Despite brokers being the main source of business (aka the customer) for many trucking companies, carriers often view freight brokers as a necessary middleman — not a business partner. Right or wrong, that perception among carriers about freight brokers has lingered for generations.

But the freight brokerage landscape has evolved rapidly in the past five years, and continues to evolve at a breakneck pace. Carriers no longer should feel like they’re trapped hauling freight for brokers they don’t want to work for, especially those that haven’t evolved to keep up in the modern marketplace. Though this list could be much longer, here are four essentials you should look for in any modern brokerage. If you’re not seeing these benefits, you’re selling yourself short. 

Custom profiles and contactless load booking. Does your freight broker (or as is often the case with owner-operators, a dispatching service) have the technology to ensure you’re on the lane you want to be, hauling the type of freight you want to haul? 

You should have the ability to build a profile about yourself and your business, which includes your preferred lanes, preferred load types, days you like to work, rates you prefer, and other relevant details. Then, you should have the ability to get pinged via email or push notification when there’s a load available that matches those criteria. Though you should wholly retain the ability to negotiate (more on that below), your broker should also offer the ability to immediately book loads that match your preference without any further interaction. 

Transparent load pricing and the ability to negotiate. Some prominent platforms in the market today set load pricing based solely on algorithms, locking carriers into those prices and blocking them from negotiating a rate that works for them.

Rates shouldn’t work that way. Negotiating a mutually agreed-upon price is a basic tenet of doing business, and your broker, whether it’s a digital brokerage like Loadsmart or a more traditional broker, should provide the opportunity to negotiate rates.

Quick and secure payment options. If you’re still waiting 30 days — or longer — to get paid for a load, it’s time to start shopping for a new broker partner. Once you have a Bill of Lading and Proof of Delivery documents, you should have the ability to quickly scan in necessary docs and get paid on a schedule that you prefer, with terms that are fair and clear. 

For example, Loadsmart recently partnered with TriumphPay to offer its QuickPay solutions to carriers. It’s available today for carriers on the TriumphPay platform and can be for carriers who sign up for the TriumphPay today. It allows you to select how you want to get paid — and, mostly importantly, when you want to get paid. The terms of those payments are transparent, simple, and reasonable. Here’s how to start benefiting from the partnership today:

Support and partnership. Freight brokerages in the modern world should be taking a partnership approach with carriers and working to develop long-term relationships — not just looking to move one load at a time.

Your broker should want to know where your trucks are now, where they’re going to be tomorrow, and working to learn your network. Then, they should be working to utilize your capacity in a mutually beneficial way. Brokers shouldn’t see themselves as order takers — the you wanted a load, here’s a load mentality. That’s not the way business should be done in today’s industry. Your broker partners should sit at the intersection of tech and people. That is, technology that finds the right freight for your operation, then people that support you via the backing of a team.

If you don’t see yourself as in a strategic relationship with your broker, it’s time to move on and find a brokerage that does. 

There’s no one solution that will work for every carrier. But there are enough options in the modern marketplace that you can find a brokerage that fits your needs and feels like a partner to your business. If you’ve enjoyed these insights and have questions or comments, start a conversation with us on your loadboard, resource center, or send an email to capacitydevelopment@loadsmart.com 

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About Loadsmart

We are industry veterans and data-scientists using innovative technology to fearlessly reinvent the future of freight. As the ‘nerds of logistics’, we seek intelligence in data to solve deep-rooted inefficiencies in the industry. We give shippers, brokers and carriers access to our data connections (linking supply and demand) and suite of award-winning solutions to strike the perfect balance of cost and service. We’re creating a more efficient and environmentally responsible way to move more with less. For more information, please visit: https://loadsmart.com