Shipping Company or Truck Driver? Which Is Better for Small Shipments?

Logistics News

Sometimes, your shipment only needs to go a short distance and it requires just one truck.

In these instances, many companies think: “Why should I bother with a shipping company? Isn’t it easier and cheaper to rent an independent driver and a truck?”

The obvious answer would seem to be a driver and a truck. However, in reality, it’s not as simple as that.

First of all, many companies are used to the service and reliability of their usual shipping company and simply aren’t willing to risk delays, loading problems, improper coverage and fastening of their cargo, and missed deadlines and all the risks associated with working with a single driver. That’s not to say that independent truck drivers are unprofessional. It’s just the nature of working with someone new. Can you afford to discover if a new driver is reliable or not?

Hiring a Driver for Small Shipments

Secondly, you still have to do some fair amount of vetting, and you might not be fully prepared to do so. For example, you might not know the type of license the truck driver needs to have or have to hire a third party to get the driver’s criminal records. This last one is optional but recommended if your cargo is valuable. It can’t hurt to call your transportation department to find about the specific rules and regulations of your state. In extreme cases, some states might require you to hire the truck driver as a full-time employee, in which case, the cheaper option is just not available to you.

Insuring Small Shipments

Third, in addition to insuring your cargo, you may very well have to insure the driver. You’ll need to call your insurance company and find out about any specific requirements for insuring truck drivers. For example, your insurance company may only insure drivers with at least 1 year of commercial driving experience or with experience in the specific type of truck you’re going to use.

Of course, if you know of a reliable and experienced truck driver that your contacts use and recommend, hiring him would be the best option. However, that’s not always the case.

In the end, you tend to get what you pay for and looking for shortcuts doesn’t really work.

That’s why you’re still better off hiring a shipping company, like Nationwide. We have your back and our professionalism means you can relax knowing that your shipment is in good hands.