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freight broker

What is a Freight Broker?

Unlock the gateway to seamless shipping with our guide to freight brokers! From navigating complex logistics to finding the best routes, discover how these experts power your cargo journey. Dive into the world of freight brokerage and revolutionize your shipping experience today!

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What Is a Freight Broker and Why Should I Use One?


Freight brokers are the middleman between shippers and carriers. Their main objective is to match carriers and shippers in logistical alignment. Freight brokers assign shippers to carriers that meet their transportation needs while simultaneously meeting the carrier requirements, rules, and regulations. Shippers need not concern themselves with searching for the most efficient and cost-effective options. Save yourself time and headaches by leaving the logistics to the professionals.

Working with a freight broker will provide you access to discounted rates, proper and legal documentation and paperwork, shipment tracking, pickup and delivery arrangements, and other logistics services. While freight brokers do not own specialized equipment, trucks, or transportation equipment, they have industry contacts, carrier relationships, advanced technology, and logistics expertise. For these reasons, you can count on freight brokers to coordinate efficient, timely, and cost-effective shipments on your behalf. 

A freight broker is a bonded and DOT– (Department of Transportation) licensed agency that secures freight shipping services from freight carriers on behalf of businesses and individuals. Typical clients include manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and distributors intending to transport raw materials, finished products, and perishable cargo. As you can see, freight brokers are essential to the supply chain industry. They are directly responsible for making the supply chain more streamlined, efficient, cost-effective, and reliable for shippers and carriers. 


Typical Freight Brokerage Tasks Include:

  • Connecting shippers and carriers: Brokers act as a liaison between carriers and shippers. They develop a network of top carriers that provide discounted rates for the broker’s customers.
  • Rate negotiation: Finding the carrier for each shipment that offers the best freight rates and services.
  • Shipment Coordination: Booking the shipment on behalf of the customer (the shipper).
  • Paperwork and Documentation: Preparing all the paperwork—Terms and conditions, Bill of Lading (BOL), and shipping labels—and emailing it to the shipper
  • Shipment Tracking
  • Problem Resolution
  • Compliance Management
  • Marketing Research
  • Relationship Building/Networking
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • Technology Utilization
  • Cost Analysis and Reporting
  • Market Expansion
  • Customer Service
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What our customers are saying

We provide competitive freight shipping prices and an all-inclusive, easy-to-use shipping experience for our customers. Exceeding our customers’ expectations results in thousands of satisfied customer reviews and repeat business. We believe in the power of our customer relationships. Check out FreightCenter reviews from real customers, and learn what they have to say about their freight shipping experience!

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Our Certifications

Awards and Endorsements

  • 2021, 2017 & 2016 Food Logistics’ Top Green Providers
  • 2021 & 2018 Supply & Demand Chain Executives’ Pros to Know: Matthew Brosious
  • 2020 & 2019 Top Food Logistics’ 3PL & Cold Storage Provider Award
  • 2020 & 2019 Business Observer’s Top 500 Companies on the Gulf Coast
  • 2020 & 2017 SmartWay® Transport Partner
  • 2020 & 2017 Food Logistics’ Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain
  • 2020 Best of Palm Harbor Awards for Local Businesses
  • 2017 Green Supply Chain Award from Supply & Demand Chain Executive
  • 2017 Tampa Bay Business Journal Heroes at Work
  • 2016, 2015, & 2012 Food Logistics Top 100 Software and Technology Providers
  • 2013 Tampa Bay Business 100 by Tampa Bay Business Journal
  • 2013 Top 100 Great Supply Chain Partners by SupplyChainBrain
  • 2012 TIA Samaritan Award Honorable Mention
  • 2012, 2011 & 2010 TBBJ Fast 50 Recipient
  • 2013, 2011, & 2010 Diversity Business Top Businesses
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Take advantage of FreightCenter’s Freight Broker Services


FreightCenter’s freight brokerage services cover all modes of freight shipping, including ground trucking, air, rail, and ocean vessels. FreightCenter also provides supply chain management (retail) and enterprise (larger businesses), specialized services, and cross-border shipping services. Our network of carriers extends from the US to Canada and even international shipping. Today’s vast majority of freight shipping in the US occurs via ground trucking. FreightCenter can be your freight broker for all three primary methods of ground trucking.


Our elite in-house team of shipping experts and freight agents can help you select the best method for your shipping. There is no charge for the team’s services, which are provided via email and phone at 800.716.7608.

Full Truckload

We deliver optimized and tailored solutions for full or partial truckloads, competitive dry vans, flatbeds, and refrigerated freight at the most competitive rates. We can cover the entirety of your truckload shipping needs.

Expedited Services

Nationwide Expedited Trucking services move your freight securely and rapidly. Your cargo requires fast delivery; our freight shipping experts can get your shipment fast, whether in one large box or a full truckload.

Specialized Freight Shipping

The most reliable specialized freight service rates from all the top carriers are just a few steps away. From white glove service to international shipping, we’ve got you covered.

Call Us At 800-716-7608
FreightCenter by the numbers
25 Years In Business
1.5m+ Shipments Delivered
93%+ On-Time Performance
99.1% Damage Free Shipments

When Should I Utilize A Freight Broker? 

If you dreading carrier negotiations, route planning, and freight tracking, partnering with a freight broker is likely the best route for you! Freight brokers use their expertise to improve delivery times, prevent damages, and increase supply chain efficiency. A freight broker can help improve your shipping processes in various ways. 

If cost is a concern, utilizing freight broker services will slash your costs. Combining experience, discounts, and industry connections will help you stay within your margins and save big! Capacity is another concern for shippers, especially those who need to process a large volume of freight in a time crunch. Assistance with capacity logistics is also beneficial for seasonal businesses. 

Time is another critical area where shippers optimize their logistics using freight brokers. Freight brokers work with carriers to optimize routes and eliminate costly delays. Freight broker services have procedures in place that can minimize damage to cargo. 


Can a Freight Broker Also Be a 3PL? 

The answer is yes! They can also act as 3PLs; despite some overlap, there are distinct differences in services offered. To be clear, Freight brokers focus on transportation between shippers and carriers while handling services like load booking, tracking, and documentation. Moreover, 3PLs provide a more comprehensive range of services than the standard freight broker. 

Beyond transportation logistics, 3PLs also offer warehousing, inventory control, order fulfillment, and distribution. In some instances, logistics brokers may offer 3PL services and their own to provide more comprehensive logistics services. FreightCenter is both a freight broker and a 3PL. A 3PL can take on the role of a shipping department for the customer. 

In addition to providing broker services, the 3PL will work with a business to establish a logistics strategy and tactics that will save the business time and money.

Freight Brokers Save Money

An established broker like FreightCenter (founded in 1998) maintains relationships with a network of dependable carrier companies. A broker can service the individual needs of a one-time or occasional shipper that a carrier can’t take the time to address on its own. Providing these services and shipping consistently through its network (FreightCenter books several hundred shipments each day), a transportation broker receives substantially discounted freight rates from the carriers in its network.

A broker will share its discounts with its customers, allowing shippers to meet their freight shipping needs while saving a lot of money (up to 95%) versus the cost of booking directly with the carrier. For the occasional shipper shipping fewer than 40 times per month, using a broker is a highly cost-effective practice. Relationships, as do our industry know-how and expertise, play a significant role in price negotiations. Due to our extensive carrier network, FreightCenter can sift through many carriers to find the perfect carrier for your shipment with the most competitive rates on the market. 

The broader range of carrier options makes it all the more likely that you will be matched with the most cost-effective solution! Additionally, freight brokers often have access to advanced technologies that allow them to identify opportunities to consolidate shipments, maximizing truckload capacity and saving everyone money. 

Freight brokers are logistics experts and are professionals adept at maximizing efficiency, saving you time and money. Freight broker expertise goes beyond logistics and ensuring shipment compliance, preventing delays and hefty fines. Entrusting a Freight broker like FreightCenter will give you the time and space to focus on your business. After all, time is money, and FreightCenter delivers bang for the buck every step of the way.

Finding a Quality Freight Broker

Qualifications matter when it comes to choosing a quality freight broker. Vet potential carriers through their website, reviews, and social media. It is essential to select an experienced and reputable carrier. Brokers with specialized experience should not be overlooked. Specializations mean a broker has industry expertise, saving you time, money, and logistics headaches. 

When searching for a freight broker, only work with licensed and bonded brokers. All freight brokers are legally required to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Only working with licensed, registered, and bonded brokers will protect your business from fraud and damages. 

Another great way to vet potential brokers is to evaluate their partnerships. It is crucial that you trust your broker’s judgment, especially when it comes to choosing safe and reliable carriers for your shipment. Ask brokers how they vet their carriers and look for ones that prioritize safety, quality, and efficiency. 

Finely-tailored freight solutions

To create value for our customers by delivering customized shipping solutions that meet their unique needs and to fulfill shipping demands from simple to complex with expertise, guidance and ingenuity.

LTL Shipping

Your LTL freight deserves a first-class experience—Trust FreightCenter's dedicated team to deliver every step of the way. FreightCenter's experienced professionals are by your side from the initial quote to the final delivery.

Full Truckload

Get your freight moving with streamlined solutions. Whether you need a full truckload or just a portion, we offer competitive pricing for dry van, flatbed, and refrigerated shipments. Let us handle the logistics so you can focus on what matters most.

Expedited Services

Can't wait? We get it. Our nationwide expedited trucking experts tailor solutions to your urgent needs, whether a single box or a full truckload. We deliver fast so you can focus on what matters.

Specialized Freight Shipping

Specialized freight, simplified. We're your one-stop shop for worry-free, expert-backed shipping. No project is too big, and no detail is too small. Our network of top carriers delivers customized solutions with unmatched reliability. Let us navigate the complexities; you focus on what matters.

Flatbed Trucking:

When your freight defies convention, ditch the trailer and embrace the freedom of a flatbed. Oversized, awkward, or just plain unique - flatbed trucks handle it all, delivering your cargo safely and efficiently.

Intermodal Transportation:

Combine multiple modes of transportation, such as trucking and rail, for efficient and cost-effective shipping.

Rail Freight:

Transport shipments via rail for long-distance shipments.

Ocean Freight:

From coffee beans to car parts, from medicine to machinery. These containers hold the pulse of global trade, impacting lives in countless ways. Imagine a container filled with life-saving medication, another brimming with fresh coffee beans, and yet another carrying the components for a child's bicycle.

Air Freight:

Opt for air transportation when time-sensitive delivery of shipments is required.

Cross-Border Trucking:

Arrange for trucking services to transport packages across international borders.

Heavy Haul Trucking:

Heavy haul specialists are the behind-the-scenes masterminds, crafting solutions to transport your most challenging cargo. From customized trailers to meticulous route planning, they navigate the complexities, ensuring your cargo arrives safely and on time.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Providers

A third-party logistics provider is a business that provides other companies and businesses with more efficient and cost-effective supply chain and logistics processes.

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What is a Freight Broker? Guaranteed competitive pricing every time you ship.
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Compare Freight Quotes From Top Carriers Instantly for Free

FreightCenter is where top carriers compete for your business. With the creation of a free online account, you can access instant freight rates. The results will compare available carrier pricing and estimated transit time.

You can select from any carrier result on the list to use. After your shipment is picked up, you can track it online. Booking your shipment along with payment is also available online.

Gain Peace of Mind

We are an award-winning logistics company and an American veteran-owned business. FreightCenter brings a lot to the table when it comes to our many services. Our history, competitive pricing, and level of service are unmatched in the industry. Over the years and many miles, we have formed a dedicated and respected network of partners in the logistics industry to help customers meet deadlines.

Entrust A Freight Broker Like FreightCenter

Our mission is to meet and exceed customer expectations in all that we do. We take care of your shipping from pickup to delivery. Excellent customer service is our hallmark, and it goes a long way in building a relationship of trust. Customers who select FreightCenter to handle their less-than-truckload freight shipment trust us to do the job.

FreightCenter is licensed and bonded and has been operating since 1998. Committed to excellent customer service, FreightCenter arranges freight for commercial and residential shippers. We save shippers up to 95% off standard carrier freight rates through our volume-discounted pricing from reliable carriers.

Get started with FreightCenter by comparing freight quotes from top carriers. Need help? Call our shipping experts at 800.716.7608.

Freight Broker FAQ

Q. What is a freight broker?


A freight broker is the middleman between shippers and carriers, who facilitates the transportation of freight or parcels. They match shippers with carriers, ensuring logistical alignment and compliance with transportation requirements.

Q. What is the difference between a freight broker and 3PL?


While the functions of freight brokers and 3PLs often overlap, there are many key differences in the services they provide. Freight brokers are the intermediaries between shippers and carriers, connecting businesses to transportation services. Brokers arrange the services, negotiate rates, and coordinate logistics from one point to another.

Freight brokers aim to focus on a smooth transfer between shippers and carriers. Brokers do not own transportation assets but rely on industry contacts, knowledge, and tech to arrange these services. 3PLs, by contrast, offer a wide range of logistics services beyond transportation; they also own or lease, allowing them to provide end-to-end logistics solutions. 3PLs also manage and optimize various supply chain aspects, integrate cutting-edge technology, and offer services such as consulting, customs brokerage, order processing, returns management, etc.

Q. What does a freight broker do?


Freight brokers connect shippers with carriers, handle logistics, and coordinate efficient, timely, and cost-effective shipments. They develop a network of carriers, find the best combination of rates and services for each shipment, handle bookings and payments, address customer questions and concerns, prepare paperwork, and provide shipment tracking.

Q. How does a freight broker save businesses money?


Freight brokers have established relationships with a network of dependable carriers, which allows them to secure substantially discounted freight rates. By sharing these discounts with customers, freight brokers enable businesses to meet their shipping needs while saving up to 95% compared to booking directly with carriers.

Q. What are the benefits of working with a freight broker?


Working with a freight broker provides access to discounted rates, proper documentation and paperwork, shipment tracking, pickup and delivery arrangements, and other logistics services. Freight brokers have industry contacts, carrier relationships, advanced technology, and logistics expertise, ensuring efficient and cost-effective business shipments.

Q. Can a freight broker also be a 3PL (Third Party Logistics)?


Yes, a freight broker can also act as a 3PL. While freight brokers focus on transportation between shippers and carriers, handling services like load booking, tracking, and documentation, 3PLs offer a more comprehensive range of services, including warehousing, inventory control, order fulfillment, and distribution. Some freight brokers, like FreightCenter, offer freight brokerage and 3PL services.

Q. What additional services do 3PLs offer compared to freight brokers?


In addition to transportation logistics, 3PLs provide services such as warehousing, inventory management, order fulfillment, and distribution. They work with businesses to establish comprehensive logistics strategies, saving time and money throughout the supply chain process.

Q. How do freight brokers secure discounted rates from carriers?


Freight brokers maintain relationships with a network of carriers and leverage their shipment volume to negotiate discounted rates. Due to their extensive carrier network, freight brokers like FreightCenter can select the carrier with the most competitive rates and pass on the savings to their customers.

Q. How can using a freight broker save up to 95% on freight shipping costs?


By accessing discounted rates from carriers, freight brokers can offer substantial savings to their customers. These savings, often up to 95% compared to direct carrier bookings, make using a freight broker a highly cost-effective option, particularly for occasional shippers who have fewer than 40 shipments per month.