8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Freight Broker

1. Always go for a licensed broker

If you work with carriers who broker loads but do not possess the federal property broker license, you’re putting your business at risk. Always ensure that the broker possesses the right authority and license to offer their services.

2. Find a broker who offers multiple modal options

Most of the freight brokers you’ll find will only provide truckload carrier services. However, it’s best to work with a broker who offers a more comprehensive service which may include air freight, rail intermodal, LTL, flatbeds, and logistics management services, among others. This will make it easy for you to get all options you need from one source

3. How does the broker select the ideal carrier?

The same way you perform due diligence when choosing a broker, they shouldn’t trust your freight to just any carrier. Find out what their carrier selection criteria looks like. Before they tender loads to carriers, the broker should verify the company’s authority, safety rating as well as their insurance coverage. Your broker should also have a written contract with any carrier they use.

4. Do they have a good carrier management process?

The freight broker should always ensure constant communication with their carriers. Find out how the brokers match carriers to available loads and their communication process. Do they speak on the phone only or do they have a channel where they communicate instructions in writing? How do they confirm when the load is picked up and delivered as promised? These aspects of the shipping process are critical and hence a good broker must ensure they are properly documented.

5. Find an experienced broker

It’s better to work with a broker that has survived and prospered in the industry for at least 3 years. Experienced brokers have a history of executing successfully.

6. Is the broker insured?

Don’t take the chance of working with an uninsured broker. An insured broker will be able to pay for any losses or damage claims that arise should the carrier or insurance company refuse to compensate. A good freight broker will have both liability insurance and ‘errors and omissions’ insurance.

7. Is the broker a member of a reputable association?

Freight brokers who have enrolled in integrity programs such as the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) are more likely to deliver exceptional service because they are required to abide by a strict code of ethics. You are less likely to encounter problems when working with a member of an association such as TIA.

8. Sign a contract

You’ll need a written contract with the broker which states the terms and conditions of your agreement. This will help avoid costly misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations that may arise from time to time.