Private carrier

Private carrier

A private carrier provides transportation or delivery of goods or services for a single entity, often a corporation; usually that entity's primary business is not transportation but rather something else. For example, the Wegmans grocery store chain owns and operates their own private fleet to deliver produce and goods to their stores; Wegmans' primary business is not transportation but grocery retail; therefore the Wegmans fleet is a private carrier. Other corporations with private fleets include Bridgestone Firestone, Toyota, Ace Hardware, and Archer Daniels Midland. For more information about private fleets, visit the national association representing private motor truck fleets founded in 1939, the National Private Truck Council (see link below).

A private carrier is distinguished from a common carrier whose primary business is the transport of goods, and which is in business to serve any customers that hire them, such as buses, railroads, trucking companies, airlines and taxis. Private carriers may refuse to sell their services at their own discretion, whereas common carriers must treat all customers equally. Yellow Transportation and FedEx are examples of common motor carriers.

It is also distinguished from an independent carrier which is an individual owner-operator or trucker who may make deals with private carriers, common carriers, contract carriers, or others as he or she wishes.

Although establishing and operating a private fleet is a substantial expense, it is warranted when customer service is paramount. Common carriers require shipment from fixed points while private carriers can set up any pickup or drop-off points desired. Some corporations mix both systems, using common carriers where possible and supplementing with private carriage (called a blended operation).

Private carriage usually refers to trucking, but is also found in rail and water transportation. Private rail carriers include the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad in Arizona.

Beyond physical transportation, private carrier may also refer to communication or communication services. Certain frequencies which are restricted to use by law enforcement are sometimes called "private carriers" -- station class codes beginning with FB6 or FB7 are private carriers. In the telecommunications industry, defining "private carrier" and "common carrier" has become increasingly difficult with the growth of mobile phone service providers, VOIP, and other non-traditional means of delivering communication services.

External links

* [ National Private Truck Council (business association representing private motor truck fleets)]
* [ American Trucking Association private carrier application] (pdf format, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader]
* [ Articles and press releases for top private carrier companies in the United States]
* [ Blurring of lines between private carriers and common carriers] (communication)
* [ Designing a private fleet]
* [ FCC station class codes]
* [ Sample state trucking association private carrier membership application]

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