What Is the Difference between Motor Common Carrier and Motor Contract Carrier

When it comes to the trucking industry, there are several terms that may seem confusing to those not familiar with the field. Two terms that often cause confusion are “motor common carrier” and “motor contract carrier.” While both are types of trucking services, there are some significant differences between them.

A motor common carrier is a trucking company that provides transportation services to the general public. They are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and are required to obtain operating authority, insurance, and comply with safety regulations. These carriers transport goods for anyone who needs shipping services, regardless of the type of goods or the destination.

On the other hand, a motor contract carrier is a trucking company that provides transportation services to a specific client or customers. They are not regulated in the same way as motor common carriers, as they do not transport goods for the general public. Instead, they work under a contract or agreement with specific businesses, organizations, or individuals.

One of the primary differences between these two types of carriers is the level of regulation they must comply with. Motor common carriers are regulated by the FMCSA and must follow strict safety standards and obtain specific certifications. Motor contract carriers, however, do not have to comply with the same regulations and are not required to have the same level of insurance or certifications.

Another significant difference is the types of services each carrier offers. While a motor common carrier may handle a wide range of goods and services, a motor contract carrier typically works under a specific contract or agreement and transports specific types of goods for a particular client.

Finally, the pricing structure for each carrier also varies. Motor common carriers typically charge based on the weight and distance of the shipment, while motor contract carriers often charge a flat rate based on the specific agreement.

In conclusion, the difference between motor common carriers and motor contract carriers comes down to the level of regulation they must comply with, the types of services they offer, and their pricing structure. It is essential to understand these differences when choosing a trucking service to ensure you select the right one for your needs.