What types of authority are there?

There are several authority types.  Authority is broken down by type (“common”, “contract” and “broker”) and commodity (“property except household goods”, “household goods” and “passenger”).

  • Common carriers are essentially companies that are open to the public for hire.
  • Contract carriers only serve businesses with whom they have– you guessed it– a contract!
  • Brokers merely arrange for transportation but don’t actually take possession of a shipment.
  • General commodities are classified as “Property Except Household Goods”, while the personal effects of a homeowner are considered “Household Goods”
  • Most carriers that operate bus companies or van services are required to have “Passenger” authority.
  • There is also ‘freight forwarder’ authority. Freight Forwarders are essentially travel agents for freight who arrange for motor carrier, ocean and/or air transportation to get freight from Point A to Point B.