- What is a freight broker?
A freight broker is a company that arranges for the movement of cargo by finding trucks to match to a shipper’s open shipment. They handle the whole process for their shippers, from finding trucks to scheduling deliveries. Brokers are the best link to thousands of independent trucking companies located throughout the United States and Canada.
- Why should I consider a freight broker when selecting a freight supplier?
The biggest advantage a freight broker has is they do not own any assets. If the shipper needs 5 trucks or 50 trucks a freight broker can source it, while a traditional carrier can only provide what they have available at that given moment. In addition, if a shipper needs a specific trailer type a broker can source it while a carrier is limited to only what they own. Brokers are like a utility knife, they can do just about anything that is asked of them.
- How can a fright broker compete on price with a traditional carrier?
Freight Brokers do not complete on price instead they compete on service. Price is only as good as the capacity that is behind it. If a traditional carrier’s capacity is booked when you need it then the rate they gave you is worthless. However, since a broker has the ability to source from any carrier their rate is always backed by capacity.
- There are a lot of brokers out there so how do I chose.
When choosing a freight broker, it is advisable to go with a company who is well-established and has the experience handling the type of cargo that you move. Interview your freight suppliers, ask questions, get to know them, ask for references and call their references to verify what you have been told. Do not just ask for a price and go with the lowest bidder. There are good and bad companies in any and every industry so it is important to make sure you have chose wisely when selecting your next freight supplier.
- I have always heard brokers are bad because they cannot control the drivers.
Yes a broker cannot control a driver, but neither can a traditional carrier. Most carriers use an owner operator model, which means they are independent contractors and not employees. Under this model if the driver wants to go home they will, if the driver wants to sleep in they will, if the driver just does not feel like delivering, they will and there is nothing that can prevent this from happening. However, most brokers have sophisticated software that allows us to track the bad drivers and carriers to insure we cut them off when we have had issues in the past.