top of page

Decipher the SCAC Code: Unlock the Next Level of Your Trucking Game

In the intricate realm of logistics and freight transportation, attention to detail can make all the difference. Among the many details lies the SCAC code (Standard Carrier Alpha Code), an essential tool for trucking companies and freight brokers. In this blog post, we'll decipher the code, explore why they are indispensable for logistics businesses, and guide you through the application process. Get ready to unlock the value of the SCAC code and streamline your trucking operations!


What is a SCAC Code?

The SCAC code, developed by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), is a unique two-to-four-letter identifier assigned to transportation companies and freight brokers. It serves as a shorthand representation of your company's identity in the logistics world.


For example, Maersk’s SCAC code is MAEU and Soshaul Logistics’ SCAC Code is SHLG.


A SCAC code is required when doing business with all U.S. government agencies as well as many commercial shippers. This includes but is not limited to, shippers in the automotive, petroleum, and chemical industries as well as suppliers to retail businesses and carriers engaged in intermodal services such as ocean container drayage.


Why Do Trucking Companies and Freight Brokers Need a SCAC Code?

  1. Efficient Documentation: The primary reason for obtaining a SCAC code is to streamline documentation. Rather than using lengthy company names, the SCAC code provides a concise, universally recognized identifier. This simplifies paperwork and saves time when completing transportation documents, making your operations more efficient.

  2. Accurate Communication: Effective communication is the key to success in the logistics industry. Having a SCAC code helps ensure accurate and precise interactions with other industry stakeholders. By using the code, you can eliminate misunderstandings or confusion, facilitating seamless information exchange. Consider it your secret handshake in the world of logistics!

  3. Enhanced Credibility: Trust and credibility are essential in the transportation business. When you possess a SCAC code, it signifies that your company has met specific requirements and industry standards. This badge of legitimacy enhances your credibility in the eyes of customers, partners, and regulatory bodies. It demonstrates that you're a reliable and professional player in the logistics arena. It also makes it easier to pass through customs!

How to Apply for a SCAC Code

Now that you recognize the value of a SCAC code, let's uncover the process of obtaining one.

  1. Gather Required Information: Start by collecting all the necessary information for your application. You'll need details such as your company name, address, contact information, and business type.

  2. Visit the NMFTA Website: The NMFTA is the official governing body responsible for SCAC code assignments. Visit their website and navigate to the SCAC code application section. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines and requirements outlined on their platform.

  3. Complete the Application: The NMFTA typically offers an online application form for SCAC code requests. Carefully fill in the required information, ensuring its accuracy. Attention to detail is vital to ensure your code is assigned correctly.

  4. Submit the Application Fee: The NMFTA charges a processing fee for SCAC code applications. Review the current fee structure on their website and make the payment using the designated methods specified by the NMFTA. Keep a record of the payment confirmation for your records.

  5. Receive Confirmation: Once you've submitted your application and payment, you should instantly receive confirmation from the NMFTA. You'll receive your unique SCAC code along with any additional instructions or pertinent information.

  6. Update Your Records: When you receive your SCAC code, it's time to update your company's records and systems accordingly. Make the necessary changes to your transportation documents, invoices, contracts, and any other relevant platforms to incorporate your SCAC code.

  7. Renew Your SCAC: Your SCAC code is valid through July 1 of the year following the year of assignment and it must be renewed annually thereafter. Renewal is roughly $100 per year (subject to change).

Remember to gather all the necessary information, visit the NMFTA website for guidance, complete the online application accurately, submit the required fee, and receive your SCAC code. Once you receive your SCAC code, update your records and systems to incorporate this unique identifier into your operations.


As you embark on your logistics journey, unlock the value of the SCAC code to streamline documentation, communicate effectively, and establish your credibility in the industry. Let it be the key that unlocks success and sets your trucking operations on a path to excellence.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on general knowledge and practices at the time of writing. It is advisable to refer to the latest guidelines and requirements provided by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) when applying for a SCAC code.


There are two major choices when it comes to starting your professional driving career – starting your own trucking business or working as a company driver. There are multiple ways to start your trucking business with different levels of investment, risk, pay, and support. It should be clear by now that it takes a definitive plan. If you feel drawn to the idea of starting your own trucking business, and if you feel you have the inner drive to drive, Soshaul can help! Please check out our free and for-purchase resources, templates, and in-depth courses available on our website.


Ready to START, DRIVE, & ACCELERATE your trucking business? Check out our course here!



Interested in being notified when more free resources are available? Subscribe down below and you'll be the first to know!

Soshaul Logistics LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. It is meant to serve as a guide and information only and Soshaul Logistics, LLC - Copyright 2023 - does not assume responsibility for any omissions, errors, or ambiguity contained herein. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or operation.

Comments


bottom of page