When it comes to business, especially those based on services it is arguable that the most important piece of the puzzle is customer service. This is especially true when it comes to small business owners choosing a freight broker. Many of you are about to disagree and point out that cost is the most important factors however I disagree. I do believe that as the relationship with the broker is continued cost savings in inevitable. To find a freight broker, especially one that specializes in less than truckload shipping you will find these tips useful.
Look for a provider to assist you with your business logistic needs that is affiliated in the industry. There are many associations to choose from as a part of the freight brokerage industry. It is important that before you do business you check with their affiliates to check for any unfavorable information regarding the company. It is important that as a logistics provider that the company is always accountable to the highest, best practice standards for the industry.
Find a provider that has been in business for a bit of time. A broker that has been in business for four to five years will have connections that a new broker just will not have in the industry yet. Connections will lead to better prices for all parties involved, which will affect your bottom end. Carriers will provide shippers with better rates based on the relationship they hold with them. This is natural in many business dealings.
Look for a freight provider that is insured, licensed and bonded. Insurance adds a second layer of protection if something does happen to your shipment and the actual carrier and their insurance company refuse to pay for the damages. Look for a carrier with both error & omissions insurance as well as contingent cargo& liability insurance. A broker is legally not able to operate without a federal property broker license which is offered through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as bonded for at least ten thousand dollars. This is important item to look for.
A good freight broker will deal with several different shippers/carriers. They will keep track of all of the minuet details about each of the carriers so that you don’t have to worry about any of it. It is their job to make sure your products and packages are where they need to be when they need to be on reliable carriers. Look into your broker’s relationship with carriers and how they manage the carriers they use.
Whomever you choose to help you in the logistic maze needs to be strong in day to day happenings. If lanes are changing or a more efficient one is developed that could benefit you it is their job to have this information. A broker that sits and waits for these changes to be announced are behind. You need to find a broker that has the relationships that will allow them to know before it happens.
Being proactive in you supply chain needs is the only way a broker will be sure that he is getting his clients the biggest bang for their buck. This is a full time job for larger companies. Small businesses don’t have the financial luxury to employ a logistics manager so the next best thing is to find a broker on the fast track of shipping.