Are you a carrier looking for a way to find more loads and increase your profits? If so, it may be time to work with a freight broker and let them handle the task for you. Due to the high-level assistance they provide for shippers and carriers, top freight brokers are in demand. The following article will show you how to find quality freight brokers so you can free up time to focus on more important facets of your business.
What Role Does a Freight Broker Play in Transportation?
Freight brokers are facilitators for shippers and carriers. They find drivers to carry loads for shippers in need by handling the communication for both sides. These trucking brokers collect a small fee to ensure the transaction is seamless, secure, and arrives on time.
Who Does a Freight Broker Negotiate Rates For?
A freight broker negotiates rates with carriers on behalf of shippers and handle the routing and tracking of freight. Working with a freight broker to optimize routes and cut back on deadhead miles that decrease your profits. Experienced brokers ensure carriers can maximize their earnings.
Using their knowledge to find new leads and high-paying loads for carriers which helps them keep their trucks on the road. Whether you’re a carrier who specializes in hauling refrigerated, drayage, or hazardous materials, a freight broker can connect you with shippers that require your particular services.
It’s time-consuming for carriers to handle the tedious tasks required to maintain the relationship with shippers. Fortunately, freight brokers can take over that aspect of the business as carriers focus on the daily operations and look for ways to expand their company’s reach.
7 Crucial Steps When Selecting a Quality Freight Broker
Now that you know what trucking brokers do let’s figure out how to find quality freight brokers. Here are the seven steps on how to find a broker.
Step 1: Check FMCSA Data
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a website, and it is the first place you should go when looking for freight brokers. The FMCSA holds updated data on freight brokers and whether they are licensed and insured. If either of these items is expired or the documents are not organized properly. In that case, it can cause major delays and lead to fines or other punishable violations that may harm your reputation. If the broker cannot produce the proper documentation to prove licensure and insurance, do not risk your business by working with them – find another broker.
Step 2: Communication Is a Priority
As with any successful partnership, communication is key. If you want to know how to find a quality freight broker, ask them for a clear and concise picture of the entire process from start to finish. The top freight brokers will detail the steps of their process, which will include how they keep you informed of unpredictable circumstances that could delay your delivery time. That includes bad weather, heavy traffic, road construction, and more. Quality brokers give you all the information you need as a carrier to get the load from point A to B with minimal surprises.
Step 3: Run a Credit Check
As with most industries, you can find shady characters in the world of trucking. This is why you should always run a credit check on potential trucking brokers before signing a contract to work with them. Ensuring they have a good financial standing makes it less likely that you’ll be stiffed or paid slowly by the broker. Check how many days it takes them to pay carriers and if they have any defaults on their record.
Step 4: Work With Experienced Brokers
Experienced freight brokers have established relationships with shippers that serve as a benefit to carriers. Shippers already trust them to choose safe and reliable carriers, so the broker will have access to several companies you can service. You can also rest assured that you’re secure and receiving the best rates when choosing an experienced broker.
Step 5: Check for Consistent Loads
Carrying loads is how you earn a living, and when work is inconsistent, you can find yourself under a lot of pressure to locate a reliable source. Freight brokers offer that dependability you need as a carrier. Brokers can make sure you have a steady influx of loads from various shippers. They can also offer you more lanes, so be upfront about your schedule and acceptable workload, so they can trust that you’ll be a valuable member of their carrier team.
Step 6: Check Reviews
Reviews will give you insight into how a broker does business. You want to know how they handle mistakes or miscommunications. Are they professional in their dealings, or is their management sloppy? Network with carriers and employees who have previously worked with them to get a well-rounded picture of the broker. Has the carrier been in the news lately? If so, look into why. Don’t forget to check online forums, as they can also be a wealth of information.
Step 7: Compare Rates
A quality broker will be upfront with their pricing and have a freight broker rate sheet for you to view and compare. If a broker just wants to tell their rates, don’t take their word for it, Use other sources to keep yourself updated on the current rates offered on the market. That way, you can ensure your broker gives you the best freight rates. And don’t just stick to one source for verification; use a variety to understand the market and locate higher-paying freight accurately.
Freight Brokers Can Increase Your Bottom Line
Utilizing freight brokers is a great way to grow your business and profits. An experienced broker knows how to negotiate and find loads that are a perfect fit for your specialties. They take a lot of time-consuming work off of the table so you can dive into other aspects of improving your business. Following the seven steps listed above will ensure you find the best broker for you and your company.
Carriers find brokers by searching broker load boards and researching their history.
Check the FMCSA website for the broker’s information and pay attention to information shared in forums by carriers who have worked with them.
The best freight broker constantly finds loads and communicates consistently with both the carrier and shipper.