Many things are done by cartage agents. For example, if a freight shipment arrived at the main carrier hub in Denver but that carrier was unable to make the delivery that night or could not deliver to a job site a cartage agent could then pick it up and take it the last mile.
A Cartage agent will also use all of their own paper work. As an actual carrier they will create the paper work and track all shipments themselves. Then they will deliver the shipment.
Good agents will be well versed in the laws and regulations of trucking in their area. They will also know customs brokers and work with them closely. They may even act as there own customs broker for importing and exporting.
In the world of small packages it is interesting to note that the three big competitors in the United States all use each other very frequently. If you are sending an overnight document and choose to use the United States Postal Service your package will actually be flow on a FedEx plane.
Agents work together like the three large parcel carriers. They all operate in their specified areas and use each other when needed to make the delivery. All freight movers rely on other carriers from time to time to extend their own area of coverage.
The USPS reaches every address in the US every day and has the largest fleet of alternative fuel vehicles. Inversely The USPS carries packages for both UPS and FedEx to areas where UPS and FedEx do not reach. So, FedEx and UPS are two of Postal Services' largest customers. And USPS is one of FedEx's largest customers.
YRC defines a Cartage agent as "a carrier who performs pickup or delivery in areas that YRC does not serve." Many Freight movers can perform this service if needed.
If you need to use a cartage agent you will need to call our office instead of using our online freight quotes system. Some logistics companies have associations with Cartage agents in every major city in the US.