Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Four Myths About Working with Freight Brokers That Cost Shippers Time and Money
by Drew Jackson
There’s something of a myth amongst shippers that going it alone and dealing directly with carriers is in their best interests. In theory, this makes sense. But in reality, shippers are incredibly pressed for time and resources. As the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to reverberate throughout the economy, the pressure to do more with less is only going to ratchet up.
In truth, there are multiple advantages to working with freight brokers, starting with cost savings. Here are four myths we hear most often and why we believe shippers will get more for their time and money by working with a broker.
Myth #1: I can Save Money by Working Directly with the Carrier.
Here’s a truth you don’t want to learn the hard way: the cheapest truck does not always result in the cheapest run. The time required to vet carriers, compare pricing, track loads, and manage invoicing often outweighs any cost savings. And if an issue arises—such as a late pickup, late delivery or ruined load—you will be on the hook for getting it resolved. In contrast, brokers can lean on their experience and carrier relationships to find the best price, avoid frivolous add-ons like detention and layover, and efficiently handle any difficulties that come up.
Myth #2: I can Get More Value by Working with Asset-Based Companies.
The truth is, many large asset-based companies broker some or most of their loads. In effect, you may be working with a broker anyway, except that you will still be responsible for managing your own freight. A freight broker will handle every step of the process for you, often relying on technology tools that aren’t available to shippers. The only time you need to get involved is if there’s a problem with the freight.
Myth #3: I have More Control over My Freight.
It’s not unusual for large-capacity carriers to contract out extra loads. So while you may have done your due diligence before selecting a carrier, your freight may end up with a truck that has a less-than-stellar record or that is not the best fit for your load. A good broker, on the other hand, will ensure your freight is matched with the right truck at the best price. In addition, brokers have an extensive network of internal and external resources they can use to vet untested carriers. They can quickly but thoroughly check safety records, insurance certification, incidents on record and other factors that are key to managing risk.
Myth #4: Anyone can Find a Truck.
In a normal year, this would be the case. But trucks and drivers are in short supply for several reasons, and capacity is expected to remain tight throughout the rest of the year. The shortage is driving up demand, which is leading to skyrocketing rates. Brokers make it their business to build relationships with a large pool of carriers. As a result, they can find trucks that shippers or larger fleets miss and often at a more competitive rate. At USL, our freight agents have access to more than 80,000 carriers that are vetted for safety and insurance on day one.
Just the Facts: USL Keeps Your Business Moving
At USL, we strive to provide high-quality and reliable carriers by being a trustworthy partner. We balance technology with personal attention to make it easy to do business with us and with you. We are committed to fast pay to keep our carriers—and their drivers—happy. And our experienced team offers 24/7/365 support to keep loads moving no matter what. We are always ready to respond so that you can focus on your operations and our agents can focus on you.
Visit us at uslfreight.com to discover how our service-forward approach can support your needs, on your timeline, at your pace.