In an ideal world, carriers, shippers and freight brokers would all be working well together making sure that all are fairly compensated for the roles they play in moving freight across the country. Unfortunately that’s not what happens, and there are a variety of reasons.
FACT: Shippers, Freight Brokers and Carriers are needed to ship freight from point A to point B. There are many who would argue that only Shippers and Carriers are needed, however, many others strongly believe that customers and carriers would not have the immediate resources nor the manpower to keep things operating efficiently if not for honest and knowledgeable freight brokers:
- 75% of the loads are moved by brokers.
In either case, it is essential that Carriers and Freight Brokers have a complete understanding of Trucking Logistics in order to be able to operate efficiently and ethically. If not, they could be setting themselves up for either vulnerability, blame, suspicion, deception, or even failure.
- Below are what we believe are the major causes for either the limited success of Owner Operators or possible failure:
1) A lack of understanding of the Trucking Industry and Logistics (for both Carrier and Broker)
2) Lack of business skills to make educated decisions, thus compromising their ability to maximize profits.
3) Unethical business tactics by either shipper, carrier or broker.
For this article we will be addressing categories 1 and 2. As far as #3, one reason people operate an unethical business is due to the lack lack of business understanding, thus resulting in desperation, deceit and sometimes even fraud, but for now, I will leave that topic for others to discuss.
- Roles and Responsibility
Carriers – It is the responsibility of the carriers to understand the synergy among brokers, shippers, and carriers. Carriers must understand their own business model as well as industry logistics itself, not just “avoiding” cheap freight, but understanding what constitutes a load as being classified as “cheap freight.” They must understand how to choose a broker who is honest, ethical, and will work for them. A Brokerage is basically a carriers sales force, by keeping them loaded vs. having to constantly seek loads on a regular basis, while they also are providing reliable service for their customer, the shipper.
Brokers – A good Broker does their homework and are professionals asking carriers what they need. They understand their lanes, their equipment, and become partners with them towards the same goal which is moving freight and focusing on a successful business relationship. Brokers need to focus on carrier shipper relationships and fine tune their industry knowledge and skills, negotiating fair deals for all involved in the transactions. Brokers and agents do not “take money away from carriers.” They provide a service for their shipping customers and the carriers involved in the logistics of the transaction.
Shippers – Lets face it, shippers are in business to make money and their goal is to move freight at the lowest possible price. It’s not their job to make sure the carrier is making a profit, that’s the carriers responsibility. It’s also not their responsibility to make sure that the broker is treating the carrier fairly, that’s the broker and carriers job. Another thing to keep in mind is that the role of a good Freight Broker is NOT to find the shipper the cheapest possible carrier to move their freight but rather to establish a relationship with a reliable carrier and to get the shippers to pay what the haul is actually worth.
- With all this being said, what are the Solutions to:
1) Increasing Owner Operator profits and Success
2) Ensuring Freight Brokers and Agents maintain successful and profitable Customer Relationships for all those involved.
- THE SOLUTION
Going back to the early part of this article, stating the major causes for either limited success for Owner Operators or worse than that, failure, we confirm that the following 2 reasons are most responsible for this outcome.
1) A lack of understanding of the Trucking Industry and Logistics
2) The need for additional business skills, creating the ability to make better and more informed decisions, thus maximizing profits.
In order for Owner Operators to successfully run their business they must understand their business and the Logistics of the trucking industry. Many professional drivers seem to “blame” another segment of the industry for their inability to be successful. Too many believe that just having “years of experience” within trucking, will be sufficient when making the leap as a highly profitable Business Owner. For some it is enough, and they do well. For others it is not. And even for those who are already highly successful, additional education has been able to take them to the next level.
After researching and then speaking extensively with Jeff Roach of Brooke Transportation Training, we believe their Program is among the most complete, informative, and of the Highest Quality of Training available. Eighty Percent of their Schools’ students are Carriers and Owner Operators. Mr. Roaches’ passion for the trucking industry, includes his positive vision to see the success of others, evident in his statements to us:
“I have been fortunate to meet drivers who attend my career school for freight brokers and agents. …I can honestly say the driver does all the work and gets the least amount of respect. I want every small carrier out there considering this business to know the truth.” Jeff Roach- Brooke Transportation Training
“My students are not anti broker – they are anti crooked people.”
A quote Mr Roach lives by from Zig Zigler:
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
For those of who would like to ensure your success and maximize profitability as an Owner Operator by extending your knowledge and abilities, we highly recommend Brooke Transportation Training.
Course Benefits for all segments of the Transportation Industry
- Heighten your knowledge and thus your success as an owner operator by understanding in detail all aspects the Transportation Industry; Even if you are already successful, it will take you to the next level.
- Choosing the right Freight Broker
- Know what loads to accept and those to turn down.
- Learn how to add a Freight brokerage to your trucking company
- Become a Freight Broker or Freight Agent
- Freight Brokers and Agent who would like to have an expanded understanding of the Freight Brokering industry and ultimately increase sales.
Partial List of Student Benefits
- Choosing an ethical and legitimate broker
- Becoming an ethical and legitimate broker
- Becoming the kind of Carrier or Broker who is sought after
- Understanding the trucking industry logistics in DETAIL:
rating, dispatch, claims management, billing, AP, AR, Collections,Sales, Marketing, Legal, Staffing, MAP 21,
- Trends effecting the industry- where it is today and where it’s going?
Understanding current origin and destination rates
Become educated about the market including the cargo, demand and availability
AVAILABLE On-site Courses via Brooke Transportation Training Solutions
- Available online Freight Broker/ Agent Courses:
- Learn the skills you need to be a successful Freight Broker/Agent. This is a growing industry of licensed individuals or corporations that help make a shipper and an authorized motor carrier successful in the transporting of freight. This online certificate program is offered in partnership with major colleges, universities, and other accredited education providers.Understand the process of freight brokering from start to finish
- Have the tools needed to be successful as a freight broker or freight agent
- Learn the basics of day-to-day operations of a brokerage or agency
- Use techniques such as prospecting, sales and marketing, rating, and negotiations
- Be able to manage a shipment from origin to destination
- Gain valuable industry resources
Brooke Transportation Training School, in partnership with ed2go, offers online open enrollment programs designed to provide the skills necessary to acquire professional level positions for many in-demand occupations:
Contact Jeff Roach
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.