Freight Trucking Companies: Company Snapshot Data FAQs From an Industry Insider

The FMCSA’s Company Snapshot data serves a pivotal role within the freight trucking industry. This invaluable resource aids stakeholders in comprehending the operational aspects of a carrier, influencing decision-making processes. The Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) maintains this snapshot data, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information for the industry. But what do the individual Snapshot data fields mean? Let’s take a closer look.

Trucks on the road, snapshot data

Key Snapshot Data Fields Explained

SAFER Company Snapshot data captures a carrier’s operational status at a specific moment. It contains critical details such as contact details, physical location, identification numbers, type of operation, inspection summary, crash summary, and safety rating. Also included is the type of cargo that the entity suggests they carry. Each element, managed by FMCSA information systems, provides insights into the carrier’s operations, compliance, and performance.

Legal Name

Legal name is the full legal business name used to officially incorporate, register with the Secretary of State, and file tax returns. This Snapshot data ensures accurate carrier identification, fostering trust and transparency between industry players. 

DBA Name

The “doing business as” (DBA) name is their trade name, and enhances the carrier’s recognizability. It helps establish brand identity and reputation in the market.

Physical Address

The physical address is the legal location where the main business is located. This is described as the address where the safety records will be kept, and where the FMCSA will visit for on-site safety audits, and compliance reviews. As such, the physical address can not be a PO Box. Physical address plays a vital role in capturing SAFER web Snapshot data. Brokers and shippers will leverage physical address for logistics planning, to source carrier capacity, and verify identity with other contact details


The phone number as listed on Company Snapshot is the company phone number for their main place of business. If this is not the case, brokers and shippers may have cause for concern as the company has not followed the guidelines required on form MCS-150.

Mailing Address

The mailing address field covers correspondence, documentation, communication, and contact with the FMCSA.  This address can be a PO Box. 

USDOT Number

The USDOT number, also called the census number, is assigned sequentially for new applicants by MCMIS, and is a unique identifier for each census record. Entities should have only one USDOT number.

State Carrier ID

The state-assigned carrier ID number is vital for intrastate carriers to aid private fleets and tractor-trailers in maintaining compliance.

MC/MX/FF Number(s)

The MC/MX/FF number, issued by the FMCSA and visible in the FMCSA Snapshot identifies carriers involved in interstate operations, ensuring appropriate oversight and regulation.

DUNS Number

The DUNS number, a corporate registration number issued by Dun & Bradstreet, enhances the carrier’s credibility and recognition in the corporate world.

Entity Type

The entity type field identifies the operation type, distinguishing between carriers, hazardous materials shippers, or a combination of both, and registrants.

Carrier Operations

This field highlights the carrier’s engagement in interstate, intrastate hazardous material, or intrastate non-hazardous material transport activities, providing a clear picture of the operations.

Shipper Operations

This field identifies the shipper’s engagement in interstate or intrastate hazardous material shipping activities, offering insights into the shipper’s specializations.

Operation Classification

This field is an indication of the type or types of business the company engages in, and what FMCSA regulations the company must comply with.

  • Authorized for Hire means a motor carrier who receives compensation for transporting FMCSA-regulated goods, household goods owned by others, or passengers. As the classification suggests, you can hire this type of carrier.
  • Exempt for Hire means a carrier who receives compensation for moving only exempt goods (not regulated by FMCSA). A definition of commodities that are exempt would include unprocessed or unmanufactured goods, fruits and vegetables, ag commodities and livestock, and other items of little or no value.
  • Private Property is just that. The commercial vehicles transport their own cargo and are not for hire to others outside of their business.
  • Private Passenger Business is a for-profit company that provides interstate transportation of passengers.
  • Private Passenger Non-business is a not-for-profit company that uses a commercial vehicle to provide transportation of passengers…specifically, the transportation service is not offered to the general public. (example: not-for-profit youth center with a bus used to transport youth on field trips)
  • Migrant is interstate transportation of three or more migrant workers to or from their employment using any vehicle other than a passenger automobile or station wagon.
  • US Mail is the transportation of US mail under contract with the US Postal Service.
  • Federal, State, Local Government, or Indian Tribe is transportation of property or passengers by that entity.


Power Units

Power Units is the combined number of all commercial vehicles owned, term, or trip leased by the motor carrier, offering insights into the carrier’s fleet capacity. This number includes trucks, tractors, tank trucks, motor coaches, school buses, mini-bus, vans, and limousines.


This provides the total number of all drivers employed by the carrier/shipper, indicating the human resource capacity of the entity.

MCS-150 Form Date

The MCS-150 form date field indicates the date of submission of the MCS-150 Registration Form through the FMCSA portal. Entities are required to update their MCS-150 every two years, to help ensure the FMCSA has accurate information towards their Safety Measurement System (SMS). Out-of-date MCS-150 forms can be an indication of business management issues and out-of-service orders based on carrier VMT outdated.

MCS-150 Form Mileage

The MCS-150 form mileage field presents the total company vehicle miles traveled (mileage) recorded for the previous fiscal year, providing insights into the carrier’s operational range. This mileage data is used by FMCSA in their Safety Measurement System (SMS). Failure to update this field results in a carrier VMT Outdated designation.

Cargo Carried

This identifies the type of cargo transported, offering insights into the carrier’s specialization and capabilities. Carriers are not required to specify the exact equipment types they own so this data can be used to infer equipment type.


This table provides a breakdown of roadside inspections conducted within the past two years. Inspections can range from a complete inspection to a driver or vehicle only focused. The table shows how many of the inspections resulted in an Out of Service (OOS) violation, and how the carrier’s OOS percentage compares with the national average. The Inspection Table clearly shows the carrier’s compliance with safety regulations and is used to gauge how the company operates on the road.  The inspections table is accompanied by the reportable crashes table.  


The crash table records and categorizes reportable crashes, including fatal, injury, and tow categories, giving insights into the carrier’s safety record.

Carrier Safety Rating

This company safety profiles field reflects compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), including safety ratings and compliance status determination. Carrier Safety Rating codes are Satisfactory, Conditional, and Unsatisfactory. Most carriers have no rating code, which simply means they have not been prioritized for a full safety or compliance review at their place of business.

Operating Status

This provides the current status for operating under the given USDOT number. Operating statuses include out-of-service, inactive USDOT number, authorized for passenger/property/HHG (authorized for interstate commerce with active MC number), non-authorized (not authorized for interstate commerce with inactive MC number), and active (carrier has their USDOT number, does not have an MC number, and is generally intrastate). Operating Status is an important field to round out the profile for carrier monitoring.

Get Easier Access to Company Snapshot Data with Carrier Details

Knowing the specifics of the SAFER Company Snapshot data fields is essential to understanding trucking authority. Carrier Details provides this data en masse which significantly enhances decision-making processes by enabling technology with a foundational repository of the most updated FMCSA source data. Carrier Details is the trusted expert in managing and distributing FMCSA source data. Every USDOT and MC number, every detail, with data feeds that are dependable and reliable. Contact Carrier Details today for more information.

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