The recent hit of Hurricane Irma has left lasting impacts on the spot market freight volume in areas that she had raged upon. Though recovery efforts have been ongoing towards Florida, the outbound rates in the van markets that serves the area namely Charlotte and Atlanta, have soared while the volumes remained low. This can only mean that the threat left by the storm has driven shippers to postpone or even cancel their freight instead of trying to expedite their movement.
A lot of things may have happened that is sure to have its negative implication to a majority of businesses in the area. One of these things can be the sudden service cancellation of their long trusted freight broker. “No sweat” you might say, but there are a lot of things to consider in choosing a reliable freight broker. Why you ask? The answer is very simple, yet is an integral and basic part of any successful business operation. It is vital to choose the best freight broker you can find in the industry today because the ones that have built a long-term and solid relationship with their motor carriers is essentially the most successful and stable freight broker you would find in the industry today. Here are some pointers to consider in choosing the best freight broker in the industry today;
- Length of Tenure – Your best friend may be already in the business for more than a year, but should he be your go-to guy? Certain studies have shown that in the first two years of a company’s establishment, the company’s main goal is simply to survive. Those that have already braved the great recession and other recent calamities have a higher batting ratio of getting things done successfully. Getting yourself aligned with these established and successful brokers will surely reflect your commitment to service your customer’s needs on time, every time.
- Cost versus Quality – You get what you pay for – this statement is universally true even in the fields of logistics. Making sure to ask for a quotation that details all aspects and accessorial charges that should be incurred in shipping. These charges comprise as much as 50% of the total cost of the shipment moreover on international ones. Also, make sure that you specifically communicate between your customer and the broker who will assume the cost for duties and charges on all international freight. These international duties and taxes can take up to 30% of the total freight cost, and this is not one of those expenses that you would want in your end. If all possible expenses aren’t presented to you crystal clear up front, or if you would receive a quote that is significantly lower than the others, you should take a careful look and find the devil in the details.
- Licenses and Bonds – This is a critical part of the industry right now. Because of the law raising broker bonding requirements from $10, 0000 to $75,000 being implemented, more than 10,000 small brokers have been driven out of business. It is required by the Federal law for anyone who is in the business of arranging transportation for compensation to acquire a federal broker license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA). Be on the lookout for carriers who broker loads without possession of broker authority. Always check for the proper broker authority, license, and the $75,000 bond when looking for a new freight broker.
- Carrier Selection – Proper carrier selection is essential for the success of any shipping related industry. As you have diligently done your research on finding the perfect broker to fulfill your needs, the broker of your choice should exert the same effort in finding the carrier that will get the job done. The carrier’s safety records, length of tenure in the business, recommendations from their [previous clients, the age of their existing equipment, and the number of their manpower. You may want to inquire on your prospective broker their process in selecting their carriers, as you will be joined hip-to-hip with the carrier of their choice.
- Credit Standing – Financial / Credit stability is also one of the key features that you should be looking for in a broker. One of the worst mistakes you may have is choosing an undercapitalized broker who has outstanding tax obligations and is insolvent. You should avoid these types because their financial instability will surely reflect on the way they run their business.
- Recommendations – This is one of the best assurance you can find in your search for your new broker. The testaments of people and companies they have worked with before, the way they handle their business, fulfillment of timetable commitments, their responsiveness to requests, their client handling on your area. This information and much more are available from their previous clients, and getting the information that they are still in full business with the broker of your choice is a big plus in your decision-making process.
- Insurance – Assuming that every truck carries a $100,000 cargo insurance is one of the most overlooked consideration during the shipping process. Be sure to ask your potential broker for the cargo issuance and liability certificates and if they are willing to extend you additional insurance. Ask for their claims procedure and the average deductible cost if any.
- Responsive Communication – In the long run, these brokers and drivers will be a part of your company’s representation on the road. Their responsiveness should translate to how they interact with your daily emails regarding the status update of your delivery, placement of new orders etc. Their written and verbal communication skills with your client will also directly represent your business on their end. The accessibility of their upper management, as well as their availability even during after office hours, is a plus especially if you are running a critical shipment in the future.
- Billing Department – Accurate billing is very important in any business, especially if you are passing the shipping cost to your clients. You would not want to receive additional re-weigh costs when you have already sent your own client’s bill.
- Modal Flexibility – Take into consideration a broker’s geographical and operational area of expertise. Brokers who are able to provide multi modal services can also vouch for additional capacity storages in another mode with their alternative channels. They would also be able to simplify the process for those companies who are not able to provide their own staff for logistics.
Need help with finding a reliable freight trucker at the best price? We can help you. Call us now at 800-657-8380 and we’ll help you right away.Posted by