What Is a Truck Broker? Plus 5 Things to Keep in Mind Before Choosing One

Trucking in America is a $700 billion industry. Companies and individuals worldwide need to transport shipments daily.

Many businesses have trouble finding reputable and reliable trucking companies to work with. This is why so many businesses turn to truck brokers.

Are you interested in learning more about truck brokers and why they’re so valuable to have? If so, read on to find out more.

What Is a Truck Broker?

A truck broker can be best described as a middle-man.

When you hire a truck broker, they connect you to a carrier who transports your goods to their destination or customer. The carriers are trucking companies who need to fill their loads.

Through this, brokers help the supply chain move. They play an essential role in transporting goods fast and efficiently.

The broker also does all the heavy lifting in finding the right type of truck and company to transport it. They can go through their list of carriers to find companies that can fill the needs for the shipment.

This eliminates all of the work for you. Instead of calling around to find reputable carriers, the broker has already done it for you.

What Should I Think About Before Deciding on a Broker?

Choosing a broker is a big task. You want to find one that’s going to get your shipment delivered safely and on-time to its destination.

To do this, you should think about a few things. Here are five things to keep in the back of your mind when choosing a broker.

1. Do They Have Experience in Your Industry?

Experienced freight companies have worked with countless companies in all different industries. This can include everything from food to auto and entertainment.

Each industry can pose different challenges for a broker. It’s beneficial if they know how to deal with shipments in your industry.

One example would be transporting frozen goods. In this case, you would need to have a transport truck that can control the temperature for the cargo. You would need a refrigerated truck to transport the cargo to its destination.

For a truck broker that has many carriers and different types of trucks at their disposal, this is a much easier task than it would be for an individual.

2. Does the Broker Have Proper Licensing?

Every truck brokerage needs licensing from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Before hiring one, you should check to ensure that they are licensed.

The FMCSA sets regulations to ensure trucking and transport safety while out on the road. If the brokerage has a license, this means that they’ve qualified under the rules of the organization.

Licenses are required by law for truck brokers. So, before settling on one, this is an important question to ask.

3. What Carriers Do They Work With?

A truckload broker needs to have good relationships with many different carriers. Knowing which carriers they use can be helpful to you.

An important part of the brokerage process is vetting out carriers. It could be those that don’t follow through on promises or companies that simply aren’t reliable.

Since brokerages do this, it can give you peace of mind. But you should also ask them about their process and how they ensure that a company won’t flake on them.

Make sure that the brokerage does their due diligence, and you’ll feel confident with them.

You should also verify that the brokerage checks that the carriers have insurance. The carrier must be covered so that you’re protected if anything ever happens.

If you’ve given the details of the shipment, you can ask the broker what carrier they’re thinking of using. This allows you to do your homework on the carrier also.

The FMCSA also provides safety records for carriers through the SAFER report. It details any instances of crashes or other safety issues that have arisen for a certain company.

You can use this to help you with your decision on a truck driver broker as well.

4. Check-in on Their Financials

You may not think that financials are important when looking for a broker, but they do mean a lot.

The main thing you want to watch out for is their track record on paying bills or dues. Being the middle-man, a broker pays carriers on behalf of you. If you don’t check into their financials, you could be setting yourself up

Brokers should pay their bills and do it promptly. This will make sure that your customer gets their product, the carrier is paid and everyone is happy.

5. Ask for References or Look at Reviews

Before choosing any type of company, you probably have a look at their reviews. While all reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, they can be helpful if you start to notice trends within them.

These trends can be good or bad. If you see that a broker’s reviews often mention that the deliveries arrive late, then you might want to move on. Delivering on promises is an important thing to do.

Once you’ve found a company that looks good, you can also ask them if they can provide you with references. By talking to references, you can get an idea of how the broker works through the eyes of someone who has used them.

They’ll tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly if there’s any.

If you feel comfortable after talking with them, you’re likely in the clear with the company.

Ready to Choose the Right Broker?

You learned what a truck broker does and what you should know while choosing the right one. It’s important to choose one that can meet all your needs. You want to form a long-term relationship with the company.

At Patriot Freight Group, we specialize in truck brokerage across the United States, Alaska, and Canada. If you have a shipment, we’ll get it there safely and on time.

Ready to work with us? Contact us to find out how we can make your shipments work for you!