As a broker, you make money by connecting shippers with carriers. The more connections you make, the better your margins will be. The market is huge. Freight brokerages and agencies are expected to account for $145.2 billion in 2021. After last year’s pandemic slowdown, the broker business is forecasted to end the year with 11.7% growth.
It’s a competitive business and getting more so every day. With over 17,000 licensed freight brokers in the U.S. as competitors for business, you need any edge you can get. The faster you can find quality loads, the more profit you make. So, how do freight brokers find loads?
Six ways freight brokers can find quality loads
Make sure to invest the time in nurturing your current clients. When you develop strong relationships with your customers, it is harder for others to take that business away. Existing customers tend to make up 65% or more of any company’s business. Generating repeat business helps you find more loads, save time searching for new opportunities, and reduce customer acquisition costs.
Of course, there will be plenty of times you need to drum up new business. So, where do freight brokers find new loads? Here are six of the most common strategies successful freight brokers use.
- Ask existing clients for referrals.
- Re-engage cold shipper accounts.
- Search through shipper lists.
- Prospect and cold call.
- Leverage warm connections.
- Get listed as a backup.
Each will take a little work on your part, but can help attract new clients to your freight brokerage.
Ask existing clients for referrals.
One of the most successful strategies for how to get loads as a freight broker is to ask for referrals from current clients. When you get a referral from one of your satisfied customers, it can open the door for business with a new shipper.
When someone gives you a referral, they are essentially endorsing your business. This endorsement can help establish trust and credibility with a potential new client for your brokerage.
Re-engage cold shipper accounts.
You can also find shippers who have stopped doing business with you for one reason or another. If there’s a problem, you want the opportunity to resolve it. If there isn’t a problem, you want the chance to pick up their business again.
Often, business relationships fade simply because your key contact no longer works for a shipper. If that’s the case, re-engaging creates two opportunities. First, you can introduce yourself to their replacement and make sure they are aware of your capabilities. Secondly, you might be able to find out where your previous contact went. You can then talk to your previous contact and ask if they need your services at their new business.
Search through shipper lists.
There are plenty of businesses out there that would benefit from your brokerage services. Searching through shipper lists made for brokers or trucking companies helps identify active shippers you didn’t know about.
Prospect and cold call.
Once you have a list of new shippers, reach out! While few people like doing cold calling, it can still be an effective way to land new business if you’re patient and willing to put in the work.
Cold calls are a volume game and require a thick skin. You will hear a lot of “no” before you ever hear a yes, but that yes means money and can lead to new customers.
Leverage warm connections.
Warm connections can come from referrals, past customers, or identifying business leads that need your service right now.
By doing some quick online research about companies that need your services, you can significantly increase your odds of success. When you know a little bit about what companies do and what they need, cold calls turn into warm calls. For example, if a company is opening up a new plant or expanding operations, you can use that information to spark a conversation.
Get listed as a backup.
Even if a shipper has a regular broker and/or carrier already, let them know you’re ready to fill in if their usual services aren’t available. When you can solve someone’s problem, you also get the opportunity to create a relationship that can lead to long-term business.
Find quality carriers and secure better rates.
Load boards are the easiest way to find new carriers.
The Truckstop.com Load Board allows you to quickly find the capacity you need to move freight and cultivate relationships. You can do this by searching for available trucks in the lanes you need and identify carriers.
- Carrier performance ratings help evaluate driver performance based on history, inspection reports, complaints, and ratings to help you choose carriers that fit your shipper’s needs.
- Predictive sourcing can help you identify potential carrier preferences by lane. You can return 50 results with the last month’s history and filter by equipment.
Truckstop.com also has pricing tools that can help set a fair market rate based on trendlines. These tools includes rate forecasting, which provides week-by-week and lane-by-lane rate trends from more than 160,000 actives lanes, and spot market insights, which helps you track trends and compare spot pricing forecasts to historical data.
Book a free demo to see how Truckstop.com can help you find capacity and secure better rates for the loads you need moved.