Find a Freight Broker Who Makes Your Life Easier – Not More Difficult
Before setting out to find a freight broker, ensure you know what kind of broker to look for, so you don’t fall into the same unfortunate situation as so many other shippers.
It’s a familiar scenario. You find a freight broker to handle your shipment, who then hires a carrier, who delivers your shipment. You happily pay your broker – only to find that the carrier is coming after you for payment, because the freight broker never paid them. Since then, the freight broker has gone out of business.
What then? When it comes to that, it’s hard to say. Some courts will require you, the shipper, to pay the carrier, even though you have already paid the broker. Other courts will exempt you from liability.
This isn’t to say that freight brokers are out to swindle shippers. Freight brokers can be a valuable ally to bring shippers and carriers together.
However, the above situation does happen, and it can be prevented by making a point to find a freight broker who is established and unlikely to go out of business.
Follow these 5 steps to find a freight broker who is in good financial shape. (For in-depth advice on avoiding extra costs and claims when working with brokers, download our ebook, Best Freight Broker Claim Prevention Tips).
1. Get the Freight Broker’s License
Get a copy of the freight broker’s license to ensure that they are a certified freight broker. If you want to be on the safe side, check with FHWA to verify their registration and surety bond. Ensure that your “broker” is not just a carrier who brokers loads without the proper license.
2. Find a Freight Broker with a Track Record
The first 1 – 5 years are when businesses are most likely to fail, so look for a freight broker who is well established and has been in business for several years.
3. Find out How Many Clients Your Freight Broker Has
Not only look at the overall number, but ask for a client list to see what other businesses are comfortable working with them. You might even consider calling a couple of their clients to see how their experiences have been.
4. Find out How Many Carriers Your Freight Broker Has
This will give you an idea of how large the freight broker’s company is. Also, a larger number of carriers mean that the broker will be more likely to find the best carrier for your load.
5. Do a Credit Check
You want to ensure that your freight broker is in good financial standing. Find out how quickly the broker pays their carriers. Do they have any liens? Have they had any financial trouble? Is the freight brokerage making money? These are all important questions that can give you a sense of how financially stable the freight broker is.
Following these steps will help you to choose a freight broker who is running a stable business and able to pay their carriers – so you won’t need to pay for your shipment twice.
Next Steps for Working with Your Freight Broker
Once you have found a financially stable freight broker, there are lots of other steps you can take to minimize your risk of freight claims and other complications with your shipments. For more information, you can download the full ebook here:
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