Category: load

Freight Brokers: Getting Things Where They Need to Go

freight-brokers-getting-things-where-they-need-to-go

We live in a world where we can get anything we want in a couple of clicks, whether it’s from a major retailer or someone selling books out of their garage.  This means more freight that needs to get from point A to point B to point C, and more trucks on the road at any given time. Enter the Freight Broker.

What are Freight Brokers?

Freight brokers are go-betweens.  They take care of things. Freight Brokers help move things along quickly and smoothly so we can get what we need when we need it.  Say a shipper has some hats that need to get to Walla Walla, Washington. The shipper calls a freight broker and pays him or her to make sure the hats get to Walla Walla before the big hat festival.  The freight broker finds a carrier who regularly travels to the area and makes a deal with them for the hat delivery. The carrier picks up the hats, drives them to their destination and all the while, the freight broker is tracking the truck to make sure the hats arrive on time.  When they do, people in Walla Walla can buy the hats, and everyone’s happy. Freight brokers facilitate shipments from their starting point to ending points.

How do they make money?

The freight broker hired the carrier to deliver the hats for less money than they received from the shipper.  This is called their “spread”. The freight broker is not merely making a better deal, they’re responsibility is to ensure that the freight is delivered safely and on time.    

Why wouldn’t the shipper go directly to a carrier?

They can, and many do.  However, there are many reasons why using a freight broker can be beneficial to both shippers and carriers.

  • It lightens your workload if you’re a shipper. It saves time searching for a carrier and tracking your shipment, which can be time-consuming.
  • The freight Broker’s main focus is the shipment.  For carriers and drivers, it lessens time searching for loads because the loads find them.
  • They’re experts.  Many brokers got their start working other jobs in the shipping or trucking industry.  They know best practices for both.
  • They track the load using GPS technology, remain in constant contact with drivers and always know the driver’s location.  
  • They’re problem-solvers.  If problems arise along the way, it’s up to the freight broker to resolve them.  What could go wrong? Lots! There could be:
    • Accidents
    • Breakdowns
    • Scheduling issues
    • Hazardous weather conditions
    • Unplanned checkpoints and other stoppages
  • They’re scalable.  Freight Brokers can quickly deal with busy or slow periods.  If a business is seasonal or is experiencing growth or decline, a freight broker can easily adapt to volume changes.
  • They have connections.  They build a large network of contacts through job experience and load boards which allow them to help shippers to take advantage of volume discounts.  They have route coverage all over the country.
  • They want you to succeed.  It doesn’t benefit the freight broker to take the shipper’s money and find the cheapest carrier or driver to create the biggest spread.  Why not? You get what you pay for and if you’re paying a carrier poorly, you’re likely going to get poor service which always costs more in the end.  

How Do I Pick the Right One?

Freight Brokers are a growing part of the industry and as with anyone you choose to do business with, it’s important to vet them properly.  Freight brokers must have a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and should have a membership with the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).  It’s also a good idea to check out their rating with the Better Business Bureau.   Try to stay away from brokers who have recently joined the industry.  The best freight brokers are ones with not only freight brokering experience but have also held jobs as carriers or shippers.  

Direct Freight Services is a go-to resource for freight brokers.  It can help those just starting out build a network or just help round out route coverage and fill gaps.  More than 3,500 companies post freight on our site so it’s the perfect tool for helping freight brokers make new and trustworthy connections.  With all sorts of useful features for shippers, carriers, and freight brokers, you’ll wonder how you ever did business without it! Go to DirectFreight.com or call (888)894-4198 and see what we have to offer.  
Source:  https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov, http://www.tianet.org, https://www.bbb.org/en/us

Load Boards: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

loadboards-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly

Whether you have freight that needs to be shipped, a truck you need to get out on the road, or you’re a freight broker who needs to connect the two, more and more people are turning to load boards to get the job done.  But are they really all they’re chalked up to be?

The Good

They’re easy to use.

If you’re using a good load board, everything you need will be in a simple, clean table that appears on the front page of the site so you don’t have to go through unnecessary windows.  It will have all of the pertinent information to help you find what you’re looking for in just a few clicks.

They’re inexpensive.

While there are free load boards, they don’t necessarily include relevant information needed before committing to move the load.  The cost of paid load boards can be well over $100 a month. There are some are under $50 a month for a full subscription (Direct Freight Services is $34.95 a month).

They’re easy to access.

Web-based load boards can be accessed from any computer, phone, or tablet  with internet access. They’re also available 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year (366 during leap years!) so your load search can work around your schedule.  

They’re up-to-date

Load boards would fail if they posted old information, and whether you’re looking for a load or posting one, not having a load immediately accessible will cost you money.  Direct Freight load boards are updated in real time so you’ll always get the most current information. No lines, no waiting!

Eliminates “deadheading”.

“Deadheading” is the term that refers to empty trucks returning home after they’ve dropped off freight.  Unless there’s a return load, it’s just wasted fuel, wear-and-tear on the truck, and missed opportunity to earn money for the driver .  Why drive empty? Once you’ve set up your outward-bound trip, you can search for nearby loads for your return route.

There are no costly software updates.

With web-based load boards, there’s no need to put load software on your computer.  That means no more expensive software updates that tie up your computer while the update is being performed and no need to buy new software, ever.

You can see who you’re dealing with before you commit.

The better load boards like Direct Freight allow access to credit reports so you don’t take risks.  The reports display any legal actions taken against the freight company or shipper, public filings, credit score, and the number of days it takes them to pay, on average.

 

The Bad

They’re competitive.

Most free load boards get their information from the same sources so there’s competition for the loads which drives down the price truckers can make.  Paid load boards are less competitive.

You still have to do the work.

If you’re a shipper or trucker using a load board directly, you still have to search when you’re ready for or with your next load.  Some load boards offer text or email alerts that let you know when what you’re looking for is available but you still have to do some amount, albeit small, of legwork.  

You could become a victim of fraud.

With the rise of load boards, there’s been an increase in fraud.  The fraud, “double-brokering” occurs when a freight broker uses the services of a secondary freight broker who sets up the deal but then absconds with the payment.  This happens more often on free load boards.

 

The Ugly

We were kidding about that.  There’s no ugly! Paid freight boards are an essential tool to save time for shippers, freight brokers, and truckers.  They get freight shipped, connections made, and trucks on the road faster. Time is money! Even if you have regular contacts deals can fall through, product demand can fluctuate, or it may be time to expand your operation. A good load board can help you  move forward without skipping a beat.

With 3,500+ companies posting 300,000+ loads daily, Direct Freight has everything you need to fill trucks and move freight.  We’ve been serving the trucking industry since 1997 and our years of experience helps us continue to do so.. Shippers, freight brokers, and truckers alike know that with Direct Freight, they’ll get what they need.

Go to DirectFreight.com or call us at (888)894-4198 and start your 15-day free trial today!

Source:  https://www.interstatecapital.com/fraud-in-trucking-industry/#

Brokers: Why You Need a Freight Board

need-a-freight-board

So, you decided to become a freight broker.  What was the reason? Was it the flexibility?  Wanting to become your own boss? The ability to turn hard work into a 6-figure income?  The prestige in being part of the supply chain that keeps America running?

Whatever the reason, you took the plunge to become a middleman between shippers and carriers and went through all of the processes of structuring your business and filing all of the legal forms to make your business possible.  (If you haven’t, more details on the process can be found here.)  Now what?  Where do you begin?  How do you get a list of shippers?  Do you know any truckers? You’re the middleman, how do you get in the middle?

Sure, you can use Google to search for names of shippers, and you may even be able to find some truckers, but it’s a tedious process that takes a lot of time.  And as we all know, time is money. Load brokers rely on their contacts for work and most people don’t have a handy Rolodex of direct shippers sitting on their desk, certainly not when first starting out.  But you can have one at your fingertips.  Load boards are your Rolodex.  

That’s the beauty of them.  Load boards give you all the information you need from shippers who need loads shipped to truckers looking to drive loads.  Even if you do have contacts that you can utilize, load boards can help you fill in gaps and keep trucks on the road when your regular contacts have nothing for you.  
Load boards have other advantages too.

  • They’re inexpensive.  For a small monthly fee you can have full access to their updated lists of shippers and carriers.
  • They’re convenient.  Because most of them these days are web-based, they can be accessed from any computer or mobile device 24/7 so there is no costly software requiring constant updates.
  • It reduces deadheading.  That’s when there’s a load going in one direction but not the return one.  The most successful freight brokers will keep trucks full, picking up loads for the return trip for efficiency.

  Okay, we’ve fully established that the success of your brokerage business depends on you finding a freight board.  But which one? There are so many of them out there and it’s important to find one that works for you. Many load boards have lots of bells and whistles and their main function gets lost in the mire.  Look for an interface that is straightforward with the load/truck search engine as the main feature.

Your main goal is to find concise, current loads and trucks, but there are a few other features that some load boards have that can help your business be more efficient.

  • Credit reports.  Know who you’re dealing with ahead of time.
  • Deadhead and Trip Miles.  Know your miles full and empty.
  • Weather Reports.  Know the weather where your trucks are.
  • Store and Send Documents.  Fax, email, or text with one click.
  • Email Alerts.  Get alerts on loads and trucks.
  • Load organization.  Keep everything organized so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

DirectFreight has everything you should be looking for in a load board.  With its clear-cut interface, you can easily navigate your searches along with customized features like important saved documents and emails.  It not only provides up-to-date load and truck information, it helps your business to be more organized and professional. Check it out for yourself with a 15-day free membership at DirectFreight.com and make your freight brokerage firm prosper!

Simplify Your Hunt for Loads

simplify-your-hunt-for-loads

Whether your trucking company is big or small, using a load board to find loads can reap big rewards.  They are handy, profitable tools that are particularly useful for small fleet owners, owner-operators, and newcomers to the trucking industry.  Load boards are sort of like dating services for freight and trucking companies, minus the long walks on the beach. If you’re a trucking company looking for a hot date with an attractive load, load boards are the place to turn!

On online load boards, with a little or a lot of criteria, you can search for loads that are going to be the most cost-efficient and make you the most money.  While free load boards are available, they generally have less to offer and fewer options. DirectFreight is one of the most popular national online load boards and now offers new, easy-to-use filters that can narrow your loads or trucks into just the ones you’re looking for.  

Begin your search for freight or trucks by inputting your origin city or state on the main page.  A results page will be returned which you can sift through, or you can narrow your search further by adding:

Trailer Type

Load Size

Ship Date

You can also choose to sort them by:

Origin City

Age (newest)

Pay Rate (highest)
Deadhead Miles (shortest)

Trip Length (longest)

A list will be returned that includes all of your criteria information along with a full credit report and score for each result to minimize your risks, the load weight if available, and the age of the posting.  The list allows you to hide single results or all results for a particular company that doesn’t interest you. Clicking on a single result will yield more information if it is available, and give you the opportunity to perform a reverse search to find a returning load to cut down on deadhead miles.  DirectFreight is customizable so you get all of the information you want without the information you don’t. Get email alerts on your loads and trucks delivered directly to your inbox. Pick a load and calculate your mileage with one of our handy maps and receive information on any weather that may interfere with or impede your trip.  

DirectFreight is web-based, as all of the good load boards are.  Why is it better? In the olden days of load boards, software was loaded on your computer, which meant any updates or improvements to the software also needed to be manually loaded onto the computer which was costly and meant your computer was tied up for hours.  By having a cloud-based system, updates can be made automatically without service interruption and your information is automatically backed up so you don’t have to worry about a virus wiping out your data. You’re not tied to your desktop computer. The DirectFreight website can be accessed from anywhere using your mobile phone or tablet and because it’s web-based,  it’s available 24/7.

Load boards like DirectFreight keep your loads detailed and organized so your business can run like a well-oiled machine.  Go to DirectFreight and sign up for a free 15-day trial today!

With DirectFreight, the load and trucker dating site, load and trucker will live happily ever after!

Load Posting Made Easy with Direct Freight

load-posting-easy

You’re a liaison.  A go-between. A middleman (or middlewoman).  An intermediary. A Freight Broker. You do the legwork needed to move freight down the street or across the world.  It could be a load of toys from a factory, food from farms, or a myriad of products from a distributor―anything from anyone who has goods that need to be shipped.  You take care of all of the details to get those goods from here to there. You make the necessary arrangements with trucking companies or individual carriers.

You are more than a liaison, however.  You’re the responsible party if anything goes wrong.  If you do your job well, you can also help reduce transportation costs, cut down on lost time, and allow your shipper to increase their shipping capacity as needed. As companies grow, it becomes more difficult for them to find the time to broker deals with trucking companies so many are turning to freight brokers like you to handle the task―to broker the deal, make all of the arrangements and make sure that the trucking companies have DOT compliance, a good credit record, and a clean driving record. It’s your responsibility to make sure everything goes smoothly and deal with any problems that arise.   

To be a successful broker, you need to ensure the fast and efficient delivery of goods.  Your relationships with shippers and carriers are your bread and butter. The very nature of your job requires a need to foster relationships with both shippers and carriers.  However, building a big database of customers can take years and even with a large collection of shippers and carriers at your disposal, there may be gaps in coverage. That’s why load posting on a superior load board is vital to any freight broker.  Load boards allow you to post loads that need to be shipped and find reliable truckers by seeing their credit report and driving history. Even the best brokers may not have trucking contacts everywhere. Load posting allows you to fill any gaps you may have in your service area and make it easy to post load details and get exposure to thousands of carriers looking for loads and building your list of contacts.  By fostering relationships with carriers, a good freight broker can provide vast shipping coverage and value combined with quality services.

With Direct Freight, posting loads couldn’t be easier. Loads can be posted for free but the monthly subscription allows access to credit reports, route weather, route planning, text alerts, load filtering, and other features to streamline load planning.  Because it’s web-based, the Direct Freight interface can be accessed anywhere via computer, and there’s also a mobile version for phones and tablets. Direct Freight is an indispensable tool to help freight brokers grow and maintain their business and build relationships with carriers and shippers all over the country.
If you’re a freight broker, Direct Freight is your key to success.  Call (888)894-4198 or go to www.directfreight.com, sign up for your free 14-day trial, and start load posting today!

Different Types of Freight Shippers

different-types-freight-shippers

We’re a world of consumers; every day we need more and more stuff to take the place of the stuff we use.  Stuff to eat, stuff to use in our homes, stuff to drive, stuff to wear, stuff for entertainment, and stuff to read.  We don’t always think about how all this stuff gets to the stores near us or to our doorstep. It’s just there when we need more stuff.

The fact is, there are several ways that products get shipped around the world or locally, some even using more than one shipping method.  So what are the types of freight shippers that bring us all our stuff?

Freight

First, let’s define freight.  Freight is any shipment that is larger than 30”x30”x30” and weighs more than 150 lbs.  Packages that are smaller than that would be expensive to ship in the same manner as freight and are usually shipped via parcel, i.e. UPS or FedEx.  Freight is loaded by pallet or can be loaded directly onto the floor of the truck. Floor-loaded freight is loaded into the truck by hand where pallet-loaded can be loaded into the truck using a forklift.

Air Freight Shippers

Air freight shippers ship cargo just as it sounds, using planes.  Although it is an expensive way to ship cargo, it is fast which can be more important than the cost.  Air freight shippers can ship domestically or internationally.

Ocean Freight Shippers

Shipping products via ship is the most popular way to ship cargo because it’s the most inexpensive.  However, it does take the longest amount of time. It’s the oldest way to ship freight around the world.  Usually, large containers are used for shipments that can be loaded onto trucks or trains at ports to bring the products to their final destinations.  Ocean freight shippers can ship internationally or domestically.

Rail Freight Shippers

Shipping products by train may take a little longer than by trucks, but as they don’t have to be concerned with running into traffic or auto accidents, it can be faster.  Because trains use less fuel to pull many cars than the same number of trucks would, they are more economical and more eco-friendly than trucks. Rail freight shippers can ship domestically or internationally to Canada and Mexico and are often the second leg of transport of products coming in on container ships.  

Ground Freight Shippers

Ground freight shippers use trucks to transport cargo, especially to local areas but many deliver cargo across the country.  A standard-sized truck can carry a maximum of 26 pallets. Standard dimensions of a single pallet are 48”Wx40”Lx48”H. Anything above 48” high is considered a double pallet.

Ground freight shippers offer a variety of options for shipping including:

Full Truck Loads (FTL):  Typically a load of 24-26 pallets.  Because it is a full truck, shipments can be made directly from pick-up to destination.  Benefits of FTL include the use of refrigerated trucks or the ability to ship over-sized loads.  

Less Than Truck Loads (LTL): This type of shipping is for cargo that is larger than a parcel but smaller than a truckload, usually 1-6 pallets.  This is the most common type of ground shipping. Along the route, cargo is transferred to other trucks and is shipped through local terminals.  Because of the shared payload, shipping usually takes longer than full trucks which are shipped directly to their destination. It’s cheaper than other ground shipping methods that use trucks.

Partial Truck Loads (PTL):  Partial truck loads are generally between 6-18 pallets.  Costs are usually comparable to LTL rates but have the benefit of FTL shipping times because they may be transferred to a different truck but usually they are not.

Freight shippers are constantly looking to improve ways to ship cargo as well as the logistics involved with moving freight.  Driverless vehicles and even drones may be on the horizon but the tried-and-true shipping methods using planes, trains, and trucks remains the most cost-effective and efficient ways to get us our stuff.

If you’re looking to ship your product around the state or around the world, Direct Freight Services can help.  Go to directfreight.com or call (888)894-4198 and find a truck for your load or a load for your truck.  Start your free trial today!

Looking for Loads in All the Right Places

freight-board-search

The shipping industry of today is a trucker’s market.  There’s a shortage of CDL drivers which is good news for drivers looking for loads―there are a lot of them out there.  However, to be a successful owner/operator in the trucking industry, you have to find the right loads. It’s not just a matter of finding any load but finding the right one.  For that, you need more than just any load board.

Before you begin your search, think about what kind of client you’re looking for.  The goal is to find high-paying loads that are actually going to make you money. If you have an idea in your mind about what you’re looking for, you’ll increase your chances of finding it.  Are you looking for a large, well-known company? One with a good reputation? A client that you can work with on a regular basis? One that ships in areas where you want to work? Do you want to work with a freight broker?  Do you offer specialized services such as moving oversized construction equipment or refrigerated services?

With the answers to these questions in mind, it’s time to peruse the multitude of load sites out there but where should you begin?  There are so many load sites available online that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Free load sites are tempting, after all, why pay for something when you don’t have to?  There’s a good reason for that. Free load sites have to make money somehow, and they usually do it by having lots and lots of advertising on their websites, selling things other than load information.  Some free load boards are just lists of free load boards. Most loads that are found on the free sites are not posted directly to the site from shippers or brokers; they come from a load sharing service.

Load sites that charge a reasonable monthly fee will generally give you what you’re looking for instead of trying to sell you things you’re not.  While they all offer loads and shipping details, it’s important to find one that’s simple to use and that has all of the details you need to narrow your load search.  Some of the things you may need to know other than load weight, ship date, and trip distance are:

  • The age of the listing
  • Full or partial load
  • Trailer type
  • Number of “deadhead miles” or miles from your location to where you pick up the load
  • Is the poster a member of TIA (Transportation Intermediaries Assoc.), i.e. a broker that agrees to a high standard of business ethics?
  • Credit rating that includes credit score as well as the number of days it takes them to pay for services
  • Mileage calculator that includes tolls
  • Up-to-date fuel prices

With this information in hand, you’ll be able to find the right loads.  You’ll also be able to maximize your time by scheduling loads for your trips back too.  If you want to land these jobs, however, you have to make sure you’re the right driver.  

Begin with your insurance.  A shipper wants a driver with good insurance that includes freight insurance.  They’re trusting you with their freight and want to be covered if anything goes wrong.  

Insurance goes hand-in-hand with your safety rating.  A driver with an excellent driving record and safety rating will be hired over one with poor ones any day.  

Always be professional and be mindful of your reputation.  Drivers with a good and dependable reputation will get the higher-paying jobs.  

If you’re looking for a load site that’s not just any site, Direct Freight is the place to go.  It matches loads and drivers by using pertinent information so you can maximize your driving time and your earning potential.  It uses state-of-the-art tools to make the system work for you, including alerts via text or email for when new loads are posted.  Direct Freight is so sure that their service will be a tremendous benefit to you that they offer a free trial for 15 days.

Go to DirectFreight.com or call (888)894-4198 to find out how you can get started finding the right loads today!

Load Matching Software

load-matching-software-direct-freight

The shipping industry is a constantly growing and changing industry.  As a consumer of trucking-related software, it becomes more and more important that you adapt to the latest technologies to run the most efficient operation possible.  Whether you’re a freight broker or a carrier, you want to provide a vital, superior service to your customers and to do this, you need high-quality load matching software that’s user-friendly, efficient, and won’t break the bank.

What to Look For in a Load Matching Software

All software is not created equal.   Good load matching software should be streamlined and efficient, and have features such as:

  • Load and Truck Searching – on your computer or your phone so you can be connected wherever you are
  • Load and Truck Posting – to show availability
  • Email Alerts – information on your loads and trucks sent directly to your inbox
  • Credit Reports and Scores – so you know who you’re trusting
  • Customization – get only the information you need and none that you don’t
  • Load and Truck Search Filters – for more efficient searches
  • Weather Information – so you’re aware of any weather-related delays
  • Mileage Calculator – including tolls and how to avoid them
  • Organization – manage all your loads
  • Cloud-based

Why Cloud-based is Better

Having software that is “in the cloud” offers benefits to shippers, vendors, and truckers alike.  Because it is managed in one central location, updates and changes can be done without disrupting user access.  It can be accessed from anywhere using any mobile device, whether a laptop, iPad, or phone.

Cyber security is a top priority for every business, and because your data is in the cloud, it is automatically backed up so you don’t have to worry about power outages or viruses infecting your work computers or servers and destroying your data.  And with no servers or software at your location, there’s no need to

Cloud-based software allows users to find and post freight from anywhere  For truckers and carriers looking for freight, searches will always include the most up-to-date information.  The streamlined process of a web-based system saves time and money. Such advantages are not merely for the large companies, however, web-based freight matching software can be accessed using an affordable monthly fee which allows it to be utilized by large companies or individuals, essentially leveling the playing field.

Direct Freight Services

The software offered by Direct Freight Services is your solution for finding freight whether your business is big or small.  It has all of the services you need without complicated applications that you’ll never use. A small monthly fee grants you access to the simple, streamlined system where you can search for trucks if you have a load to transport or search for loads if you have a truck.  Or, if you prefer, list your load or truck and let interested parties search for you. It couldn’t be easier. Its interface is direct and simple so your searches will be quick.

Our Direct Freight Software will make your operation more efficient, allowing you to move more freight with fewer people, and with the availability of credit information, you can minimize your risks and make informed decisions about who you’re working with.  

To find out more about how our direct freight software can improve your bottom line, call (888)894-4198 or go here to sign up for a free 15-day trial offer.  Start your search today!