Freight transport is an essential aspect that keeps the trade industry afloat. It refers to the physical process of moving cargo, merchandise and commodities from one place to another by land, air or water carriers.
Transport is crucial as it promotes connections, trade and other exchanges between people and is important for economic growth and development, and promoting global culture and interactions. However, due to its importance, it is vulnerable to security threats. For this reason, it is helpful to outsource to transport companies that have a freight broker who can handle them.
Freight brokers are a part of a concept known as logistics. Logistics refers to the complex organization of the flow of things between the points of origin and consumption which is maintained to meet the needs of the customers or corporations.
A freight broker is an individual or company that acts as a link between a shipper of goods to transport and a motor carrier who is authorized to do so. They neither own the goods or transport it, but play a crucial role in the movement of the goods and cargo. Freight brokers help in finding quality carriers at low prices and in turn, help the business of carriers and make sure that they get paid accordingly.
The brokerage business has several jobs that are all interconnected and often get confused with a freight broker such as:
- Freight forwarders are different from freight brokers. They take the physical goods, consolidate smaller shipments into a large one and arrange transport for the large shipment via land, air or water carriers. Freight brokers do the same, but for individual shipments.
- Third-party logistics or 3PL is a broader concept than a freight broker. 3PLs contain freight forwarders, freight brokers, courier companies, etc. They specialize in warehouse and transportation operations and play a role in supply chain optimization, but freight brokers are brought in for short term periods, whereas 3PLs establish long-term relationships with supply chains.
A freight broker’s duties include:
- Making sure that all shipments are safely transported from the shipper to the carrier. This includes keeping in mind the rules and regulations implemented by the government. If there are any problems, freight brokers need to figure out how to solve them quickly and swiftly, therefore troubleshooting problems is an essential skill for a freight broker to have.
- Working together with shippers’ carriers and dispatchers to develop and maintain schedules and assist carriers in preparing for loads.
- Maintaining a good relationship with and between carriers, shippers and dispatchers to ensure the smooth functioning through the process.
- Preparing the documentation and reports for the transport process of the cargo. The company collects all of the necessary information like when the shipment is scheduled, nature of goods, etc. and stores it in one place. Documents and contracts to transport the goods are made for delivery and also includes filing the receipts for future reference of the customers.
- Communicating with clients and tracking and report shipping status, including responding to the different queries of the customers.
- Getting the best prices and rates through negotiations and settling the money obligations to the carriers. If possible, negotiating special offers and discounts. They provide customers with shipping quotes and help them choose the best, short-term carrier service for them.
- Ensuring that the business keeps flowing by finding new customers and carriers to work with. This is done by selecting secure, safe and reliable carriers for freight services.
- Staying up-to-date with recent transportation and marketing trends.
Finding a reliable freight broker can be tough. Keep these things in mind when selecting one:
- Do the research: Before selecting a broker, it is important to ask the company their work process. In other words, ask them about their carrier selection procedure. Their method of selection needs to be honest, clear and responsible for it to be trustworthy. Brokers need to have knowledge about things like the carrier’s operating authority, insurance information and safety rating.
- Check their license: Every reliable freight broker has a federal property broker license that has been issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is an absolute must and is a sign of credibility. Be aware of the fake motor carrier authorities that are not backed by the FMCSA. Another sign of credibility is that the freight brokers should have liability insurances in case of any issues.
- Check out their ratings and experience: Integrity and reputation are important for any company, especially in the transport business. Check out how long they have been in business. A company that has successfully carried out different operations for a long period of time is more likely to be trustworthy. Upholding ethics and being part of different integrity programs are also signs of a reliable broker.
- Credit check: Freight brokers should be financially capable of paying their carriers. Find out how and when they pay their vendors, whether they are earning profits and if there are any legal judgments against them. Financially unstable freight brokers are not dependable.
- Written contracts are a must: Not everything can be left to trust. Contracts are legally binding documents that hold both parties accountable if one fails to perform their job. Make sure to get a contract signed stating every detail of the transaction, including the expectations and roles of each party. This can save everyone money and leave little room for misunderstandings.
In addition to this, good freight brokers have excellent communication, negotiating and problem-solving skills and the best freight brokers are the ones who understand their duties and effectively carry them out.
- Posted by admin
- On April 20, 2020