When it comes to shippers and carriers, the balance of power shifts back and forth, creating uncertainty with unpredictable rates that wreak havoc on budgets. As freight rates fall, it’s predicted that carriers will begin refusing loads to move the market back in their direction. This means loads will not be guaranteed, on-time delivery is far from assured, and your access to the whole process is opaque.
Shippers can choose to go at it alone and be at the mercy of changes in market forces, or they can minimize volatility by partnering with the right freight-brokerage provider. By doing so, you’ll gain predictive pricing, capacity as needed, and sidestep seasonal volatility and market spikes and troughs, and keep a clear view of the process.
Any industry can gain these benefits. With a freight brokerage partner, you’ll tap into an agile transportation network that ships and delivers goods on time – advantage you.
One obvious benefit of freight brokerages is strong carrier relationships. As a shipper, you only have to deal with one person, and utilizing a broker means avoiding the long, complicated process of negotiating with various carriers.
A brokerage’s extensive experience means fewer logistical worries–routes are streamlined, and your entire supply chain becomes more effective. Brokers have established relationships with thousands of regularly monitored carriers to ensure their dependability, proper operating licensing, and appropriate insurance.
Other benefits of working with a freight broker include:
- Predictive pricing
- Saving time and money
- Meeting deadlines
- Keeping customers happy
Freight brokers stay on top of trends and changes impacting capacity and rates, and communicate special requirements for your shipments. Expect them to follow any processes you already have in place, advise you on more efficient methods, and answer any questions you have.
No one wants to operate in the dark. With prescriptive pricing data, brokers:
- Use pricing intelligence to know current market bid rates for each lane
- Forecast where pricing is headed based on demand
- Predict carrier rates to determine profitability
Predictive pricing requires advanced technology that provides tools to make decisions that bolster sales and revenue forecasts.
Businesses rarely operate at the same capacity year-round. As seasons change, so does demand. What’s popular today may not be tomorrow, or a product can sell rapidly and require shipping more -- fast. For example, it’s complicated to negotiate less-than-truckload (LTL) rates on your own. Hidden fees abound, and you need a solid inventory list before getting prices. Calculating the freight class suited to your goods can be a nightmare. A freight brokerage partner can offer you more or less capacity as needed, and you find the right fit at the right price.
Many factors can impact your shipment after a carrier accepts it. Let’s say you had an LTL shipment, and the customer has upped their order (good news!), and now you need a full truckload. Without a broker, you likely would have to wait a day for another truck (if one is available), which means you won’t deliver on time, creating a disappointed customer. An agile freight broker addresses issues quickly and finds creative solutions and successful results.
Saving Time and Money
A freight broker saves time–you don’t have to conduct extensive searches to find a suitable carrier. Time savings come from other tasks that a broker will handle, including:
- Coordination of pickup and delivery times
- All necessary paperwork
- Rate negotiation through expert brokers who have built relationships with carriers to get you the best rates
- Handling issues that arise during transport, including delays and damage
You likely don’t have time to shop around to get the best shipping rates and settle for the first offer you find reasonable. Finding carriers takes time you could spend creating revenue-boosting products and services. Freight brokers have deep industry knowledge and can find the best available rates, resulting in long-term cost savings that help you grow your business.
You risk missing delivery deadlines when you cannot find a carrier to efficiently haul your loads. If this happens frequently, count on damage to your reputation - which means lost customers and revenue. While freight brokers cannot guarantee on-time delivery, they can leverage relationships to significantly improve delivery timeliness.
Keeping Customers Happy
Building customer relationships, engendering loyalty, and maximizing profits requires keeping your clients happy. Freight brokers can ensure pickup times, estimated delivery dates, and shipping rates are clearly communicated to keep everyone on the same page.
The Benefits Are There, But Choosing The Right Partner Is Key
Modern logistics depends on freight and transportation management technology, but not all brokers have invested in platforms that automate manual processes. Siloed and disconnected systems create confusion and miscalculations, and it’s no better than managing yourself. How important is that technology? It’s what gives your freight broker and your vital information that puts you in control. Through the right technology you gain:
Load visibility: To find capacity at the best price, your load must reach the right carrier -- no more being “lost in the inbox.” You want a broker that maintains a vast carrier network that secures capacity quickly.
Carrier Matching and Retention: Freight brokers require an extensive database of trusted and vetted carriers. Finding the best carrier with the capacity for any particular load takes specialized skills. Knowing which carrier has trucks available and its load preferences is critical to both load matching and success. This takes automation and integration with carrier systems. Presenting carriers with too little load information with irrelevant freight in a lane they don’t prefer can break relationships by decimating trust and a willingness to work with that broker. It takes work and dedication to cultivate, grow, and maintain the carrier relationships required for the best pricing and service.
Support: You want a single reliable point of contact 24/7, 365 days a year. Your broker should provide a dedicated account expert invested in your business success.
The Right Solution for Every Load, Every Time
No matter the size, mode, or complexity, your freight brokers appropriate capacity and service in any lane:
- Dry van
- Temperature controlled
- Dedicated capacity
Track your freight shipment anytime, anywhere, with an easy-to-use interface that also provides strategic market intelligence for benchmarking and forecasting, all from your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.
Load Tracking and Freight Matching
Connect to the right capacity, capture important documents, and get faster freight visibility with Ryder’s industry-leading and most trusted load tracking and predictive freight matching solutions.
High-level analytics help you manage all modes on demand to view real-time status and load history. You can also scale up or down to suit your needs.
Connect to a portfolio of LTL carriers with aggressive blanket-rate programs, price matching, and end-to-end tracking.
Partner With a Freight Brokerage Leader
Each year, Ryder manages more than $10.7 billion in freight moves across the continental United States, Mexico, and Canada, including $246 million in brokerage services. Our constant expansion creates greater capacity, more lanes, and increased flexibility. This means you can manage seasonal and market surges stress-free.
Our technology provides real-time visibility and collaboration, digital freight matching with backhaul opportunities, and business analytics and intelligence tools you need to boost profitability. Ryder’s brokerage service uses 45,000+ qualified carrier partners. No loads are turned back after acceptance. Ryder provides full transparency, and a dedicated concierge available 24/7. Click here to more about Ryder freight brokerage solutions.