Focus on Freight: 5 Considerations for Finding the Right Freight Broker for Your Needs
Finding the right Freight Broker is a lot like shopping for a new vehicle. You kind of know what you like, and what you need, but you gotta shop around to find just the right combination. Here are 5 tips for finding a Freight Broker that not only meets your expectations, but makes your life easier.
1. Do they have the capacity to support your needs? A Freight Broker will have a network of selected carriers at the ready to get your shipment on the road and to its destination. But do they have enough? And how quickly can you get things moving? Checking with the broker to see how many carriers are in their network is an easy first question to ask. Follow that up by asking what type of shipments they can handle—do they only specialize in dry vans, for instance? If that fits, great. If you need someone who can ship multiple ways, say so up front.
2. Are they using today's best technology? We've come a long way with technology in general, and the transportation industry thrives on it. Real-time load tracking (which we talked about above) is a must-have for keeping an eye on progress, and holding your broker accountable.
3. What is their communication style? Is the broker you'll be working with just a quick text away? That's really the only way to go—find yourself a program with clear and easy access to your point of contact, so you'll always be in the know. On the flip side, they should be proactive; reaching out to you with updates before you even ask.
4. Where do they rank? Sureway is one of the nation's top 35 freight brokers of the 17,000+ available. Now, you don't need to select from the very top of the list, but agencies don't get on the list by chance—it's through hard work, consistent service, the ability to stay true to their word, and deliver freight on your behalf. Experience is essential.
5. Are they solutions providers? What you want is a provider that can flex along with your needs. In the transportation industry, not much is cookie cutter. Many shipments require the ability to manage and apply solutions throughout the process, so it's important that your broker is eager to provide solutions and be able to solve problems a moment's notice.
Speaking of solutions—our sister company, ATS, has a great article about ways to beat the obstacles that sometimes come with working with a freight broker. Check it out here.