Frequently Asked Questions about eCarrierCheck data
Data makes the difference. At eCarrierCheck, our goal is to provide the highest-quality logistics dataset in the industry. Our data is carefully sourced from the FMCSA, roadside inspections/violations, info from around the web and social media, and other sources. We strive to have better data than any other option out there, including the FMCSA.
- What is Authority Monitoring and why is it important for my business?
- What is Risk Radar and how is it calculated?
- What are the Risk Radar categories and what do they mean?
- What are the metrics used to build the Risk Radar scores?
- How can I improve my company's Risk Rating?
- Where does the data come from?
- How often is the data updated?
- What processes do you use to analyze the data you collect?
- The information shown on my company seems off, how can I let you know to change it?
- What are the SMS Percentiles?
- How many carriers are on your platform?
- Do I Need a MC# to subscribe?
What is Authority Monitoring and why is it important for my business?
We monitor authority decisions every day and notify you of any changes to your carriers. This includes when a carrier’s authority is put on notice, deactivated, or transferred to a new company. This information automatically gets emailed to you if you are monitoring that specific company. And, on our website, the Authority Vetting Tile and our Risk Radar are updated every day with the most up-to-date authority information possible.
What is Risk Radar and how is it calculated?
We have developed these risk profiles by gathering feedback from our users and analyzing over 40 data points. This comprehensive approach allows us to assess a company's safety ratings and evaluate various risk factors, including the potential for fraudulent activity. Our assessment includes factors such as hiring disqualifiers, driver safety ratings, authority decisions, inspection activity, and any shared equipment or contact information with other companies.
What are the Risk Radar categories and what do they mean?
⚠️ Warning: The Risk Radar categories we provide are based on our interpretation of the sourced data, aiming to assist you in identifying promising leads within the freight industry. However, it is essential to understand that these categories are not blanket statements regarding any company's abilities or practices. They are intended to be used as a tool alongside your own due diligence when evaluating a carrier. Conducting your research and thorough investigations remain crucial in making informed decisions.
The company can be considered as hirable. They have few, if any, safety violations or crashes. We have not detected any suspicious activity on their authority, such as recent transfers, insurance drops, or refusal of audits. Their inspection activity is consistent with what we would expect of a company of that size. 55% of companies in our database meet these criteria.
The company may require a closer look. They are still considered hirable in most cases, but we've seen discrepancies to some normal business practices. Make sure to vet these carriers more closely. Pay attention to the inspection ratio, safety ratings, matching companies, and authority. 25% of companies in our database meet these criteria
Be very wary of companies with high risk ratings. These companies have seen suspicious activity regarding their operating authority. It has been granted of transferred recently or has a high amount of notices on their authority. Their inspection data may also be outside the bounds that we consider normal, especially if they have no inspections within the last 12 months. We may have found one or more companies that have the same contact information, address, phone number, email, or has been seen running the same equipment. Safe driving practices are also factored into this rating. 20% of companies in our database meet these criteria.
When carriers have one of a few common hiring disqualifiers for interstate hauling, we label the company as disqualified. For example, if they are missing active interstate operating authority (MC#), or are designated out-of-service by the FMCSA, or if their operation classification is not a hirable category. We also use this category for passenger carriers, although passenger carriers can still be hired for the purpose of transporting passengers (just not property).
What are the metrics used to build the Risk Radar scores?
Driver safety plays an important role in hiring a company. We analyze the amount and severity of vehicle accidents in the last 2 years. Also included in this section of the risk profile is the SMS data from the FMCSA. Drug and alcohol violations, hours of service, unsafe driving, vehicle maintenance, and driver fitness are all monitored and scored in this section.
Authorization for hire plays a crucial role in selecting reliable freight partners. To ensure the highest level of accuracy, we diligently track the FMCSA's authority decisions and update our database and Risk Radar on a daily basis. Additionally, we subscribe to the FMCSA's monthly data release and analyze any new information to keep our system up-to-date.
Our monitoring includes assessing authority transfers, notices of cancellation, revocations, and voluntary withdrawals. If any of these actions occur frequently, our system promptly raises a flag, and we promptly relay this important information to you.
Considering the rising incidents of fraud in the industry, we recognize the significance of assessing the recency of authority decisions. As such, eCarrierCheck takes into account the timing of the authority being granted or transferred. This information is then factored into the Risk Radar calculation to provide you with comprehensive risk analysis.
Inspections are an important part of the hiring process. You can reduce your risk of hiring a fraudulent company by 80% if the carrier you're vetting has recent inspections and they are appropriate for their fleet size. It is important to note the amount of trucks/trailers compared to inspections. If they're getting inspected too frequently or have a low number of inspections for their fleet size, there might be something else going on behind the scenes at the company. Protect yourself and your clients and scrutinize the inspection data carefully. We also analyze our database to identify known tractor and trailer combinations for the company. It is a red flag to keep getting inspected with equipment that is not known to be associated with the company.
Our profile information encompasses data from various sources, including web findings and carrier-reported details to the FMCSA. We have a robust system in place that checks for missing or incomplete data, particularly important contact information. Moreover, we conduct thorough examinations to identify any matching companies, which can help uncover hidden relationships. Even the use of a PO Box as a primary address is flagged by our system.
Understanding what carriers reveal about themselves is crucial in detecting bad actors within the freight industry. Our data analysis involves identifying companies that share primary contacts, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or equipment. By assessing these companies' Risk Radar category and the number of matching companies they have, we can expose networks of bad practices and related entities that are best avoided. We remain vigilant as bad actors constantly attempt to disguise themselves to exploit businesses and drain resources. Strategies such as using PO boxes, obtaining relatively new authorities, and omitting information from their FMCSA profile are among the tactics they employ. In this industry rife with fraud, safeguard yourself from falling victim to their schemes.
How can I improve my company's Risk Rating?
The Risk Radar Profile of a company is influenced by several major factors. These include the duration of the MC's activity, recent activity associated with the MC, the ratio of inspections to fleet size, high SMS numbers, and the presence of shared equipment or contact information. These metrics serve as indicators of increased risk when considering hiring a particular company.
To ensure a fair assessment, certain events like crashes, violations, inspections, notices, and transfers have diminishing weight on your risk rating over time, eventually falling off completely after 2 years, similar to how SMS safety scores are calculated. Additionally, any missing profile information can be updated through your MCS150 report or by ensuring that the relevant information is clearly visible on your company website (if applicable). It's worth noting that your risk rating improves as your MC remains active for a longer duration, especially after having recent DOT inspections.
Where does the data come from?
We source data directly from the FMCSA, both daily and monthly. We add to that data by using resources from violation reports, company websites, and other industry specific sources. Data is power, and we want to empower you to make the best decisions possible for your business.
How often is data updated?
Both Authority Decisions and Risk Radar are updated on a daily basis to provide real-time information. Additionally, FMCSA data is incorporated into our system through their monthly data releases. If you come across any discrepancies or have questions about the displayed data, please feel free to reach out to us directly at [email protected]. Our team is here to assist you and ensure you have accurate and up-to-date information at your fingertips.
What processes do you use to analyze the data you collect?
At eCarrierCheck, we prioritize data accuracy and employ meticulous processing to address any potential discrepancies in our extensive data set. To achieve optimal data quality, our data sanitization pipeline goes through over 30 stages of refinement. While most of this rigorous process occurs on a monthly basis, we update our authority and risk radar on a daily basis to provide you with the most up-to-date information available. Our unwavering commitment to precision ensures that you receive high-quality data you can trust.
Subscribers to our user dashboard enjoy additional data processing benefits, such as equipment classifiers, prospecting leads, company hiring indexes, and more. These features enhance your experience and assist you in making informed decisions. To explore the advantages of becoming a subscriber, demo videos are accessible at eCarrierCheck.com. We believe in empowering our users with valuable insights and the latest data to facilitate confident choices within the freight industry.
The information shown on my company seems off, how can I let you know to change it?
If you come across any information on a company that appears to be inaccurate, we encourage you to notify us promptly so we can address it. Please send an email to [email protected], providing sufficient details for us to locate and rectify the problem. Our team will verify the information using our data sources and implement the necessary changes.
In many cases, data issues are resolved naturally with the arrival of the next month's dataset. However, if requested and the information can be verified by our independent sources, we are prepared to expedite the update process by front-running the next dataset. This approach is particularly useful when ensuring that a roadside inspection is promptly credited to the correct carrier. Our aim is to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, and your input is invaluable in achieving that goal.
What are the SMS Percentiles?
The FMCSA aggregates Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores for all active motor carriers. These scores are derived from violations and then converted into percentiles based on carriers' peer groups, which consist of companies of similar sizes. This system helps identify companies that may be outliers in various categories, such as Unsafe Driving, Hours of Service, Driver Fitness, Drugs & Alcohol, and Vehicle Maintenance. Violations included in these scores have a 2-year time frame, with the most recent 6 months carrying the greatest weight in determining the score's value.
For instance, a "90% score" in the "Driver Fitness" category signifies that the company ranks worse than 90% of other carriers within its peer group concerning driver fitness violations.
However, it is relatively common, particularly for small or newer companies, to lack sufficient data in each SMS category to receive a determination. In such cases, we do not display a percentile for that specific category. Our aim is to provide meaningful and reliable safety information, while also acknowledging the varying data availability for carriers.
How many carriers are on your platform?
Do I Need a MC# to subscribe?
Our suite of software is open for subscription to anyone in the logistics industry. We are dedicated to assisting logistics professionals in accessing the data they require conveniently from a single platform. Our diverse user base includes carriers, brokers, shippers, dispatchers, factoring companies, and insurance providers, all benefiting from our comprehensive services. For further details, please visit eCarrierCheck.com.