Eric Weisbrot – Marketing Manager

Article thanks to Eric Weisbrot, Aaron Anderson and JW Surety Bonds. Links provided:

July 2019 There are more than 17,000 licensed freight brokers working within the United States today, and that figure continues to grow as the transportation industry expands. Freight brokers provide services to shippers and carriers to help ease the process of moving loads, and this assistance takes away several of the challenges transportation professionals face each day. However, not all freight brokers have the same processes, nor do they offer the same level of service to their customers. To ensure your relationship with a licensed broker is in your best interest, follow these tips below.

Know What a Freight Broker Does

The most important best practice when working with a freight broker as part of a transportation business is understanding the role he or she plays. Freight brokers work as intermediaries between shippers and carriers, coordinating the behind the scenes tasks of moving freight. Brokers also manage the progress of loads, as well as handle most of the legal requirements for getting the job done. Recognizing this as a freight broker’s role helps make each transaction more straightforward and streamlined.

Check That They are Licensed

A critical component of being a freight broker is holding the appropriate license. Requirements for licensing for freight brokers involves getting registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, submitting an application, and paying the applicable fees. Check that a broker has motor carrier authority and has met the licensing requirements before agreeing to work together.

Ensure a Bond is in Place

Freight broker professionals also need to meet certain federal requirements for protecting their customers. This is done by securing either a freight broker bond or a freight broker trust. Either a bond or a trust of at least $75,000 is necessary to operate legally. Any claims against the freight broker for bad or negligent business practices are made against the bond, helping safeguard the customer. Ask for the broker’s bond or trust documentation to ensure this is in place.

Verify Past Experience

Another important aspect of becoming a licensed freight broker is gaining industry experience. In many cases, this is done through on-the-job training and employment in relevant fields such as transportation or logistics. While successful brokers do not need to have several years of employment history, having some knowledge of the industry is helpful when working with shippers and carriers. Brokers may also complete formal freight broker training to ensure they are up to date with current rules, regulations, and best practices. Verifying this experience is helpful when selecting a broker to work with over time.

Ask for Customer References

Whether a freight broker provides detailed work history and industry experience or not, another best practice is to ask for customer references. Brokers who have worked in the field for any amount of time should have success stories with past customers, and they should be willing to provide these details for potential new customers to validate. Be sure to follow through with customer references, asking questions about their experience with a specific broker.

Work with a Broker in Your Niche

Not all freight brokers work with the same demographic of shippers and carriers, nor do they all have the same expertise in a certain area of the industry. To ensure a freight broker is the right fit for your business, select a broker that knows the ins and outs of your specific market. Also, compare the benefits and drawbacks of working with a large freight brokerage versus a smaller company or individual. There are times when one may be better suited.

Build the Relationship

As with any business partnership, building a relationship is key to ongoing success with a freight broker. Although it is becoming easier to transition to a different broker because of increased competition in the industry, that does not always mean it is the best choice. Cultivating a business relationship with a broker, particularly one who has delivered consistently over time, creates a stronger bond that results in successful transactions.

Have a Plan for Working Together

Communication is an essential component of working with a freight broker. It is necessary to have a plan in place for the channels of communication that will be used as loads are shipped. Just as important is the overall objective of working with a broker. Shippers and carriers must clearly identify what it is they are looking for, including what challenges they are trying to address so that the broker can provide a path toward the right solution.

Resolve Issues Quickly

Not every load will be perfect, and both freight brokers and their customers need to be aware of this truth. However, managing the issues that arise when deliveries are not completed on time or they fail to meet other specific standards is part of what makes the relationship with a broker beneficial. Shippers and carriers need to work with the broker to ensure issues are resolved quickly, which often means communicating effectively and in a timely fashion.

Trust the Process

Having a successful relationship with a freight broker comes down to trusting the process. Brokers are trained to work as intermediaries, and they are capable of completing the tasks per the request or need of the customer. Trusting the process often means letting go of some control to the freight broker, but with the right relationship, this is an easy and ultimately profitable task.

Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.

High resolution photo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw3AzocqJWfyamFuR3ZRRWE0RGlwRUpnWkxYQm5OeFhDQmsw/view?usp=sharing


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