As a freight broker, finding new shippers can be a challenge. The ones with the excellent reputations and constant volume typically have their existing lanes covered. Others have their own trucks. Many new brokers struggle to get on daily load lists, let alone on the phone with a shipper.
So when you get the ear of a shipper, you need to make the most of it and be crystal clear about what you can provide to them that they don’t currently have.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 9 things a shipper needs to hear from you before hiring you.
1. Your Modes and Lanes
What types of trucks can you easily access? What lanes do your best drivers cover? Do you have experience in alternative modes such as air and rail? Having some tricks up your sleeve to move 911 freight will come in handy and keep you on the shipper’s speed dial, so be specific.
2. How Long You’ve Been in Business
Shippers will typically ask this, so don’t avoid the question. If you’re a newer broker, have a prepared answer that highlights your previous experience in the trucking industry, or the most recent accomplishments in your tenure. Were you a driver? Have you gone through any special training programs? Consider becoming a member of the Transportation Intermediaries Association, which has a strict code of ethics you can mention.
3. You’re FMCSA Licensed and Bonded
You’d be shocked by how many brokers try to crack the market without having the proper paperwork.
4. You Have Contingent Cargo Insurance
The shipper needs to know that if a carrier can’t cover a claim, you’ll have their back in the case of lost or damaged freight.
5. A Quote For Your Rates and Lanes
Make sure to include all accessorial charges, so that they can compare apples to apples. Use Truckstop.com’s Rate Analysis to compare your rates to the industry, see trends over time, and analyze opportunities.
6. How You Select Your Carriers
Make sure to mention that you check insurance and CDL.
7. You Invoice Accurately and On-Time.
If you think this isn’t worth fussing over, you’re wrong. If a shipper has been burned by poor broker organization, this may be the only reason they need to move a lane to you.
8. Your Carriers Pick-up and Deliver On Time
In fact, many shippers will stick with a trusted broker, even if the rates are higher, just because they can depend on the loads.
9. You’re Available Around the Clock
They want to know that you will troubleshoot loads, move 911 loads, and pass on critical information from the carrier when needed.
Finding a reliable stream of freight income that stands the test of time can be accomplished when you learn to ask the right questions of shippers. Brokers that step up to the plate with honest, concise, and specific answers build strong relationships and become the go-to resource for their partners.