The Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) is a two-to-four digit identification code that is used by the transportation industry to identify freight carriers in computer systems and shipping documents. SCACs are commonly used by the automobile, petroleum, forest products, and chemical industries; as well as suppliers to retail businesses, carriers engaged in railroad piggyback trailers, and ocean container drayage.
You do not need a SCAC number to operate in interstate commerce and most companies do not require a carrier to have a SCAC identification number. However, there are some companies who will not use a carrier unless they have this identification number. This is especially true of the piggyback business and I believe the automobile companies.
You need to check and see if the company you are filling out the paperwork for requires this number in order to handle their shipments. If so, and, if there is a reasonable chance they will use you, you may want to spend a little money and get a number. If so, I have added an attachment below that provides an application form that you can fill out and send in. The attachment also includes a website link where you can apply online and that is probably a better option. Its a little cheaper and probably a lot quicker. If there is an advantage to having an SCAC code I suppose it is that most smaller carriers do not have a SCAC code so there is a little less competition for the freight where the shipper requires the number and less competition can be a good thing. Bill.d
Online Application Form: Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) Online Application
Paper Application Form: Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) Application Printable Form You can view this form to see the information that is required before you apply online. It is a little more expensive if you file manually.
CAUTION, this form is from 01/03/2012 and will not reflect any price changes that may have occurred after this date.