Freight brokers serve an integral role in the trucking industry today. They are go-betweens. Consultants. Negotiators. Problem-solvers. They perform all the necessary tasks to move freight from shipper to destination as quickly and efficiently as possible, all while solving any problems that pop up along the way.
So how do they make a profit? Freight brokers earn their money by moving freight cheaper than the shipper is paying to ship it. Successful freight brokers don’t simply pick a bottom-of-the-barrel carrier to create the biggest profit margin. They negotiate the best price they can with carriers who have reliable trucks and reliable truckers. Breakdowns and truckers who don’t show up can be a costly risk, so good freight brokers find carriers who put the money into their equipment as well as their employees.
There are other ways freight brokers can increase margins.
The world is better-connected and smaller than it’s ever been before. Sure, setting up operations in another country may be an extremely intimidating prospect, with foreign regulations and the currency exchange. However, it could be relatively easy to find an untapped market abroad.
Always be on the lookout for leads.
Freight brokers should always be on the lookout for more leads, and ways to generate new leads. Targeting advertising using social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can significantly increase a freight broker’s reach. Writing a blog or guest-writing for an established company can develop leads.
Invest in an effective website.
Websites don’t merely tell potential clients who you are. What good is that information if no one sees the website because it’s lost in a sea of other sites? A professional web designer can create a website that has effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that when potential clients search for freight brokers, your website makes it to the top of the search results. Adding content such as blogs or videos will help improve SEO on an ongoing basis.
Invest in things that will bring you the highest return on investment. This could be anything from advertising to nurturing current relationships.
Network, network, network.
For freight brokers, it’s all about the contacts. Look for online communities, groups, and forums. Join trucking industry groups like the ATA (American Trucking Associations) or NASTC (National Association of Small Trucking Companies), or think outside the box and join your local chamber of commerce or other local groups businesses that need to ship freight.
Diversify your client list to include both small and large companies.
If you only have a few large companies that you work for, you’ll be losing a big chunk of revenue if you lose a client.
All relationships are vital to a freight broker, and no matter if it’s a carrier, an individual driver, or a shipper, listening is key to keeping them. Ask questions about shipments, concerns, or even personal getting-to-know-you type questions and listen to the replies. A personal touch helps to build a trusting and long-term relationship. Honesty goes a long way too.
Use the best freight management software.
Tools like Direct Freight Services make tracking shipments simple and can easily fill those deadhead miles or fill in gaps in coverage.
If you’re a freight broker, Direct Freight Services can help you grow your business. It has helpful features like a convenient carrier app, email and text alerts, load posting, truck searches and you can even use Direct Freight to manage all your loads, even ones that aren’t posted on our board. Direct Freight Services is a valuable tool to add to your Freight Broker’s toolbox. Go to DirectFreight.com and check it out today.