What Does a Freight Broker Do?
Maybe you’ve heard of freight brokers, but do you know what they really do? While the basic idea is simple, there’s a lot on a freight brokers plate, a lot of responsibilities they take on to provide value to both the shippers and carriers they work with.
They Sell Loads
Shippers come to freight brokers with loads they need hauled. The brokers collect all the pertinent details on those loads including type of freight, weight, case count, required equipment, where it’s coming from and where it’s going, regulatory information, and other information carriers might need to decide if it’s a load they want to haul.
They Handle Carrier Contact
Once a carrier has accepted a load, brokers deal with all the communication with the carrier. They dispatch the load, check with the carrier to ensure the driver and equipment is meets expectations (i.e., driver is licensed, trailer is equipped to handle the load’s weight). They provide the driver with all the information they need to deliver the load, record the driver’s time of arrival at the pick-up point, and track the load either by GPS or driver contact. They collect paperwork from the carrier as well, which allows them to bill the shipper.
They Build Connections
One of the most valuable things that freight agents are able to offer their customers are their connections. Networking is critical in this business. Brokers need reliable carriers they can turn to, and they need to have enough of a connection to be able to broker deals that save shippers money, provide value to carriers, and have a little left over for themselves.
Shippers turn to freight brokers because of their connections, so cultivating relationships with carriers and drivers is very important for brokers. Their wider net and vast experience in finding the right carrier for the job mean that it’s easier for a freight broker to cover a load with a reliable carrier than it is for the average shipper to do the same.
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