Should a Trucker Use Broker Services?

April 24, 2012

Many truck owner-operators have found the use of a freight broker as a good way to connect with companies that need shipping services. A broker assists in helping the movement of cargo flow easily. A person engaged in this activity must be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They must also have sufficient insurance to protect both the shipper and their clients from any loss. A surety bond is also required in some areas.

Freight brokers are paid a commission by the companies they service, for helping find reliable truckers quickly. This is also a benefit for the trucker as it allows them to easily find loads and avoid the dreaded deadheading, which costs money and provides no income. Brokers are often confused with freight forwarders who actually take possession of a load, consolidate it into smaller shipments, and have them shipped. A freight broker is not involved with the items being shipped.

Some companies hire a freight broker on a full time basis but many work independently. They are considered the "middle men" that match freight with carriers. They earn approximately 10 to 35 percent profit per shipment so, as a rule, have a very high income.

There are also freight broker agents who are the broker's representatives. These agents usually concentrate on a specific area rather than all over the country. Many of them are home based. Job loads are offered in different locations.

A few of them are:

Truckload Broker.com – This company offers a Free Load Board Site and has a fee per month for signing on. There are two categories, premium and standard, each having specific features. Things such as FREE Load Truck Freight Posting, Find Loads & Truck Searching, Find TL & LTL Truck Freight, Instant Load & truck Matching, 24/7 Real-Time Freight Matching, Load Payment Rates in Searches, and other things are listed.

Expedite Loads.Com – Offers a free setup with numerous offers. This is not a broker but offers service to both companies and truckers. They state they have over 6000 freight brokers, direct shippers, manufacturers and individual posting trucking loads and specific truck sizes. It is possible to search loads by state, weight, destination, truck type, company type, and so forth. They state that their load boards provide instant access to high pay trucking loads. Carriers make quotes or bids on various loads.

uShip.com– Is also not a broker but posts live loads showing routes, schedules, and specialties. With this company, a trucker finds desired loads and places a bid. If the shipper accepts the bid, a loading time is determined. This site provides the opportunity to have long or short hauls. This is an intermediary company between the shipper and the truck driver. You must be a registered member to use the contact information.

Trulos Transportation – Has a free Load Board Site and offers many other conveniences.

There are many other locations available and can be found on the Internet.

It is great if a trucker can make contact with one company and continue to work with them. This often develops into a long term relationship that has no unexpected events, such as delayed pay, poor routing, pay shortages, and so forth. If just starting out sometimes using a broker is necessary to locate the right company or companies to work for. Once your reputation is established as a reliable worker, you will be in demand and it is possible to work independently.

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