FMCSA Company Snapshot • Providing Motor Carrier Safety Information Through SAFER
What is Company Snapshot?
Due Diligence Resources
How SaferWatch™ Can Help
The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is tasked with “regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).” The FMCSA partners with transportation and government officials to keep our roads safe and works to “improve CMV safety through regulation, education, enforcement, research, and technology.”
The primary mission of the FMCSA is to reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
One of the ways the FMCSA improves the safety of roadways is by providing motor carrier safety information through a system called SAFER – the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System.
SAFER is a searchable, online database maintained by the FMCSA. It helps businesses make better-informed decisions about which carriers and/or companies to contract with to make sure they’re fulfilling their internal safety and risk management standards. The FMSA’s Company Snapshot is one of the Searches available at SAFER that can help protect a business from risk when selecting a carrier to do business with.
What is Company Snapshot?
Company Snapshot is provided when a user enters a company’s name, DOT Number, or MC Number. It is a free, electronic record that provides information about a company, including:
- Operating status
- Size of the company (number of drivers)
- Cargo that can be carried
- Safety record (including the safety rating, if there is one)
- A roadside out-of-service inspection summary
- Crash information
- and more …
The data provided in the Company Snapshot is collected using existing government databases, which is then aggregated and updated regularly. It can be accessed by the general public on the FMCSA website, but it is typically used by transportation professionals – from those in freight management and factoring to insurance underwriters and police officers.
The Company Snapshot is only one of several resources that should be used when vetting a motor carrier. In fact, the Company Snapshot shouldn’t be used alone since there’s other important data elements to consider when vetting or hiring a carrier. These include things like Certificates of Insurance, licensing and insurance filings, carrier notes, and more.
Because the Company Snapshot doesn’t tell a complete story (particularly around interstate authority and insurance policies), it’s best to reference a variety of resources to ensure due diligence.
These include a number of different resources that provide things like:
- Verification of licensing (authority) and insurance filing by performing an MC number lookup at FMCSA’s Licensing and Insurance site.
- Certificates of Insurance which need to be issued directly from the carrier’s insurance agent and should clearly state the primary policies applicable in terms of cargo and auto insurance.
- AM Best rating on the insurance companies providing coverage which can help assure financial stability to pay claims.
- Inspection, violation and crash data available at FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System for a specific carrier and the national averages for comparison.
- Validated carrier reviews to round out the picture of marketplace behavior. There are a number of review sites that can help. For example:
- Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) Watchdog Reporting System: Members can use the TIA system to report any fraudulent activity they experienced with a carrier. Issues include things like no show and no call, canceling after accepting a load, theft, and more.
- com’s Carrier Performance Ratings (CPR): Companies like Truckstop.com offer CPR reports containing complaints, compliments, driver and vehicle inspections, and company history.
These are just a few of the resources available that should be accessed when vetting a carrier. And since compliance with state and federal regulations is critical to operating a CMV, it’s imperative companies perform a thorough and consistent job vetting carriers to make sure they aren’t putting themselves at risk.
How SaferWatch™ Can Help
Considering the time and energy that goes into vetting a carrier, as well as the number of different websites and searches that need to be accessed to adequately research each one (some with additional fees), it’s easy to see the value in a system like SaferWatch™.
SaferWatch™ eliminates the paper trails, phone calls, and web searches required to assess carrier risk. One quick search using the SaferWatch™ system will provide all the information you need to vet a new carrier simplifying the process to save you time and money. Not only that, but SaferWatch™ provides ongoing monitoring of your preferred carriers eliminating the need to manually update Certificate of Insurance data, or keep track of safety and compliance information.
The benefits of an all-in-one resource and tool like SaferWatch™ is that it makes your company more efficient by bringing all critical data elements together in one place. Adding a system like SaferWatch™ to your risk management best practices means you can increase your bottom line by doing more with less.
Contact us for a free trial!