The first topic I will address is the section of the graphic depicting “Commonly Hauled Freight:”
The blog mentions and the infographic illustrates that furniture is the most commonly hauled good over-the-road in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, from 2005 to 2009 the revenue of trucking companies hauling both used and newly manufactured furniture equated to 16.3% of the total motor carrier revenues for that time period; hardly a staggering figure. However, other than the “other goods” category, which is more than double the figure, “new furniture and other miscellaneous manufactured goods” accounted for the greatest percentage. So although “furniture” might not account for a large percentage of the total revenues, and certainly not used furniture, it actually belongs to the category that is one of the most commonly hauled goods. Determining whether or not furniture could truly be considered the MOST commonly hauled good, one would require the knowledge of how the categories are fragmented.
So how might this prove to be slightly (unintentionally) misleading? Well, it depends on what the use of the infographic is. To expand slightly, an inexperienced sales agent or sales manager, or one new to the industry might assume that all furniture would be considered a household good (HHG); one might also be unaware that moving HHG requires a particular license. Either scenario could put his/her company in a detrimental position and might cause it to incur fines or other penalties.
The FMCSA defines HHG:
Household goods are personal items that will be used in a home. They
include items shipped from a factory or store, if purchased with the intent to use in a home, and
transported at the request of the householder who pays for the transportation charges.
Because one must possess a particular license to haul HHG, effectively shrinking the market, furniture manufacturers would not seem to be a viable business development target for trucking companies or brokers. Moving companies such as Bekins, United Van Lines, or Mayflower have an authority that allows the companies to move household goods (HHG) when households move, which consists largely of used furniture, but carriers registered with the FMCSA for a standard OP-1MC# do not possess that authority.
A general OP-1 MC# issued by the Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration gives the holder the proper authority to haul all types of construction and farm equipment, electronics, frozen and chilled food, etc. but does not provide the holder with the authority to haul HHG. However, all furniture sent through the distribution channel from manufacturer to wholesaler and on to retailers, etc are not considered HHG and would therefore be available for transport by all holders of a general OP-1.
In conclusion, an inexperienced sales manager who fails to research, relies on poor information or looks to inadequately clarified infographics for guidance might haul the HHG when he/she is not authorized, or broker the freight to an unauthorized carrier. Another person, assuming they cannot haul ANY furniture, might leave out an entire industry when creating a list of perspective customers or industries in which to develop business; an industry that, as correctly displayed by this infographic, is one of the most commonly hauled goods by trucking companies.
Have any thoughts? Questions? Freight you need to move? Send ’em all our way.