In the world of freight, freight brokers reign over the kingdom of paperwork. In addition to making connections and solving logistical challenges, managing paperwork is a significant part of the job. Freight brokers must get the proper documents to shippers and carriers, be well organized to ensure everyone gets paid on time, and maintain records for their due diligence. In fact, freight brokers are required by law to keep records for three years. So, what are the most common freight broker documents? Read on to learn about essential freight broker documents.
1. Shipper-Broker Agreement
A shipper-broker agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the working relationship between the shipper and broker. At the most basic level, the shipper-broker agreement typically includes:
- Contract duration
- Services the broker will provide to the shipper
- Amount and types of insurance included
More complex shipper-broker agreements include:
- Guidelines for carrier selection
- Information about the carrier’s liability
- Non-disclosure terms
- Compliance specifications
- Procedures for handling any issues that may arise
2. Broker-Carrier Agreement
A broker-carrier agreement outlines how much the carrier is paid. It specifies the types of liability the carrier needs as well as many other stipulations that include:
- Agreement date
- Payment terms
- Liability terms
- Insurance information
- Carrier and broker identifying information such as motor carrier number
- Invoicing procedures such as bill of lading requirement
3. Load Tender and Confirmation
The shipper or broker makes a load tender and confirmation document for the carrier. The carrier needs the document to have a written confirmation of the load and all the relevant details of the shipment. The document is necessary for the carrier to plan the trip.
- Load destination address
- Delivery requirements
- Consignee hours of operation
- Trailer size and type
- Freight description
4. Rate Confirmation
A rate confirmation is a legally binding document that is held between the broker, shipper, and carrier. It is signed once all parties negotiate and agree upon the rate. The document contains the details of the rate, the shipper’s information, and a description of the load.
The invoice is the document that facilitates payment. Once the shipment is delivered, the carrier gives the broker an invoice. The invoice includes the following details:
- Pickup and delivery dates
- Origin and destination details
- The bill of lading that shows the load was delivered
- Contents of load like the total weight, number of pieces, commodity, etc
- Additional fees like contractor labor and exceeding weight limits
The broker then uses the carrier’s invoice to create an invoice for the shipper. The broker’s invoice to the shipper will also include the brokering fees.
6. Bill of Lading
The bill of lading is the carrier’s receipt for freight delivery. It is a legally binding document signed by the carrier when they take ownership of the delivery load. It includes:
- Description of the load
- Delivery time frame
- Address of the delivery destination
- Includes special delivery instructions
7. Certificates of Carrier Insurance
The certificates of carrier insurance are essential documents for brokers to keep on hand because they show that the carrier has the right types and amounts of insurance. Brokers often use this document to take action to confirm the insurance is legitimate. They may manually verify the insurance policies or use software to expedite the process.
8. Proof of Cargo Insurance
Carrier insurance is essential, but it is not enough on its own. Shippers also need cargo insurance, and proof of cargo insurance documents provide the details for loss coverage. The coverage has a 100,000 limit and must be purchased per load. Brokers must keep the document on hand and verify cargo insurance to cover the shipped commodities.
9. Contract Labor Receipt
A contract labor receipt is a document showing a record of a contract laborer assisting a carrier. For example, when a contract laborer helps with loading or unloading, the carrier will get a receipt for the services. The carrier gives the receipt to the broker, who then bills the shipper for the amount as an accessorial charge.
10. Shipper Past Due Letter
This is a document that freight brokers hope never to have to send. A shipper past due letter is sent when a shipper has failed to pay an invoice. It includes the same information as the shipper-broker agreement. In addition, it includes proof that the load was delivered as agreed and any late payment charges.
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Looking for a supportive working environment where it is easy to keep all of your documents organized? Look no further than First Star Logistics.
First Star Logistics is a unique asset-based global brokerage company with over 60 years of experience. We are looking to expand our brokerage department by hiring enthusiastic individuals wanting a fast-paced career in the logistics industry. We empower you to succeed by allowing you to create your goals and networks and make your own money. Our freight broker training program will enable you to start as a trainee or an experienced broker. Our talented freight brokers enjoy the highest commissions in the industry, weekly pay, proprietary software, a potential sign-on bonus with book of business, 24/7 agent support so you can be as productive as possible, and more customer saturation.
To join the First Star Logistics team, apply today.