Having a great work environment is just the starting point for the independent freight broker agent. The desk and office chair are only basic creature comforts; technology is really the focal point for the office of the high performing broker agent. This article is the first in a multi-part review of some of the requirements freight broker agents have regarding technology. It’s the technology that can make or break the success for most brokers. This articles starts with a basic office review then discusses the latest in Cable Modem technology.
First off a dedicated work space is an absolute must for a successful freight broker agent. Trying to work at the kitchen table may be a decent starting point but for the long term most agents require a dedicated space where they can focus on finding new customers, freight, and moving loads.
With the proper work space in place that includes a good chair and computer desk, the following are recommended requirements for the modern Freight Broker Agent: The Internet Connection, Modem, Wireless or Wired Router, Proper Laptop, Docking Station, Dual Monitor, Printer with Fax, Mobile and or Internet Phone, and of course Transportation Management Software, TMS. In this and subsequent articles we will discuss state of the art elements found in the Broker Agents office.
The first element is the Internet service connection and the modem that connects your small office home office, SOHO, network to the Internet Service Provider, ISP. Depending what is offered in your home office area will dictate the choices you have available by local ISP’s. Cable providers typically offer Internet service along with TV.Mbps, 25 Mbps Preferred and 50 Mbps Premiere, Mbps stands for megabits per second. Other providers include Comcast/Xfinity, Cox, Charter, Time Warner, Mediacom, Bright House and there may be local service providers in certain areas.
Connection to the provider requires a Cable Modem. The Cable Modem demodulates the signal between the Cable provider and the local network. These are obtained either as rentals from the service provider or can be purchased at electronic stores such as Best Buy and online at Amazon. To achieve the best performance you need to match up the best performing modem with your Internet Service.
One of the newer high performing affordable modems is the ARRIS / Motorola SurfBoard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, there are other modems in this class. The newer DOCSIS 3.0 Modems have internet download speeds up to 343 Mbps and upload speeds up to 131 Mbps based on your Cable provider service. To get these speeds the modem bonds up to eight channels on the download and four channels on the upload. Connect the modem to the office network via the Gigabit ethernet port for maximum performance. If you currently usa a DOCSIS 1.0 or 2.0 Cable Modem you will see a big improvement moving to this or another DOCSIS 3.0 modem.
Conclusion if you want the fastest possible connection to the Internet for your home office and your cable ISP support DOCSOS 3.0 protocol make sure you get one of the newer DOCSIS 3.0 modems. We have used the Motorola SB6141 and it increases our internet speed by 50%. Of course your results may vary depending on any number of technical factors. The next article will discuss router selection to tie into the SOHO.