Enterprise logistics requires constant juggling. You have to track assets, manage multiple modes of transportation, and monitor deliveries. All while communicating with carriers and customers. Carrier management systems can help transportation services manage, monitor, and analyze relevant information to power productivity and profitability.

What is carrier management?

Carrier management is the process of managing different carriers, also referred to as third-party logistics, to support business transport. It helps transporters make data-informed decisions about the carriers to select for different shipping requirements. 

Transportation supply chain success requires companies to weigh many factors in making decisions about efficient and effective delivery. Carrier management allows the business to rely on accurate information and easily adapt to challenges that arise. 

Why is carrier management in transportation important?

Enterprises can execute deliveries more reliably and profitably. A carrier management software solution can track key performance indicators to drive decisions about what partners to work with and when. KPI reporting for these purposes might include: 

  • Carrier performance
  • Shipping delays
  • Delivery costs
  • Driver professionalism
  • Carrier compliance

Advantages and disadvantages of carrier management systems

Carrier management systems can provide a streamlined view of the many moving parts in transportation logistics. They also helps freight brokers keep track of fuel surcharges, deliveries, and more. There are some challenges to be wary of, though.


In carrier management, be sure to partner with a carrier that will get the load to its destination on time, undamaged, and affordably. With the data insights you gain from carrier management systems, you can monitor who’s providing quality service. This lets you assign more loads to carriers you trust. You can also earn more business from shippers who rely on you to get the job done right. 

Carrier management systems make it easier to source specific carriers to meet the particular requests of an order. You can also save time on vetting carriers if your system already has compliance records. Those records are likely complete with licensing and insurance requirements, delivery reliability, and other factors. Instead of having to rely on paperwork and phone calls, you can do a quick search online of the system data.

Rate negotiation can be managed more efficiently as well, because you’ll have access to accurate industry rates and previous agreements with those carriers. 


There are an estimated 15.5 million trucks operating in the United States annually, and more than 3.5 million truck drivers. These trucks are responsible for generating a revenue of about $255.5 billion per year.

A shortage of about 80,000 truck drivers in the industry, according to the American Trucking Associations, can make carrier management more difficult. Driver retention is critical. Staying compliant with ever-changing regulations can be a challenge, but tools such as electronic logging devices can help fleets stay compliant from anywhere.

Fuel expenses and vehicle maintenance can make carrier management costly. Track idling time to better reduce fuel waste. With vehicle diagnostics linked with fleet management, proactive maintenance is possible. It can also help increase revenues and minimize operating costs. 

Find out how to secure the best loads from our discussion with seasoned owner-operator Chad Boblett.

Features to expect from carrier management software

Transportation enterprises and freight brokers use carrier management to manage the carriers helping shippers move goods from point A to point B efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. A carrier management software that includes contract and rate management, claims management, and carrier scorecards can help the business be more productive and profitable. 

Many carrier management software includes invoice processing and payment automation to save you time. A software that also audits freight bills can be useful as well. You can configure the software to compare actual billing against the signed agreement covering fuel and delivery costs and more. The system can flag any discrepancies.

You might also be able to integrate carrier and consumer feedback to measure performance factors. This will help you choose the best carrier for your future projects.

GPS tracking will provide real-time updates on delivery status. This can be useful in analyzing delays and providing proactive communication to your customers or the consumer. A carrier management software that integrates dispatch and loading information can also help you answer cargo and delivery questions and confirm the shipment is correct. 

How Motive supports carrier management services

Carrier management offers visibility into transportation spend and delivery success rates. Replacing paperwork or carbon copies, carrier management software gives transportation enterprises the tools they need to understand strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.

Motive’s technology further supports transportation companies in carrier management.

Motive supports freight brokers by helping them connect with carriers as well as improving visibility and communication.

The Motive Smart Load Board is a free load board built directly into our industry-leading fleet management platform to help carriers find the right load, faster. Our partners include the largest and most innovative brokerages in North America, including Echo Global Logistics, Uber Freight, Convoy, Edge Logistics, and Bennett, among others. With a single integration, broker partners can tap into the Motive network of more than 1 million registered drivers. 

With our GPS tracking solution, carriers can choose to share location data with brokers for the length of the trip. The brokers can, in turn, share the information with shippers, providing complete transparency for peace of mind.

When the drivers pick up the cargo, they can scan the signed Bill of Lading (BOL) into the software to keep all parties current without waiting for paperwork to get delivered from place to place.

Enjoy a complete view of operations in one online dashboard with our carrier management solution. Request a free demo today, and learn how Motive can help you transform your business.