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8 Ways Brokers Can Build Strong Carrier Relationships

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The most successful freight brokers start developing quality carrier relationships from the beginning to create a reliable network of carriers to deliver loads as promised so you can reach your income goals. But it can be easy to forget that shippers and carriers are also your customers. Treating carriers like valued clients is a great way to manage those relationships. The benefits of having great relationships with carriers include:

  • Faster load booking: When you have freight that needs to move on short notice, strong relationships make all the difference. You could spend hours on the phone contacting carries, or you could call those carriers you trust most who have the capacity to handle a last-minute load, book, and get on the road.
  • Faster rate negotiation: A big part of running a successful freight brokerage is your ability to agree to rates quickly. When you’ve treated your carriers right in the past, they are more likely to trust your judgment and work with you again. This established relationship will help you negotiate rates faster.
  • Great customer service: Carriers will build loyalty and feel like they are your partner if your provide customer service. In turn, they will be more likely to answer your calls promptly, take care of your shippers, and less likely to cancel loads at the last minute.

Here are eight ways to build strong relationships with carriers to keep your business moving.

Eight ways to build strong broker-carrier relationships

1. Provide quick payments.

Carriers expect to get paid quickly after they deliver the load, receive a bill of lading and proof of delivery, and scan in the required documentation. Carriers naturally prioritize loads from a brokerage that offer faster payments. Make it a habit to pay your carriers as quickly as possible to strengthen relationships and build trust.

2. Listen to carrier feedback and preferences.

Make it easy for your carriers to indicate the type of freight they prefer to haul and their rate range. Understanding how to make your carriers happy and then following through is one of the best things you can do for your freight broker business.

Ask each carrier:

  • Which lanes they prefer?
  • What types of loads their truck can haul and the capacity?
  • What rates do they prefer?

Take note of their feedback and show them you listen by providing the type of work they want.

3. Enable fast load booking.

Take good care of your best carriers by quickly book the loads they want most. Post loads for the carriers you prefer with Book It Now.

4. Reduce deadhead mileage.

Even the best paying loads can lose their luster when the carrier must deadhead it back home. As a broker, you can provide your carriers with return loads that help them preserve their best per-mile rates.

5. Provide detention pay.

When drivers have to sit and wait for unloading, they lose money and can get frustrated. If possible, communicate with the shipper to ensure freight drivers won’t have to wait when they arrive. Offering detention pay is another way to keep drivers happy and willing to continue to work with you.

6. Grow your business with your carriers.

As your freight broker business grows, your carriers should reap the rewards of being part of your trusted network. Show respect for their businesses, and they’ll be more likely to come through for you when it counts.

7. Be transparent on pricing.

Carriers appreciate transparency. Be up up front about changing market conditions and fluctuating rates. Knowing your carriers one-on-one will help lay the groundwork for a good working relationship that endures even when conditions aren’t ideal.

8. Show appreciation.

Your carriers are the backbone of your freight broker business and that get loads delivered intact and on time and give them a reason to say “yes” next time you need their help.

Onboard quality carriers faster.

It’s tough to build a list of quality carriers. Onboarding can be a time-consuming, especially if you are just starting out with your freight broker business. With Truckstop RMIS Onboarding technology, brokers can source, vet, and onboard quality carriers in a fraction of the time it would take to go through the process manually.

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