Day in the Life of a Freight Agent: Part 1—An Overview
From closing deals with shippers to checking in with drivers on cargo status, shipping agents are constantly multitasking, adapting, and managing relationships with shippers and carriers. So, what does an average day look like for a freight agent? Spoiler alert—each day is a little different than the last.
Our expert agents start their day bright and early, checking in on active shipments before contacting as many potential shippers from their database as possible to start the logistics process. Because of the strong relationships our agents make with shippers, they often know the needs of the shipper ahead of time. If not, they will collect detailed information, such as what type of cargo they are shipping, where are the normal pick-up and delivery points, and whether the loads are full truck loads or less than full truck loads. From there they determine the type of truck and trailer needed, relay to one of our trusted carriers, and put the freight into motion.
The next step for agents is to post cargo to load boards, Sureway’s Carrier Portal where carriers and book freight themselves, and/or access the database of available trucks. Agents will contact carriers to see if they have available trucks to cover the load or will be contacted by carriers who reach out through the load board. Once the agent receives confirmation from the carrier that they will transport the load, agents then immediately reach back out to the shipper to let them know their load will be covered.
At this point agents will send over confirmation paperwork for the carrier to fill out and send back to confirm the deal. With the confirmation paperwork in hand, the agent will reach out to the carrier personally to give the details of the load along with any other important instructions the driver may need.
Throughout the cargo’s transport, if it is a multi-day transport, the agent will check in with the carrier to check on the status of the shipment. Once the load is delivered the agent will reach out to the shipper to let them know that their cargo has made it to its destination.
While this routine may seem repetitive or casual at times, that is far from the truth! While most transactions go smooth, there will always be times agents need to adapt to challenging circumstances like bad weather that can cause late deliveries, damaged cargo, lack of capacity, and many other unforeseen events—but it’s the ability to overcome these adversities that make great agents!