Not all freight brokers are the same and selecting the right one can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some things you need to know so you can select the right freight brokerage for your needs.
- Are they licensed and bonded? – Federal law requires anyone arranging transportation for compensation to have a federal property broker license issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You can request to see the broker’s FMCSA license or you can search by company name or USDOT# on the FMCSA website. It is also very important for a broker to be bonded with the minimal $75,000 bond. Be sure to ask for the broker’s license and bond information before moving any freight.
- Do they have the right insurance? – Some shippers assume that all trucks carry a $100,000 cargo insurance and that they will be automatically covered up to that amount. That’s not always the case. Your broker should be able to provide general liability and cargo insurance certificates to your specification.
- One Stop Shop- Most brokers only provide truckload services. Some offer additional services such as, intermodal, ocean shipping, air freight, LTL, Flatbed, vans, reefers, and logistics management services. A broker that can offer multiple modes can provide you with options that can not only save you money but time, and can back up capacity shortages as well.
- Communication skills– For a broker to be successful they have to have great communication skills. Don’t be afraid to ask the broker how he/she communicates with the carriers and how they confirm loads were picked up and delivered as promised. Some questions to ask yourself will be, how are their verbal and written communication skills? Do they have what it takes to represent you and your best customers? Are they easily accessible during all hours? How easy is it to get a hold of management?
- Credit check– Running a credit check is very important. A credit check can tell you if the broker has any tax liens, under-capitalized and how quickly they pay their vendors. If you get a credit check back with red flags on it be sure to avoid that broker at all costs.
Knowing what to look out for and what questions to ask can help you select the right broker for your needs and prevent headaches later on down the road. First Star Logistics has brokers that are very knowledgeable and are prepared to handle any types of challenges. Contact us today by clicking here and fill out the Become a Customer section and one of our experienced brokers will contact you.