What is a Freight Broker?
If you carry freight or ship it, you know how many moving parts there are and how easy it can be to miscommunicate, cause delays, or even damage freight. If you are struggling with time or staff to maintain quality standards, a freight broker can help you boost your earning potential and reduce the stress of shipping logistics.
A freight broker is a middleman between carriers and companies that help coordinate the shipping of goods. They make sure things go smoothly from start to finish and that the freight arrives on time, undamaged, and in the correct place.
What Does a Freight Broker Do to Improve Shipping?
As a liaison between shipping companies and their customers, freight brokers provide several benefits to companies who ship both large and small amounts of cargo.
A freight broker can
help you get the best rates on your shipments
Freight and logistics brokers can negotiate bulk discounts for you that may not be available to you normally. These companies ship so much freight that you benefit from their high volume, so even if you aren’t shipping large orders through, you could still receive lower costs to get your freight where it needs to go.
help you vet and secure reliable shipping partners
Trust is a valuable commodity. Shipping brokers can ensure that your cargo will be taken care of and arrive on time because they have more insight and knowledge into shippers’ flexibility, terms, and ability to pay invoices on time.
help you with paperwork
No one likes paperwork. So if you have to do it, you want to do as little as possible. Freight brokers help you understand how your freight is classified and if it has any special shipping needs such as refrigeration or if it is classified in any way. They can help you choose the appropriate shipping features to ensure quality control of your freight.
help you manage claims if something goes wrong
When things don’t go according to plan, freight brokers have the manpower and technology to hunt down lost items, manage claims, or even talk to insurance companies and authorities on your behalf. Sometimes, things happen and a freight broker can help you sort it out quickly and efficiently.
When Should I Use a Freight Broker?
If you are shipping freight at the moment without a problem, you may not need a freight broker, depending on your industry, volume, and business goals. However, there are benefits to consider such as cost reduction, managing sudden changes in capacity needs, or speeding up your timelines for getting freight from point A to point B.
SEE ALSO: What, Exactly, Is a Logistics Carrier?
Choosing a Freight Brokerage Company
With so many shipping brokerages out there of varying sizes and capabilities, selecting the right one to work with can be a daunting task. Here are some things to consider when choosing a freight broker company:
Depending on your needs, the capacity of a freight broker company is foundational. When a shipment must be re-routed or a load re-powered, you want a company that can handle the changes with ease.
The hardest thing about communication is the illusion it has taken place. Communication is key when working with an outside company in an industry with so many variables. Always ask for references about communication practices before choosing a shipping broker.
Access to Capacity
There is a difference between size and capacity. If your freight broker is operating at nearly 100% capacity then changes can greatly disrupt your supply chain and frustrate your customers. Make sure the brokerage you choose has the capabilities you need before signing on.
A quality freight brokerage will not change the price on you last minute. If they have to take a loss because of unforeseen circumstances, it is the broker’s responsibility to honor the price and take the hit. That’s just how business is sometimes. In a business built on relationships, that can be a deal-breaker.
We can’t plan for everything. If your freight is caught in a freak snowstorm or a road is unexpectedly out, delays can happen. You want a freight broker who will get to work on solving the problem and make it right before you have to get involved. Peace of mind means not worrying if your freight will make it where it’s going on time.
What is My Next Step in Shipping?
Whether you ship large quantities of goods regularly or you simply need to manage occasional larger shipments more effectively, a freight broker can help you achieve your goals.
For over three generations, Veltri Logistics has been providing sophisticated freight brokerage services nationwide for retail, manufacturing, and postal services. Ready to discover how we can streamline your freight logistics strategy?