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Are You a Freight Carrier Company Seeking to Enter Military Freight Transportation?

f you're a freight carrier looking to break into military freight transportation, there are several pathways to consider. The most straightforward method is to get on the list of a broker approved by the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) and obtain work through them. However, if you prefer to work directly with the Department of Defense (DOD) and avoid intermediaries, there are specific requirements you must meet first.

Steps to Becoming a DOD Freight Carrier

1. Obtain a Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC)The first step for any freight carrier wishing to transport DOD freight is to obtain a SCAC number. This unique two-to-four letter code is essential for your identification. The first letter of your SCAC corresponds to the first letter of your company’s name.

  • You can acquire a SCAC from the National Motor Freight Traffic Association by applying online. The fee is $68 for online applications and $78 for paper applications.

  • If you operate in multiple modes (e.g., as a motor carrier and a freight forwarder), you need separate SCACs for each operation.

2. Set Up an Electronic Payments AccountTo receive electronic payments for your transportation services, you must set up an account with U.S. Bank Freight Payments. This system helps you avoid late fees and outstanding balances.

  • Additionally, you must be certified with PowerTrack or Syncada, technologies designed to facilitate online management of transportation invoices and freight payments. Registration is free and can be completed online.

3. Fill Out the SDDC Online Registration FormYou can complete this form online in just a few minutes. Ensure all pop-up blockers are disabled to avoid any loading issues.

  • Before starting, make sure you have your SCAC and Syncada registration ready, as they are required for the registration process.

  • When filling out the form, select “GFM ITV to GTN” in the field for Electronic Data Interchange for tracking shipments.

  • The SDDC will review your application and respond within three business days.

4. Obtain a DOD Performance BondAfter completing your SDDC registration, the final step is to secure a DOD performance bond. This bond is mandated by the SDDC and is required for all freight carriers transporting military freight. The bond amount varies based on the size of your company and the number of states you serve.

By following these steps, you can position your company to handle military freight transportation and tap into this specialized niche market.


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