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How to Locate Your SCAC Number

Updated March 23, 2017

The Standard Carrier Alpha Code---also known as an SCAC number---is composed of two, three or four letters to uniquely identify freight and transport carriers with shippers, brokers and customs and regulatory agencies, according to the National Motor Freight Traffic Association, the trade group that oversees SCAC. Transport Training International notes that most businesses will not work with a transport carrier without an SCAC number. There are three steps to finding your SCAC number.

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  1. Look on confirmation documents. Approximately one to two weeks after you applied for a SCAC number, you should have received a confirmation letter with your SCAC number. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association notes that if you applied for your SCAC through its website, you should have received a confirmation by e-mail instead of a paper letter.

  2. Search shipping or moving documents. Because the SCAC number is a unique identifier for freight carriers, shippers use the number on a variety of shipping and billing documents. Bills of lading, purchase orders, packing lists and freight bills all feature your SCAC number; if you used a freight carrier for a move, all moving paperwork should include your SCAC. Check any of these documents for your SCAC number; it usually appears at the top of these documents.

  3. Check with NMFTA or transport regulatory agencies. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association maintains the master directory of SCAC numbers; if you cannot locate yours, call the association (703-838-1810) for assistance. You may also contact customs or other regulatory agencies to find your SCAC number, since you must register your SCAC number with these organisations before transporting or shipping goods. Note that if you are trying to find someone else's SCAC number, NMFTA provides a searchable directory in print and online for a fee.

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About the Author

Matt Browning has been writing about health, science, food and travel since 1990. His career has spanned advocacy, medical communications and public relations and his stories have won awards from the Virginia Press Association. Browning earned a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from the University of Virginia.

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