Freight brokers have many responsibilities and tasks they need to manage skillfully. They need to market their services, prospect for clients, maintain relationships with carriers, move loads, navigate shipping challenges, maintain detailed records, bill clients, handle invoices, and more. To stay on top of the job, freight brokers must avoid many pitfalls. Here at First Star Logistics, we understand the importance of setting up freight brokers for success. In this guide, we share our insight into common freight broker mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. High Overhead
Freight brokers can easily get overwhelmed if they take on too much overhead. High overhead can strain the bottom line and make it difficult to weather business and market fluctuations. Thankfully this mistake is easy to avoid because freight brokers really only need a computer and phone to conduct business. Freight brokers can save on expensive monthly office rent by working from home or with an established logistics company that provides office space.
2. Placing All the Eggs in One Basket
It may be tempting to take the easy route and rely only on favorite shipping customers. However, placing too many eggs in one basket is dangerous, as unexpected things can occur and dramatically change the course of business. The best practice is to diversify client and carrier relationships so that the brokerage is well-prepared to weather market and company changes.
3. Slow Billing Processes
The most successful freight broker can move many loads, but the hard work will only matter if payments are made. Slow billing and invoicing processes can derail even the most successful businesses. To stay afloat and strong, ensure the billing process is efficient and smooth. Automate invoicing and payment processes as much as possible to ensure that the cash continues to flow.
4. Slack Record Keeping
Inadequate or disorganized records are a freight broker’s worst nightmare. Any mistakes can lead to unexpected expenses, avoidable issues, damaged relationships, and tarnished reputations. Proper and thorough record-keeping helps operations run smoothly and prepares freight brokers for success.
5. No Marketing
It may seem strange, but freight brokers must market themselves or risk running out of shipping customers. In fact, marketing is one of the most important parts of a freight broker’s job. Marketing involves promoting brokerage services, prospecting clients, and cultivating relationships with potential shippers. To learn more about marketing for freight brokers, read our guide 5 Ways to Successfully Market Yourself as a Freight Broker.
6. Technologically Behind
When traditional strategies have worked for a long time, it can be tempting to resist change. However, when it comes to technology, the latest and greatest solution is more than just a trend. Freight brokers can leverage technology, like specialized software, to assist with load management, accounting, and more. The right solutions can help freight brokers grow their business and efficiently move loads.
7. Inconsistent Communication
Communication is the cornerstone of freight brokerage. Shippers, carriers, and other logistics parties rely upon thorough and proactive communication. Without proper communication, issues that arise can escalate and become more difficult to resolve. Timely communication will streamline the process, impress customers, and build loyal relationships.
8. Pass on Opportunities to Grow
When a freight broker reaches a certain level of success, it can be tempting to relax into the status quo. While success warrants celebration, it does not warrant complacency. Freight brokers need to consistently work on their business to maintain success. Take advantage of opportunities to grow by seeking out training and networking opportunities.
9. Go Solo
There are many benefits to being an entrepreneur, but additional responsibilities can complicate those benefits. While freight brokers can certainly run their own businesses, there are many advantages to joining an established logistics company.
Here at First Star Logistics, we are a unique, asset-based global logistics provider with more than 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 own goals, cultivate your own networks, and make your own money. As a partner, you’ll work with our dedicated management team, whose primary goal is to offer complete back-end support across multiple departments, allowing you to focus on one thing – growing your freight brokerage business.
First Star Logistics freight brokers benefit from the following:
- The highest commissions in the industry
- Weekly pay
- Potential sign-on bonus with book of business
- Proprietary software
- Low customer saturation
- 24/7 agent support to maximize productivity
To become a freight broker with First Star Logistics, submit an application today!