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The Role of IAM within the Freight Brokerage Industry

In this, the first of a series of articles, we go into the importance of identity and access management for in the freight industry, something that has been largely neglected, and the reason why Highway exists today.

There is a lot of talk about a carrier’s Identity and the importance of “knowing” your carriers as a means of fraud prevention. True Carrier Identity, however, is not only about preventing fraud and multi-factor authentication (MFA) but about the Identity and Access Management (IAM) infrastructure that leads to robust and secure ecosystems of trade between brokers and carriers, which in turn provide fraud prevention. 

As the company to bring the term “Carrier Identity” to market, we want to define how Carrier Identity, IAM for the freight industry, relates specifically to Freight Brokers and Motor Carriers. In this, the first of a series of articles covering Carrier Identity, we go into the importance of IAM for the freight industry, something that has been largely neglected, and the reason why Highway exists today.

As it relates to moving truckload freight, we collectively decided we needed to do two things. Brokers wanted to add carriers to their respective networks faster, and they also wanted to book more loads with those carriers digitally to boost overall throughput against their given headcount. Both of these things happened without any IAM solutions to engage the basic principles of KYC (know your customer). We essentially just opened the gates and let everyone in. 

What is IAM?

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a framework of policies and technologies that ensures the right individuals have the appropriate access to resources within an organization's information technology (IT) environment. The foundations of any IAM solution are authentication, authorization, and accountability.

  • Identity: Information that uniquely describes a user and defines their access to resources.
  • Authentication: Verifies the identity of users or entities accessing a system. This often involves passwords, multi-factor authentication, or biometrics.
  • Authorization: Determines the level of access granted to authenticated users. It involves defining permissions and policies based on roles or attributes.
  • Accountability (or Auditing): Tracks and monitors user activities. It helps in understanding who accessed what resources, when, and what actions were taken.

Why IAM?

Demand for Digital 

The world around us continues to become more digital. We see this happening across every sphere of our lives, from how we order takeout to how we engage socially. In more recent years this trend toward digital exploded during the worldwide phenomenon of the COVID pandemic. Since then our normal has changed, and our expectations of our service providers have grown to include a digital experience somewhere along the user journey. So much so that we now rate companies or products based on this. We expect a smooth user experience with high levels of security being a given.

Identity is In 

Along with this drive towards cloud-based digital seamless experiences, we have seen identity become the new security perimeter for these applications and services. This has allowed for smoother sign-ups and access for users, however, it has also lead to a large increase in identity-based threats and attacks across all markets

“Identity-based attacks are the number one cybersecurity threat facing organizations today.” - Crowdstrike

Vulnerable Vectors

Focusing on the freight industry, the 600%(correct stat to be added) spike in fraud over the past two years speaks to an obvious lack of protection against these identity-based attack vectors that fraudsters are using to impersonate both carriers and brokers to steal from them. Various entities previously deemed safe have been infiltrated and data stolen/changed that had allowed an influx of fraud to occur in the freight industry. Even with this reality, there have been no service providers covering these vectors for brokers even with such a high risk-loss factor of cargo being stolen.

How does IAM impact my brokerage? 

Secures your Standards

Increased security - Aligns your business with current industry security standards

Enhances overall security by controlling access to sensitive information.

Effective Identity and Access Management is crucial for brokerages to maintain a secure and efficient carrier network and business, especially as the complexity and volume of fraud attempts increase across the industry.

Keep your Customers
“Companies with extremely strong omnichannel engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement.” - Aberdeen Group

Freight brokers have to deal with both sides of the logistics coin, with the carrier (contractor) on the one side and the shipper (customer) on the other. Building secure processes gives your customers peace of mind and trust in your brand, that their freight will get to where it needs to go, safely, increasing customer retention. Requiring transparency in how your carriers connect and interact with you clears the way for better communication and more efficient carrier workflows, allowing you to build the network of carriers you want to work with.

Power-up your Productivity 

Using the right IAM provider protects your business and gives you the tools to perform at a higher level. Automating access control to your network, allows your team to focus on your core business, thereby reducing the resources required per load covered. Correct identity management systems within your process flow lead to fewer security incidents by restricting access based on your protocols.

Strong IAM tools integrated into your business reduce the hurdles that fraud puts on your business which restrict business growth and scalability.

What then is Carrier Identity?

Carrier ID is IAM for your carrier network. Through the Carrier Identity Engine each user trying to gain access to your system is authenticated and their ability to work on behalf of the carrier they are representing is authorized before any access is granted. 

Additionally all facets of the carrier are monitored with any changes to their identity that does not meet your compliance standards, potentially unqualifying them to the access of  your loads. These user identity assessments and continuous monitoring of your carriers, partnered with a dynamic set of compliance rules builds not only a secure firewall wall around your loads but reduces noise from the carrier selection and vetting processes, streamlining processes and increasing productivity.


Identity and Access Management (Carrier Identity) is so much more than just fraud prevention. Fraud prevention comes as a by product of the right IAM system operating in and around your existing infrastructure. Effective Identity and Access Management is crucial for organizations to maintain a secure and efficient environment, especially as the complexity of systems and the volume of digital identities continue to grow. Carrier Identity is the key to the future of a secure engagement between stakeholders within a connected ecosystem built on trust and transparency.