There are several ways for a boat owner or boat manufacturer to minimize risk when selecting a transporter to ship a boat or yacht. Don't assume that all methods of transporting your boat will be legal & safe or that your boat will be properly insured. CMTBoats wants to help you to minimize the risks & problems of your boat or yacht move by providing the following information for your use.

Whether you do business direct with a motor carrier, go through a broker, freight forwarder, logistics company or on-line auction/market service, make sure the company you hire to move your boat has proper operating authority, is adequately bonded & insured, & is a sound & reputable company. Types of companies that transport or arrange for the transportation of boats

  • Common Carrier:a person or company that provides transportation of cargo or passengers for compensation.

  • Contract Carrier:Motor carrier that provides for-hire truck transportation to specific, individual shippers, based on contracts.  

  • Private Carrier:Motor carrier that provides transportation of property or passengers, by commercial motor vehicle, & is not a for-hire motor carrier. 

  • Broker:A person who, for compensation, arranges, or offers to arrange the transportation of property utilizing authorized for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. Brokers never take possession of the cargo 

  • Freight Forwarder:A person holding itself out to the general public to provide transportation of property for compensation. Freight forwarders assumes responsibility for transportation from place of receipt to destination.

  • Logistics Company:There isn't a legal or official definition of a logistics company & many companies call themselves logistics companies today.  They can be anything from a warehouse/distribution facility, a motor carrier, a freight forwarder, a broker, a shipper's agent, a consultant, or some combination of these functions. 

  • Online Boat Transport Marketplace:  Most of these are websites that consider their operation to be a venue where shippers & transporters can meet & enter into agreements. Most are not involved in the actual transaction between shippers & transporters & they assume no resposibility for the transaction or shipment.

Read more about types of boat transport companies


Interstate Commerce:Trade, traffic, or transportation involving the crossing of a state boundary. Either the vehicle, its passengers, or cargo must cross a state boundary, or there must be the intent to cross a State boundary to be considered an interstate carrier.

Intrastate CommerceTrade, traffic, or transportation within a single State.If the operations include interstate commerce, the carrier must comply with the applicable Federal safety regulations & Operating Authority rules, in addition to State & local requirements.

IRP & IFTA: An interstate carrier must be registered in the State of operation to operate in interstate commerce to ensure that the vehicle is properly registered for purposes of the International Registration Plan (IRP), & International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). The base State will help by collecting the appropriate fees & distributing a portion of those fees to the other States in which the commercial motor vehicles are operated.

DOT & FMCSA: Commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating (whichever is greater) of 10,001 lb or more operating in interstate commerce must comply with the applicable U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) safety regulations concerning: CDL, controlled substances & alcohol testing. For all persons required to possess a CDL, driver qualifications (including medical exams); driving of commercial motor vehicles; parts & accessories necessary for safe operations; hours of service; & inspection, repair & maintenance are required.


To determine if a company has interstate Operating Authority (active MC Number) the information can be obtained on the FMCSA web site, DOT/FMCSA SAFER SYSTEM Company Snapshot. Enter either the USDOT Number, MC/MX Number, or Name of Company & search. If the entry is valid a Company Snapshot page for that company will come up containing some basic information concerning the company. To view the authority or insurance status, go to the top right section of the page, click on Licensing & Insurance & from that page click on the HTML report tab & a full report on the company operating authority & insurance will be displayed, along with links to other authority & insurance reports.

If a company is a broker only, & does not have carrier operating authority, they are not assigned a US DOT number, & may not show up on the Company Snapshot page. You can verify broker legal & bond status by going to the FMCSA Search Site DOT/FMCSA SAFER SYSTEM, & enter either the Docket Number/MC Number, the company legal name & state, or the company DBA name &state. If the entry is valid, a Company Snapshot page for that company will come up containing some basic information concerning the company. Broker Authority & bond information can be found by following the tabs as was done to search a carriers information.

If you have problems with the website or problems finding a company you can call the FMCSA toll free number at 800-832-5660 or FMCSA status line at 202-366-9805 between the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM eastern standard time.

Authority & Insurance Information for Carthage Marine Transport on the  DOT/FMCSA SAFER SYSTEM.   












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