The shipping industry keeps America going. Every year, it moves close to 12 billion tons of shipments.
As a shipper, you know how important this industry is. However, you may need help arranging proper transportation for all of your shipments. It’s difficult to manage without contracting outside help.
Truck brokers can help streamline your logistics. This in-demand service is responsible for managing tons of shipments every year. They’ll help you get your cargo where it needs to go.
Read on to learn what truck brokers do and how working with one adds value to your business.
What is a Truck Broker?
Truck brokers, also called freight brokers, help shippers who have ready-to-ship cargo find a qualified carrier. They act as a liaison between these two parties.
Truck brokers have an extensive list of contacts and can quickly find a worthy carrier for all types of goods. They also have access to industry-specific job boards which allows them to instantly match a cargo load with a carrier.
Both carriers and shippers benefit from the existence of truck brokers. They serve a key role in logistics optimization by moving a shipper’s cargo quickly and helping carriers maximize their truck loads.
The role of a truck broker isn’t a new development. They’ve been around since the earliest days of cargo truck shipping. In the 1970s, the U.S. government relaxed restrictions governing truck brokers and the field exploded in popularity.
What Will a Truck Broker Do?
A truck broker’s services are incredibly versatile. You might already have shipping contracts with various haulers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of working with a truck broker.
Reduces Shipping Costs
The biggest perk of contracting a truck broker is having access to their extensive network of carriers. With so many carrier options, finding the best price is incredibly easy. You likely won’t have the connections a respected truck broker has, so you’ll find it much more difficult to secure these highly competitive rates on your own.
Makes Shipping Easily Scalable
Working with a truck broker makes scalability a breeze. Every business experiences highs and lows throughout the year. With a broker, you won’t have to worry about losing money on shipping deals during lulls in business.
Your broker can simply arrange for the shipping services you need.
Gives You Less To Worry About
Dealing with a truck broker takes a significant amount of responsibility off of your plate. They are essentially your own shipping department.
If you arrange for carrier services yourself, you’ll have to stay on top of rate changes, insurance, and licensing information. You might even need to hire a team to manage all of this.
With a broker, everything is handled for you. This allows you to spend more time attending to more pressing aspects of running your business.
Provides Flexible Shipping Solutions
Thanks to the broker’s large network of carrier contacts, you’ll have more options than ever for shipping all kinds of cargo as quickly as possible.
If you have specific freight, like liquid or dry bulk, that requires a certain mode of transportation, your broker will be able to find that easily. You would likely spend an unreasonable amount of time searching for the ideal carrier if you tried to do it on your own.
How to Find a Truck Broker
When you’re looking for a truck broker, you’ll have all kinds of options from small outfits to large conglomerates. How can you be sure a certain broker is right for you? There are a few key things to consider.
Only Partner with Licensed and Insured Brokers
You need to be sure that your cargo is in capable hands, so whatever broker you do business with needs to carry the proper credentials. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides a quick and easy way to verify licensing and insurance. Simply head to their website and research your prospective broker.
Ensure They Offer the Services You Need
If a broker isn’t able to provide the shipping services your business requires, they are of little use to you. It’s your responsibility to work this out before you get into a business with a particular broker.
For instance, if you’re looking at a traditional brokerage, they might not be able to guarantee you space on a truck because they don’t actually own any trucks of their own. You might be more comfortable working with an asset-based brokerage.
Similarly, if some of your cargo needs to be shipped on something like a flatbed truck, make sure that the broker has a contact that can assist you.
Read Broker Load Boards
Load boards are an important resource for truck brokers. The boards allow them to find both shippers and carriers looking for business.
You can use these boards to your benefit. Some are even free to join.
Past associates can leave reviews of broker’s services, providing you with valuable first-hand information. It’s also another way to verify license and insurance credentials, as many of these boards require brokers to provide that information.
Run a Credit Check
Insurance isn’t the only thing you need to verify before partnering with a broker. You should also investigate a broker’s credit as much as you are legally allowed. It’s imperative that your broker is in good financial standing.
This can save you plenty of time and headaches in the future. You don’t want to be in business with a broker that struggles to pay money owed to clients or can’t cover for a mistake.
Truck Brokers are a Valuable Asset
Truck brokers serve as middlemen between shippers and carriers. They can help shippers save time and money by using their large network of carrier contacts to find competitive shipping rates. The best brokers are also able to find ideal modes of transportation for certain types of cargo.
Finding a broker isn’t always easy, and it’s imperative that you’re thorough while you look. Look for a licensed and insured broker that can provide the shipping solutions you need.
Ready to get your goods on the road? Patriot Freight Group has what you’re looking for. Contact us to see how we can help.