as former brokers it was the information we needed to find trucks for our loads fast.

Do you still operate a broker freight yourselves?

No. We gave up our brokerage jobs to start CarrierLists. We are an independent provider of information to the logistics industry.

We strive to make sure our information helps all our customers win more bids and cover more loads to grow their margins.

Does CarrierLists offer real-time matching capabilities?

We do not offer real-time matching capabilities. While we are excited about the possibility of this existing for brokers at some point in the future that time is not here yet.

We believe it will be years before freight matching becomes widespread. Much of our opinion is based on the following:

  1. Scale – Like Uber and Lyft, there can only be one or two winners. For this to happen all carriers, brokers, and shippers need to be on the same platform. For an industry as fragmented and specialized as trucking, this will be an extremely difficult task.

  2. Competition – There are at least forty start-ups right now who are building automated freight platforms. Who will win? The platform that attracts the most users. With forty plus startups, plus the two major load boards, along with the freight apps rolled out by the largest brokers – the journey to reaching a critical mass of users is still years away.

  3. Complexity – Moving freight thousands of miles is much more complex than moving people a few blocks or miles at a time. The variables involved in every load makes automation almost impossible: carriers, drivers, shippers, managers, brokers, weather, inspections, weights, dims, detention, etc.

  4. Empty Miles – Most apps promise to cut down on empty/deadhead miles. But are there trucks who are running empty, with freight matching their lanes sitting on docks? Or is the empty miles issue a problem without a solution?

For the most comprehensive analysis into the freight matching app market, check out UBS’s research report here, Will CHRW Get "Uber-ed"? UBS Evidence Lab Analysis + Industry Contacts Suggest They Will Not.

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