One of the main reasons why businesses start working with third-party logistics providers (3PLs) is for freight brokerage services.
What is a freight broker?
A freight broker is a person who contacts carriers and handles the load moving process. Ultimately, a good freight broker is one point of contact for all of your transportation needs. These professionals provide you with high-level customer service, letting you access their carrier network, and negotiate freight rates for you.
Why should you use a freight broker?
Many shippers underestimate the role of freight brokers or have a skeptical attitude towards them. This misunderstanding is a result of not knowing how exactly brokerage services function, and how to work with them. Working with freight brokers can significantly reduce the time you spend on load arrangements and carrier search. You can eliminate transportation costs because of the reduced rates and more sufficient logistics processes. To fully understand the potential of freight brokerage services for your company, it is better to learn how freight brokers work and what piece of responsibility they handle.
What does a freight broker do?
This is the primary stage of the transportation process. A freight broker either calls or gets a call from a company with a request to schedule a load. At this point, you have to provide the 3PL with all the necessary information. Apart from address and contact information, the broker will ask you to mention handling conditions, commodity type, and other important data.
Once you’ve stated accurate information, freight brokers put it into their transportation management system (TMS). Working through a TMS lets them find reputable and experienced carriers who can move your shipment. Essentially, you can be sure that all the carriers are licensed, and have appropriate equipment. Once your load is booked, the broker schedules pick-up and delivery.
Loading is a crucial step in transportation. Brokers stay in touch with the carrier from the very start and make sure the driver is loaded with the right freight. At this point, the carrier signs a Bill of Lading, which means the driver is now liable for your freight.
During the entire transit, a 3PL stays in touch with you and your carrier. A good logistics provider has advanced tracking systems that give you complete visibility into your shipment’s location and the truck condition.
After unloading, the carrier notes the delivery time and the consignee signs the bill of lading. Normally, once the delivery is documented, the broker waits for the paperwork to invoice the shipper.
Finally, the broker gets all the documents and prepares everything for the payment.
Ultimately, freight brokers can help take a lot of burden and responsibilities off your shoulders. They handle the entire transportation process from A to Z, including payments. With a reliable 3PL, you are assured that all the information is correct and that transportation runs smoothly.
The key to a positive experience with freight brokers is being direct about your needs, and providing the correct information about your freight. The more details you tell your broker, the higher the chance is to find a suitable carrier and successfully move your shipment.
PLS Freight Brokerage
PLS Logistics is one of the US leading freight brokerage and logistics providers. Learn more about our Freight Brokerage Services!