Today, we will discuss whether you, as a truck dispatcher, should get an MC number.
To answer this question, I will provide you with two different scenarios. First, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t get an MC number. Toward the end of this post, though, we’ll examine why you may actually want to consider it. Afterward, you can apply these scenarios to your personal situation and determine which choice might be the best for you.
First, we need to answer a question as to why a truck dispatcher would want to get an MC number. The most common answers would be to access the load boards, book freight under your motor carrier authority, and then let your clients transport the cargo.
Let’s talk about load boards. To register on a load board, entering an MC number was once required, meaning you would have to get your client’s permission to use their MC number to register for the load board and search for their loads.
That is no longer true. Currently, you can get access to the DAT load board as an independent truck dispatcher without having an MC number. Since DAT is the largest load board, it will provide you with plenty of options to choose from for your clients.
I am pretty certain that other load boards will follow suit pretty soon. However, if they don’t and you do want to register, you can always go back to your client and explain to them that you can provide them with more load options if they allow you to register on a different load board using their MC number.
The Pitfalls of Having an MC Number
It seems that if you had your own MC number, it would all be much easier.
However, it is very important you understand that you are getting a motor carrier authority when you get your MC number; you are becoming a licensed motor carrier.
This means you will have a lot of financial and administrative responsibilities. For example, you will have to start carrying quite expensive insurance and will have to go through DOT audits. So, going through all this trouble and spending all this money just to register for additional load boards does not seem reasonable to me.
And getting your MC authority so you can book loads under your MC number to let other carriers transport it is an even worse idea. This practice is known as double brokering, and it is forbidden by most contracts you would have to sign with freight brokers. It clearly states that if trucks of another motor carrier that are not yours will transport the cargo you have booked, they don’t have to pay you.
Furthermore, they can blacklist your MC number in the various databases. And when you try to book a load in the future, nobody will be willing to give you one because you’ve been suspected of double-brokering loads with your MC number. You’d even expose yourself to multiple financial and legal risks by getting yourself involved with this practice.