How to Get Government Trucking Contracts

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by jojodamann, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. jojodamann

    jojodamann Bobtail Member

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    how do one go about getting government contracts. whether it is dry van, flat bed or tanker? thanks! and does it help to register as a small business with different organizations?
     
  2. 1catfish

    1catfish Road Train Member

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    from what i've read dod freight is the cheapest crap out there.:biggrin_25513:
     
  3. G/MAN

    G/MAN Road Train Member

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    There is a federal website where you can go to register. You can set yourself up as a small business with them, as I recall. You will need your authority, dot number, SCAC code and a Duns Number. It has been a while since I checked the site. You may try this website and see if it will help you www.dod.gov . It may direct you to other websites which could help you. There used to be a publication called Commerce Business Daily that listed government contracts that you can bid on. The government has been attempting to move away from individual carriers and brokers to a single source. Menlo Logistics has contracts with several depots and bases to move their freight. Since they have taken over rates have really gone down. I used to haul a fair amount of military freight. With the cheaper rates on most of what we can haul for them, I rarely haul anything for them. As I recall, you will need to post a bond in order to do business directly with the federal government. The amount of bond is dependent on how many states in which you want to be set up to do business. I believe the bond is $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000. This is from memory. They could have made changes since I last checked with them. A small carrier can add more states than a large carrier due to the size of the company. It can be a hassle to get set up with them. There are some brokers who only do DOD freight.
     
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  4. FLATBED

    FLATBED Road Train Member

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    And if you get a contract or 2 , KEEP QUIET about it on the CB and INTERNET. Al;ways someone wanting to WEAZLE in on the few good ones that are available
     
  5. BigBadBill

    BigBadBill Bullishly Optimistic

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    I didn't even have to do a bond. Was doing a load for a broker from Indy to Springfield, IL for National Gaurd. Broker didn't pass thru FSC and lost the account. Person felt bad for me and asked my rate. 10 RT light loads. I figured I could do 5 of them. She aksed other driver picking up load if he could do the other 5 at my rate. Rather than say yes, he cut the rate by 50%. She just walked away shaking her head and said "I didn't ask him if he could beat the rate just if he could do it."
     
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  6. Hardlyevr

    Hardlyevr Road Train Member

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    If you are hauling Government stuff, be prepared to go thru some more/extra scrutiny, both before you can haul it, and at the gate/destination where you deliver it. And if it takes extra help to unload/deliver they must be approved (ahead of time) also.
     
  7. BigJohn54

    BigJohn54 <b><font color="blue">Gone, but NEVER forgotten</f

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    G/MAN covered most of what I know based on a broadband project I've been working. Registering with the SBA helps. Then you need to register with the CCR, which is where you get a cage number. Then you need to become compliant with all the rules and regulations and consultants will emerge from the woodwork to handle this for you for a fee. There is the ORCA website or something like that. That is where you swear you are compliant.

    Based on my experience they don't have enough money to get my attention. Maybe it is not as bad in trucking. From where I sit, they are just like CRE for a driving job. If I were homeless, hungry and they were the only game in town, I'd still avoid them.

    It sounds like BBBill's experience, though in a time of need, was not nearly as painful as mine has been in Broadband as a company. Trucking has far too much regulation for me to enter into anything that would have them breathing down my neck more than they do now.

    This of course is just my opinion and I'm usually wrong. If you don't believe it ask my wife! I'm throwing in a little humor in an attempt to cover up my apparent bitterness and disappointment in dealing with the government.
     
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  8. G/MAN

    G/MAN Road Train Member

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    You have to wonder about some of these carriers and owner operators, BigBadBill.

    It is whomever has the contract who must have the bond. You can haul freight through a third party logistics company or broker and not have to deal with the bond. If you go direct then they require a performance bond, or did. I was approached by one base to do a move for them, but didn't have the time that I could do the move. I don't believe that they would have required the bond. It seems wasteful to have to go to the expense of having a performance bond when we have cargo insurance. Don't be surprised if you have several hands that touch the money before it gets to the truck. Although they are not supposed to double broker government loads I have seen it happen on a number of occasions. I remember one several years ago where I was paid $3,000 for the load, which paid me about $2/mile. The first broker received $5,400. I don't know what the second broker got out of the deal. Most government bol's have the rate listed. I don't believe that it is on loads that are moved by Menlo Logistics.
     
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  9. jojodamann

    jojodamann Bobtail Member

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    Thanks everyone.. I am leased on to a company right now and would like to get my own authority in a few months I need to save a lil cash. I am just doing research as to what will benefit me the most. I am also inquiring about car hauling and contracting directly with a corporation.. Like Chrysler or Ford or whoever . I still have about 6-9 months before I make my move but I am researching now to find a good outfit. Thanks for the feedback!
     
  10. BigBadBill

    BigBadBill Bullishly Optimistic

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    When looking at any federal government bid/contract process you have normal process and rules and then you have some flexibility that the local coordinator can take advantage of if they can justify it. In my case, because the person that had won the bid was violating rules (not passing FSC to the carrier) they lost the contract. I know my rate was more than what the broker bid it for but not by much.
    Not sure that I would spend the time going thru a typical government bid process. You have companies that understand the process and how to maximize what they can get.
    Getting in and out of base was not an issue. What was funning was seeing 10 guys and gals ready to unload when they needed I person to pull the pallet to the back and one to drive the fork lift. Oh, and none of the 10 was qualified to drive it. But they paid in 7-days.
     
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