Transportation brokers, or freight brokers, are individuals or companies that serve as a middle man between other companies or individuals that need shipping services through authorized motor carriers. Transportation brokers play an important role in the movement of freight, but it is important to understand that they do not function as the shipper or carrier.
If transportation brokers do not handle the shipment then why use them?
Utilizing brokers instead of going directly to the freight carrier can help save you time and money. Brokers, like FreightCenter, have a better understanding of supply chain management and have a vast network of carriers that you can use instead of just sticking to one. By having multiple carriers they can pick which best fits your shipment needs in terms of pricing, speed of delivery, and what lanes they will need to use. On top of that freight brokers offer special pricing that is more affordable then going to the carrier directly. Brokers stand by their services and offer a certain level of protection for each of your shipments. They know which carriers are good and which are bad. They have freight insurance options and other special services such as white glove, final mile and most recently flat rate freight shipping. Brokers also free up resources by taking on the responsibility of managing your logistics.
Transportation brokers want nothing more than quality service from their partner carriers and making their customers happy by giving them accurate, on time, and damage free shipments. In the world of logistics, little mistakes can turn into big supply chain problems, which is why it’s so important to have a hands-on broker on your side. Pricing and the condition of the item being shipped can be affected dramatically if the information is inaccurate and or the item isn’t properly packaged. As a person or business that is about to use a 3PL (third party logistic) be aware of the following:
If you do not give the correct information, such as weight, dimensions and freight class, you will be required to pay for the actual weight and size even if it’s more than your original quote. Yes, this means to include the added dimensions and weight of your packaging as well. Always double check your items weight and dimensions before booking a shipment.
Unless you are booking a truckload shipment, your shipment will be grouped with other shipments on a truck. This means that your item could get stacked on by something else. The number one cause of damages is improper packaging, or crating. A useful tip is to prepare for the worst. Pretend your shipment will be on bottom and that the roads might be bumpy. Secure your shipment in a wooden crate that can support heavyweight on top of it.