Do you currently work with a freight broker to find loads? Many carriers find freight brokers to be an indispensable part of their business plan. Independent carriers, in particular, benefit from developing relationships with brokers who help them find consistent loads, including dedicated freight. So what exactly is a freight broker?
Freight brokers are essentially the matchmakers of the trucking industry. They work directly with shippers and carriers. Shippers appreciate brokers because they find reliable carriers to transport freight, and carriers value brokers for providing consistent leads.
In the freight transportation industry, freight brokers can be a useful time-saver for carriers because working with a brokerage means they don’t have to spend time searching for their own loads. If you don’t have a lot of practice finding loads on your own, a freight broker saves you time and allows you to focus on other parts of operating your business.
When a carrier understands all of the ins and outs of using a freight broker, it becomes easier to make decisions that increase your overall profitability.
Even if you decide to “go it alone” and find your loads independently, it is worth exploring how working with a broker can help support and expand your business. It’s important to diversify your freight sources, and you may want to enlist the help of a broker in the future to do so.
Benefits of Working with a Freight Broker
As an independent carrier, time is money. The time you spend scouring load boards and cold-calling shippers is time you could spend moving freight and turning a profit. Enter freight brokers. What do freight brokers do? They handle the time-consuming legwork that goes into finding freight, making them a valuable asset for carriers.
Even though freight brokers aren’t the owners of shipping-related assets, such as their own fleet, they play an important role in freight transport. In fact, some manufacturers, wholesalers, and other companies that need to ship products exclusively use freight brokers for all of their transportation management needs.
That means independent carriers, which make up 95% of the trucks on the road, can benefit from brokers, especially those who can provide them access to load boards that feature freight from large companies with significant shipping needs.
You don’t want to waste time sorting through load listings that don’t suit your operation. When you work with a broker, they learn what types of loads you are interested in and offer you hauls that meet your specifications.
And while finding a great load is one thing, to keep your business operational and profitable, you need to find the right loads consistently. One of the biggest benefits of working with a broker is they help provide consistent leads. If you develop a great working relationship with a broker, they can connect you with ideal loads and even dedicated freight. They can be a mouthpiece for carriers when it comes to bidding on lanes.
It can be overwhelming to keep tabs on going freight rates. Because brokers spend day in and day out working with both shippers and carriers, they know what rates to ask for when they commit to freight. Having extensive negotiating experience and familiarity with current freight rates means brokers are able to push for the best rates possible.
So, to answer the question “what do freight brokers do?” freight brokers handle the logistics so you can focus on getting the job done. Prefer not to haggle over rates with shippers, or are still working on your negotiating skills? Brokers have you covered. Not sure how to balance finding freight while delivering your current load? Brokers have you covered. Worried about fielding calls or deciphering load information? Brokers have you covered. Need a reliable and consistent freight source who knows what your load preferences are? Want a chance to move freight for a larger shipper you may not have access to on your own? You guessed it -- brokers have you covered.
What to Consider When Working With a Broker
If you are considering taking the next steps in the industry by becoming an independent carrier, you will need to decide if using a broker is the best choice for you and your business.
If you’re thinking about working with a broker, there are some things you should keep in mind. You need to make sure you find a trustworthy and reputable broker. Unfortunately, not all brokers are created equal, and you need to find a good broker who will act in your best interest.
A shipper will pay a broker to commit to their freight, and in turn, the broker will find and pay a carrier to transport it. A good broker will ensure their carriers are paid a fair portion of the overall rate and will be upfront about any additional fees that may come with their service.
Our advice is to work with qualified brokers who have a great track record of job performance and excellent customer service. Choose a brokerage that is responsive to your needs, and it can do wonders for your business.
Learn More About Acquiring Freight Contracts
You will learn what makes a good freight broker, how to recognize a qualified broker, and why so many carriers use brokers. Xpress Technologies cares about innovation, entrepreneurship, partnerships, and problem-solving. Our job is to provide carriers with the information and support your need to drive stability and profitability in your business. Understanding the world of freight brokerage is one of the first steps in building a successful career as a carrier.