Working as a freight broker or freight broker agent means that you are your own business. With that comes the responsibility of ownership. This means taking care of situations as they develop.
These situations allow you, as a freight broker, to separate yourself from the pack. Your shipper will take notice and the carrier will notice. Shippers and carriers both want to work with a freight broker that they can rely on and trust to be there when needed.
As a freight broker, you know that you have a need to build your book of business. Find any classified ad for a freight broker seeking agents, and you’ll find that they require agents have a book of business. This book of business simply means having a customer/shipper base in place.
In addition to having a shipper base, you’ll want to also have a carrier following. A carrier following is trucking companies that will work with you on a regular basis. These carriers know that they can trust you, that you will be there for them on each and every load they move for you.
When you have a book of business and a carrier following, you will have greater success. But how does one develop a carrier following? One load at a time!
When a carrier agrees to move a load for a broker they’ve not worked with, they’ll often be cautious. They don’t know you, this is the first time they’ve worked with you, so there is the “unknown” factor at play. Remember, you get one chance to make a great first impression, so make it count.
How does a broker make a great first impression? First and foremost is to be 100% honest about the load. Don’t leave out any details. There shouldn’t be any surprises.
Everyone in transportation knows that sometimes “trucking happens”. When “trucking happens”, you need to be available. Don’t ignore the problem. Work with the carrier and shipper to get the problem resolved. Often, the problem can be fixed with a couple of calls. Ignore the problem and it will only get worse.
Make a great first impression on the first load, and that carrier will want to work with you again. Make a bad first impression, and that carrier will deadhead a thousand miles before taking any of your loads.
The same holds true for every load you move. You want to build trust with a carrier and keep it. This is how you build a carrier following. It starts with the first load and continues with every future load.
Thanks, and talk soon,