There are a number of points to consider when choosing a broker to work with. These points include: Experience, Reputation, Contract, Tools, Office, Initiative. Let’s briefly discuss some of these points to create guidelines for agents who are looking to join a brokerage.
Does the brokerage you are joining have the proper experience to guide you through pitfalls you may experience during day to day operations. It’s important to have a good relationship with your broker and have a broker, one that is responsive and able to work through issues with you.
Does your brokerage have a good reputation? Probably a good idea to check some references and talk to other broker agents who work with in the operation prior to joining up. There’s a reason the operation works well for the broker agents, make sure you understand the positives and negatives with a little up front research.
Is the working contract between you as the broker agent and the broker represent a fair arrangement for you and your customers. It’s important to protect your business and at the same time abide by the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, (DOT) that the broker is subject to.
Does the broker offer you a working set of tools to help you perform your job. The better brokerages offer posting accounts on truck and load boards to help you do your job better. Coastal Transportation Services offers a collaborative tool their brokers use to give maximum visibility to your resource requirements, ask them about CWEB, i.e. Coastal Web.
Do you have the proper tools to start your broker agent operation? You need an office including a desk, chair, computer, printer, fax machine, internet connection, phone with a long distance plan. It probably doesn’t hurt to have backup equipment either when you get rolling. A good set of tools is your lifeline to making your business come together.
Do you have the initiative and contacts to build relationships with shippers and truckers? It will take a certain amount of sweat equity and persistence to get your business moving in a consistent manner. As your customers become accustomed to the high level of service you provide your business will build when you least expect it. Don’t expect your broker to build your business.
We have covered a few points you should consider when choosing a broker to work with. It is important to understand that as a Freight Broker Agent you will work as an Independent Contractor subject the agreement you create with your broker and the rules the broker is subjected to by the DOT. Use these tips as a guideline in your selection process and if you need additional assistance feel free to contact us for more information and direction.