That may not have been the question that Hamlet had in mind, but for shippers, the question of whether or not to use freight broker services is an important one. It can make a significant difference in their business’s operation and success. Freight brokers are the trucking industry matchmakers. They act as liaisons between shippers and carriers and are in charge of getting freight from its origin to the destination.
Managing shipments is a time-consuming job. Finding reliable carriers, ensuring timely pickups and deliveries, negotiating rates, finding return loads so resources aren’t being wasted on deadhead miles, and sending/receiving payments are the expected tasks that need to be done when shipping freight. What about the unexpected? Breakdowns, accidents, missing payments, drivers quitting are just some of the countless things that go wrong on the road.
Freight brokers manage this and more. They move freight, put out any fires that pop up along the way, and procure payments. Companies use freight brokers so they don’t need to do this time-consuming job and can focus instead on other aspects of running their company to make it successful.
Using a freight broker to handle shipments can be a way to expand operations. Large companies often have an entire shipping department dedicated to shipping tasks. For smaller or mid-sized companies, having all those resources devoted to just shipping isn’t financially feasible. A freight broker is paid for the freight shipped so using a freight broker is usually cost-effective.
Freight brokers use the latest technologies like real-time dashboards that track shipments all along their routes. By using a freight broker, freight shipping companies don’t have to invest in these technologies or worry about upgrading and maintaining them.
Freight brokers know which carriers are reliable and trustworthy. They’ve built relationships with carriers that are going to make their jobs easier, which saves money because there will be fewer problems on the road. Good carriers hire reliable people, maintain their vehicles properly, and are fully insured.
Freight brokers are scalable. If there’s a sudden increase in product orders, a freight broker will be able to quickly adapt by using their contacts to increase shipments. This is particularly important for companies whose products are seasonal or during fluctuating economic times.
Freight brokers are experts in the shipping industry so their clients don’t have to be.
There are few cons to using a freight broker. For some people, handing shipping duties over to a broker is out of the question. These are people who need to maintain complete control over all operations. This is why it’s so important to find the right freight broker, one that can be trusted to handle everything thoroughly and efficiently.
Due to the industry growth and potential to make decent money, there are numerous new and inexperienced brokers jumping in all the time, which could be costly. New freight brokers may not have the same access to reliable carriers as an experienced broker which could result in slow shipments, breakdowns, etc.
The best freight brokers are licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and should have a membership with the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). They’ll also have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau and extensive field experience.
No matter what your answer to the question of whether or not to use a freight broker is, Direct Freight Services is an essential tool for posting loads and finding trucks. With features like load organization, and weather reports, Direct Freight can make shipping freight run like clockwork. Go to DirectFreight.com to find out more.