Episode 214: What We Love and Hate About Freight Brokering

Freight 360

October 20, 2023

What’s it like to be a freight broker?  What do we love about it and what do we hate about it?  Listen in as Nate and Ben talk through the pros and cons of working in the freight broker industry.

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0:00 Intro

3:00 Sports & News

12:00 Main Episode

Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Broadcasting from Orchard Park, New York.

And Boca Raton, Florida.

It's the Freight 360 podcast from Freight Broker Sales tips to Sports Talk. This podcast is all about helping you grow as a freight broker for your hosts, Nate Cross and Benjamin Kowalski. Let's talk freight. Welcome back for another episode of the freight360 podcast. Today we're going to be talking all about what we love and maybe what we don't love as much about the freight broker and industry and talk about some of the the good, the not so good and everything in between.

But before we get into it, make sure to leave us a review. Leave us a comment on YouTube. Share us with your friends in the industry and hit the subscribe button or the the follow button on all of our social platforms. And wherever you consume our content, make sure to visit freight360.net to see all of our content.

And if you would like to learn more about our training, make sure to take a look at the Freight Broker Basics course. It's a full length self-paced course that goes through everything you need to know from how to start a brokerage, build up a carrier and customer base, and even hire the right employees. And this episode is brought to you by Blue Book Services.

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There's a link in the show notes. Mr. Kowalski. Ben, how are you doing today, my man?

Doing well, man. It's super cold down here. It went to like 57 yesterday. It was like 58 this morning.

Yeah, well, so we're recording on a Wednesday, but by the time this airs on Friday, I'll be in Florida and I'm excited. I'll get the forecast. I'll be in Orlando and it should be like eighties the entire time that I'm there. So hopefully the weather forecast does not change too much because I'm not trying to leave Buffalo and get to a cold, rainy Florida so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

It is does look like it's supposed to be temporary. To your point, It was funny. We went to a pumpkin patch festival thing over the weekend and it was the hottest weekend since like August. Like the real feel was like 102 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And I was like, man, like, it was really, like, humid again. And I was like, Man, the day we finally going to go do some fall stuff, the temperature pick back up to like summer, and then literally like 24 hours later I woke up and I went to go walk the dogs.

I'm like, It's freezing outside. I think it's like literally 57 degrees. It's like, go back in and put socks and shoes and pants and a hoodie on. Like, Man, I don't see this weather since like March of last year.

Yeah, it's 55 currently at the time of recording in Buffalo. So. Well, we shall see. Well hey on we'll get right into some quick sports recap here. Steelers didn't play last weekend. You guys had a bye week, so hey, but that's not an owl, which is a good thing, right? Bill's had what I would like to consider the ugliest win of the week in the NFL.

A 14 to 9 final didn't score any points until the fourth quarter. If anybody was watching Sunday Night Football, I apologize for the lack of offensive entertainment my team displayed there, but wins a win wasn't very impressive. They didn't look Super Bowl caliber. So we'll see if they can beat up New England this week. But who knows who's the Steelers got?

You know who they're playing this weekend?

Yeah, I did in my mind blanked. Then this morning they.

Yeah. Let's take a look at the schedule. Pittsburgh. you guys are playing at the Rams in the afternoon at 4:00. So nice. Good deal. I'll be I will be watching for I'll be in Disney World this weekend. So we'll be at our resort watching the Bills Patriots game, at least part of it. So like last year, the same time of year, we went down with our kids and the Bills played the Jets and we're like, I'm not going to bother watching the game.

It's supposed be a blowout and the bills ended up losing it. So I don't want to jinx myself by not watching the game. So yeah, we'll see. In other other sports, the Have you been following? You're not a big baseball guy, but the World Series were in the championship series now. So basically the semifinals I'm calling the Philadelphia Phillies man.

I'm taking them to go all the way. I'm looking for them. They want to do nothing Tuesday night this week. So we'll see. And then the American the American League, you've got the Battle of Texas, you got Houston versus Texas Rangers. So I don't really care for either of those teams. But come on, Philly, did you see the 2028 Olympics, how they released the new the new sports?

I didn't watch.

So I got I pulled it off here because somebody texted me there and they're like, man, lacrosse is going to be and the Olympics. But there's five new sports that they officially approved for the 2028 Olympics in L.A. So they've added in baseball, softball, cricket flag, football, lacrosse and squash. So flag football, that was funny. There's like dudes on Twitter, like saying, I want like professional football players.

Like, I want to I want to play on the flag football for the Olympics. That's got to be insane.

But did you say baseball slash softball?

Yeah, like baseball for guys. Softball for women.


But yeah. So they're going to add baseball in, which I think used to be part of the Olympics. And I think it used to be like way back in the day, too. And but hasn't been probably like 100 years or something. But yeah, that'll be interesting, man. Cricket, I never barely watched any cricket in my entire life. Every time I watch a match, I have to like, watch a YouTube video that explains the rules.

But yeah, I don't know. Olympics are fun to watch, so. Well, good deal news. So, I mean, we'll start with the hot topic. It's Wednesday. Everyone's been chirping today about convoy. So convoy that's like the company backed by the Bezos. I want to say I don't know it away massive like their whole they were like one of the first digital brokerages, if you want to call them that, and did a big fundraising round out of like a multibillion dollar evaluation.

And the word is they're going under. They're supposed to release a statement by the end of this week about what's going on. But the news I start to see stuff pop up on Twitter and then Freightwaves released an article. And it sounds like what they're telling folks is we're not taking any more orders on our platform. And I even heard rumors of, like anyone that existing ongoing load, they said, hey, Mr. or Mrs. Shipper, go work directly with the carrier on this.

I don't know if that's fully true or not, but I've been hearing rumors about it, so that's a huge deal, though.

Wow. Here's what Bard kicked out just real quick. I just typed in. Exactly. You ask like, who owns Convoy? Says as of today, October 18, 2023, convoy is privately held. Its founders Dan Lewis and Grant Goodenough are major shareholders. Other shareholders include VC firms Capital G, Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia. Big VC funders and the tech industry also says convoy has raised over 1.2 billion in funding to date and is valued at over 3 billion.

And June of 23. Though the company reportedly started hiring an investment bank to explore various mergers and acquisition options, including a potential IPO. However, there is no news as of yet as to what is going to happen.

So I looked it up to here you go. So this is from like four years ago. It says Convoy got a $400 million investment, including investors. Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. So that was what we're again, that was 2019. So but yeah, I mean, you had a lot of people invested in it. That's a big deal. But I mean, you can't operate at a loss.

So curious to see what all happened and then plotted there.

But did you see the article from an hour ago? I don't know if you read that one, but I think I mean, you just mentioned it. That's titled from Freightwaves from an hour ago. A convoy cancels all shipments load board is empty announcement upcoming which I know is what literally what you said but that was that article. Yeah.

Yeah, I saw it I saw it tweeted by our exit. I don't know what you want, what verb to use now, but I saw it on Twitter from Freightwaves. So the wild man wild. In other news, the and if you are not if you don't have our newsletter, make sure to sign up on our website. 368 out not just toss your email on the newsletter sign up part and you can get it every Tuesday and Thursday.

The kind of two of the big ones. The FCC is delaying its ruling on rate transparency. I'll just read this really quickly. They're delaying the rulemaking process for amending truck broker contracting requirements, a move that has caused frustration among small business truckers seeking more transparency scheduled for October 31st, 2024. So next year, the proposed rulemaking and transparency in property carrier broker transactions faces criticism from TIA.

So basically to the letter See, says small House Republicans now. Okay, so a big thing with no speaker of the House, a lot of suspending delay and pushback. But basically the transparency thing, tire and freight brokers don't want brokers to have to disclose their rates, whereas OIRA and truckers want to be able to see what brokers are being paid from carriers.

We way they kick the can down the road. As of last month, the info we had was that they were going to open it up for comments right around now and they've really kicked that down for another year. So plenty of time for some more lobbying and trying to get stuff done. The other big news thing was obviously we may maybe by the time this comes out, we'll have a speaker of the House.

But as of right now, we don't. And because of that, the transport DOT transportation funding bill is on hold. So I talked with I've been emailing back and forth with one of the one of the staffers in from Tennessee that we met with in D.C. and he had this awesome news. They've got pressure on DOT from FCC to address fraud and a lot of that's going to it's there's a bill being proposed that would affect appropriations and funding.

But all that's on pause right now because we can't make any decisions as a government or as a as a Congress until we have a speaker of the House. So see what happens. That's pretty much it. So if you're on the political side of things, that's where we're at. Anything else in news or anything else going around in the freight world?

Nothing I've come across or seen at least since last week, other than what we've covered. Yeah, I haven't got a chance to read up on a lot of that stuff either. Just kind of hear what's going to play out with convoy and how that's going to go.

Yeah, well, we'll make sure we'll make sure to share things as we hear. So let's give a shot to date and hop into it.

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Absolutely. All right. So let's talk about freight broker. Man, What do we love about it? What do we not like about it? I want to set the stage and talk about kind of like when we got in the industry ourselves, how, you know, kind of what the experience was like. If you guys haven't, if you guys don't fall foul of freight caviar, check out Paul and freight caviar.

Ben and I were recently on one of his podcasts in the last week and we talked through kind of how we got into the industry, but I want to start there. So freight brokering to me is very different than the asset side, at least my experience on the asset side of the industry. So I learned and trained in a lot of different areas from operations, sales and all of that for an asset based company.

And one of the things that I did not like about working for a trucking company was how repetitive the operational side was every single day. Whereas freight brokering, one thing I love is that every day you literally can start your day and you're like, What's going to happen today? I have no idea yet. Right.

Buckle up.

Yeah, exactly. Buckle up. You have like some, you know, your common expectations of what to expect. But for me, one of the things I really love is how it's it's just a constant, unpredictable, exciting journey. And I love to solve problems. And it's one of the things that we have, you know, happens often in our industry. And brokerage is something pops up, we assess it, we figure out a variety of courses of action and then we determine, hey, here's what we're going to do.

Move on to the next one. Right? Put your put your next fire out. What about you take me back for like to when you first got in and some of the stuff that obviously you stuck with it. What what was it about it from the beginning that you're like, yeah, you know, I'm not going to quit. I'm going to stick with this.

For sure, that everything you mentioned is on my list, right? For me, Like, again, I just have I have an interest in how things work and problem solving and solving different problems and things that are like mentally engaging. To me, that's enjoyable work, right? So to your point, the fact that every day is different than the other than the last, and that's going to be different than tomorrow, right, is one of the things that keeps me engaged and keeps you on your toes and is the exciting aspect of it right the other side to like just the economics and how all of it functions, right?

Like it's massive, but it's also kind of simple. But then there are cases where it's really convoluted, right? Like there is just a mixed bag of everything in between, between some of the most complicated things and problem solving related to moves and transportation routing guides for shippers and dropping drop loads and multiple picks and run and drop trailers all the way to the other end of just like one pick, one drop stuff.

Right? And there's everything in between. And you just don't know what's going to happen based on what the needs are. And the the other part that I really like is like I like working with people, like I'm an extrovert. I get my energy from talking, engaging with other people. I like to work in groups. I like to work with other people.

Right? So when you're an environment where you do and perform better in those scenarios, So to me, I really enjoy that, right? Like, yeah, the first customers like talking to them every morning. It's almost like you're kind of going to work with them even though they're all over the country. You're kind of checking in. You find out what they're up to, what's going on, what's on their plate, or change from last night to this morning.

What do you got a pivot to redo? And you're really just, hey, problem solvers all day long, Right? And you kind of know what the problem should be, but they always shift or change a bit based on what's actually happening. And you've got to be on your toes to fix them after the fact. But there's an opportunity to improve, to get better beforehand, to prevent them as well.

Right. To become more profitable. And it's just a I think not only enjoyable but to me like sales and all of those things all together, right. And the uncapped opportunity, right. Like how many jobs can you go and do with no experience and within 2 to 3 years make a few hundred thousand dollars a year? I've met people that make a few million dollars a year in three years, and I have worked in other industries and have friends and met and colleagues and everything.

it's like investment banking. I've never seen an industry where you can really go from there to there that quick with hustle, hard work and execution.

Do I want to I want to unpack that because that's that's one of things I love to is, is the entrepreneurial slash income side of this. So and this doesn't matter and hopefully this conversation can be you know, if you're if you're thinking about getting into brokerage, we can kind of give you a little insight to what it's like.

Right. But it doesn't matter if you start your own brokerage, if you're an agent, if you're a sub agent, if you're an employee, you know what? If you're just a sales rep versus a career rep, you can literally have an on there's an entrepreneurial aspect to any one of those. And it's going to it's going to vary depending on if you're an employee versus running your own operation.

But when you build up your book of business, right, whether an employee agent or a business owner, it's your own little like it's like your own little business, right? And there's nothing stopping you from just keep growing and growing and growing. You can there's no cap, right? Well, if you're commission based, I have yet to see a single commission plan that caps out a broker.

And when we had Beth Carroll on recently, that's she's a big advocate of like let them have that unlimited potential. You can measure them against multiple things, but you truly can scale it just into an insane amount. Right? It takes a lot of work and it's not for everybody. And there's a high I would say there's probably a higher turnover rate in freight brokerage than there is in a variety of other industries that don't require a very heavy amount of salesmanship and all that.

But it really is awesome that you can, you know, depending on the level and volume of business and freight that you're moving and how fast you could pick up on it and scale, you can literally make as much money as you want. Like you said, I've seen I've seen people make 50 grand and I've seen people make $2 million in a year doing this job, too.


And like the ways you can improve are almost endless, right? Like, you can make more money by getting better at negotiating, by getting better at building relationships, by being more ethical, by finding more efficient routes within existing relationships, by adding to your customers, by finding better processes, by using more effective tools, by reading a book on something that seems arbitrary to the industry.

But you can find a few things that you can implement to improve in so many different avenues that like it's also a great profession to be able to keep learning and improving, right? Like so many other industries where you can make more money by selling more to me, they all end up kind of being tasks at the end of the day, like when you're in B, B2C, C you kind of sell it, somebody buys it.

You got to find ways to get to more people faster, but there's only so many more ways you can get to more people and you can only talk to so many people in a day before you run out of you. And it's like, Yeah, there are tools and different ways to do that, but like to me is.

Recurring revenue.

Recurring revenue in a brokerage right within your customers, in your relationships where everybody can win, Right? And I know there's so much conflict between brokers and carriers and even shippers. And the reality is like there is absolutely a way to be able to profit and make income and still benefit your customers and benefit your carriers and benefit yourself.

And there are win win win situations in most instances, if you understand and you're able to leverage knowledge and execution and hustle, right, the effort that you're going to put into it, you can really do this in a way that everybody wins and relationships can go, I don't want to say indefinitely, but farther into the future than you ever usually see them in any other industry like you, you got like perpetuity almost, where like if you're doing the right things, yeah, things are going to go wrong.

But if those relationships are there, like we've had clients that have had customers for literally over a decade and decades, right? Like.

So another thing I think about too is like the, the flexibility. So and again, this could be depending on how you look at it, it could be a pro to me, but maybe not someone else's cup of tea. Right. So I love the fact that it's not a 9 to 5 and I don't have to be locked to a desk.

You can do this. You can work in this industry from anywhere as long as you've got Internet in a phone. Right. So some people might be like, Well, I want to be able to clock out at five and not have to worry about anything until the next morning. And there are some roles in which you can do that if you've got support, cover and you after hours.

But this job is very fluid. It's very flexible, but it's not a 9 to 5. Sometimes the first thing I'm doing is at 7 a.m. and sometimes the last thing I'm doing is at midnight, right? It's not constant the entire day, but you might have a call that comes in or an issue that pops up after your standard bank hours.

But I love the flexibility and the role that I'm in right now. I work remote and I could do that. This job from anywhere. And that's why my wife and I, we travel quite often and my parents live in Florida. We go down to Florida and visit them. We'll go check out new places. And it's just it's awesome to be able to do that and still get the job done.

I think that flexibility is just fantastic.

Well, to your other point, right, it may not be 9 to 5, but you can absolutely set that as a goal and you can get to that as an objective regardless. I mean, it's temporary. I mean, if you really want to get to a place where you can just work 9 to 5, then you got to hustle a little harder, bring in more business quicker, get to delegation faster, hire that first person quicker so that they can handle what you can't when you don't want to.

Whether it's at five or whether it's between, you know, eight in the morning and 12 in the morning because you want to go play golf one day. If you have built this business right. And you are learning in all these different ways that we're outlining, you can absolutely have support that you can be paying through your book of business to create time for yourself.

Right. Like and again, all of these are to learn skill sets, delegation and scaling and all these things, but they're all possible. And this business model, right? Like we and you and I both know folks, right, that have built brokerages in 3 to 5 years. And to be honest, they're kind of like collecting checks for the most part, like the higher managers does.

Business probably aren't growing as much, but they are certainly living their blessing on.

Their business instead.

Of not in it.

And this you could do that the ability and that's another another big pro is the ability to scale it, not just your income. Sidebar grow a business and then you're creating jobs, right? Well, yes, One of my favorite things is when we send out commission reports to all all the folks broker in the company on Thursday to see what they're to get paid Friday.

It is like one of the greatest feelings. And you see some of these folks just having a great week and making a ton of money. And it's like it's like awesome, right? Had they not had a good place to work and a great foundation and support, but it would never happen.

And right to the other point, like there is a solution to everything, right? Like you can start in the W-2 world and eventually end up as an agent. You can start as an agent and eventually own your own brokerage that is W-2 that you hire folks, right? Like you can navigate through and end up to wherever you want to be.

Right. And to me, I spent the first I'd say ten, 15 years in my career working for banks and large companies because, like, that's what our generation was taught from the generation before us. Like, you go work in a big company that goes on your resume and you keep making more money, you climb the ladder and you get, you know, your retirement, your 41k halfway through, right around like my early to mid thirties.

I'm like, Yeah, but I'm getting the smallest piece of this pie the company has the big lever that gets all of the value for all of my effort and I will always be here 9 to 5 Monday through Friday until I retire. Like Tammy, having an arbitrary timeline to hit my goal is something I can't do. Like I can't accept that.

Like, that's not okay. I need to be in an environment where if I work harder, I can get there faster. If I work slower, I'll get there slower and I'm okay with that, that risk because I want to bet on myself, right? I want to bet on myself in a way that like, Hey, if I win, I've got nobody to blame but myself.

I enjoy that pressure, but I enjoy it in a way because like, those are my goals. And to me that's what gets me excited to go to work every day, right? Like, yeah, it's almost like I've also kind of viewed it like it's like a full contact sport. Like this is the sport I play, right? It's funny, like we talk about sports a lot and one of my buddies here laughs like, well, like, you know, I'm like, my interest level is in business.

And then what I do and I gamble with my life and my family's well-being every day. I don't need to put $50 on a game because I bet my entire family's future on what I'm going to succeed or fail this week or this month, and I might fail. And that is over my head. All the time. But to me, that's what gets exciting about it.

If there's no loss and there's no risk, like what's the point of getting up to do it all? They might as well shovel gravel. They like I work in landscaping. I can go do that right. To me.

To that point, I think that's a personal preference that some people have.

Yes, right.

And I would I was talking to somebody the other day that they were they were asking like, hey, should I what are your thoughts on if I were to change my job from from what I'm doing now to something else? And he was explaining and the something else was like a straight salary with potential for bonuses versus a full commission role.

And I'm like, I'm like, Hey, man, everyone's different. But personally, I want to be like, extremely heavily commission based. Yes, forever. Because then I have control of that and it acts as a motivator, a motivator for me, right? If I'm given just a straight salary, I'm the kind of person that it's I'm it's going to be. I'll still work hard and get the job done.

But it's like, you know, I do this in the Army, right? I still work hard, get the job done. But I'm like, kind of sucks knowing that. Like, I work twice as hard as the guy next to me and we get paid the same. Exactly right. Like, and.

That's no incentive for me.

That's not a motivator, right? Yeah. So, but I mean, so again pro for you and I can't for.

Others totally agree my cousin's like this so and I went to school for finance and accounting and every one of my close friends from college all went to the same majors. And I think literally every single person I graduated with went and got their CPA, like my closest friends that we studied with, and they went and became accountants.

Right? I'm just like like, I just that doesn't fit my personality right. Like I am more to what you just described. Right. And it's funny, like when I talk to my friends and still the guys I graduate, like they'll tell me that, like, dude, like, I don't care if my income could go up to 700 and only drop to two, I would rather make 250 every year at a salary in my forties because like, they're like emotionally it's too hard for me.

Like I just it would exhaust me and I wouldn't be happy. And I'm like, Hey, I get it. I'm not suggesting anybody should like it for why I like it. I'm just explaining why it's a fit for me, right? Because I totally agree. Most people aren't. Most people are, I would say, risk averse. I in that way risk.

And it's like that's a big part to your spouse has to be on board with that too if you're going to go that route.

Yeah and my and again to my spouse and I are both entrepreneurs like she's on businesses and multiple salons, restaurants like her and I are that kind of person. Right? That like we relished that. To me, that is part of the enjoying enjoyment of life. I don't want to go to work, to walk, to watch a clock to click out, so then I can do what I want to do.

I want to be doing things I enjoy doing during that time and then enjoy other things when I'm not doing those things. Like if at all, Like I want to be able to create a life where I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, earn whatever I want, or whatever I'm capable of based on my effort and my, you know, accuracy or efficacy, right?

And to me, this industry allows you to design all of those things, right? Flexibility to travel if you want to. Yeah. I'm building another brokerage right now in books of business. Right. Like I'm working again 60 hours a week. I have no time to do anything, barely get to the grocery stores on the weekend. But you know what?

It's temporary. It's not forever. And I know that I would rather work twice as hard now to get there quicker than to have to work half as hard every day, like the military example, to just wait time out until I reach the next batch. And to me again, working at a bank that was my first real job out of college.

That's all it is. I remember sitting there like, like literally, like kind of like a caged animal, like bouncing around the office, like, well, what can we do next? And like, we all just read the newspaper and you wait. Wait for what? Like, should we do things like, know, like this is what everybody does? Like the other guys you're learning from in their sixties, they're like, Now we have lunch and like this is what you do.

I'm like, Well, how do I get to the next promotion like you do in 5 to 7 years? Like, just keep doing this when somebody.

Retires and there's a job opening. Yeah.

And I just couldn't fathom that. Like the outcome of my life and the trajectory. The trajectory was based on somebody in h.r. That just decided that 5 to 7 years is when you get your next promotion and 5 to 7 years after that, you're on the next track, right? Yeah.

Well, i want to take a break and shout out to our friends over at lean solutions group. Is your free brokerage hiring? You've got to check out Lean solutions group, the industry leader in near-shore staffing for logistics companies with offices in South America, Mexico and the Philippines. They offer a wide range of roles from back office operations to web development and marketing.

Partner with the best was a WW w dot lean group dot com to learn more. That's Ellie and group dot com again there's a link in the show notes how about. another thing too I want to I definitely want to hit on some things that I wish for different or I don't like as much but I have one more thing that I really, really love is some of the crazy unique situations or types of freight that I've experienced and got to learn a ton about, right?

Like, yeah, I've been I've been in logistics and transportation since I graduated high school almost 20 years ago. But we get to learn not just about freight and transportation, but the industries in which we provide those services. Like I've learned a ton about, like the oil and drilling industry, I learned a ton about farms and agriculture, a ton about hazmat and different chemicals.

And again, we're really good at finding trucks and solving logistics problems. But in order to be effective at that, you have to truly understand what's going on. Your customers.


Yes, right. Did I remember we had a company based in Mississauga, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, and some of the projects that that we did were like super massive, like wind turbine parts that were like had two different people driving the same or steering different parts of a massive, like two part truck. Have you ever seen those going down the road?

I've seen them. I've seen them in the northeast. Yeah, like.

But just too crazy. I remember going to going to a potato farm in western New York about an hour south of Buffalo and getting to go in and like, see where and how they store all of their potatoes. And then those exact potatoes will then be used to make a local brand of potato chips that they sell in my area, which is kind of cool to see, like where were the potatoes grew?

Yes. And it was just like, man, it's so cool.

And I think it again right there is that tangible aspect of our industry that I really enjoy, right? The fact that we're like moving real things, like real tangible things around that make a difference, right? And to me, like, there was a lot of pride in that. Like, I remember how excited I was at first, like my first customers where I was moving, you know, aluminum ingots for like Alcoa.

I grew up in Pittsburgh, the Alcoa buildings, they're like they're one of the most prominent companies in Pittsburgh. And for that to be a customer that I found that like I called out of nowhere that I created that relationship. And then I literally made the phone calls to develop the relationships with the carriers. Like every aspect of what that Alcoa business was came from efforts and creativity, the creativity to find it, the creativity to find the carriers, the execution of the conversations.

So I think there's was a lot of pride in doing that as well as the companies. But even some of the other ones, right, like Moving Dredge where some of the shipping lines. I learned so much about how that industry moves. And when you're supporting your customers, to me it's like as human beings, I think we're designed to help each other.

I really think that's part of our DNA and I think that it's like, it's funny, a little bit of a tangent, but it's like when you see people that only focus on themselves and things, they tend to always chase the next thing to try to fill that hole and you just never fill it. And there's lots of psychology around that, right?

Like, but I always find it ironic, right? My wife will watch like Real Housewives of like, you know, Beverly Hills and they're all complaining and they're all seem to be miserable, but they have all the things right. And I always like that's really ironic cause like, if they probably just spent like a few hours a week volunteering, like literally physically doing something for other human beings, like they probably would feel a lot better about themselves.

Right? And to me, that's one of the things that like is part of our job is to ask questions and talk to the person that you established a relationship with to your perfect or shipper and serve them, help them with the shit that they're not able to get done today because something went wrong. They didn't have enough time or they didn't have enough notice.

Whatever it is, it doesn't matter. Truck broke down a thousand different reasons. You're literally helping them show that they're performing better. You're helping drivers, you're helping connect people that both had needs that couldn't be connected without you. Right? The care that needs allowed to get to California. Because these things by your customer and your customer that needs that truck and can't find him without you, you're bringing two people together and they both are able to help each other.

Everybody wins. And there is just a sense of like a gratitude, but like it makes you feel good about yourself when you're doing those things. It's not just moving decimal points around on a spreadsheet to make percentage gains on investments. Yeah, and to me, that's really it's also the people aspect, right? Like literally talking to people. All right.

Like that's got to be one of the again, it can be difficult at times. It's not all roses but like one of the best parts of the day is talking with the drivers you talk to sometimes every week, the people you get to know them telling you what they see on the road. Like to your point, when there's something new that they've done or a new load that they've picked up here, they're a different type of shipment.

Like you're just always learning and you're just it's just a very human to human business. But to me, I it's just one of the also highlights of actually doing this.

Definitely. And I highly recommend if anyone out there has never done an onsite customer visit yet, go if you can make it happen, especially if they're local, go. You're going to learn so much and see some of the coolest stuff and build a great rapport like I did one two weeks ago. Went to a brewery and bottling company in Rochester, New York, just about an hour or so down the road from Buffalo.

And we got to see their facility where the bottling is done, where the brewing's done, and then also a separate facility where the trucks all get loaded up and, you know, they get outbound. But I got to learn that not all it's Genesee Brewing in Rochester, but I found out, like not only do they make Genesee beer, they're they're also a contractor where they do Mike's Hard Lemonade and their facilities.

They do shipyard brewing there. So we got to see like all the different buildings and stuff of where you know, where they get stuff done, where like they have the restaurant and brewhouse for the public to go and like try everything I've done. I've been a handful of different customers that all do different stuff. Heat exchangers, beer, potatoes, right?

I've seen a whole bunch of it and I learn something new at even just the same commodity. Likely someone does something a little bit different or has a different setup. Man, it is so cool. So I highly recommend it and it's great for rapport.

It reminds me of another one too, right? Like I one of the contracts or one of the accounts that I managed was with the military. Right. And at that time and still now, but we supported the spot market for the California wildfires at that time. So as they were like, starting to get worse is like in 2018, 19, I guess, like that's what we were doing.

Like literally finding the trucks to get the gear and the support to fight the fires. Right. And to me, again, it gives you just a really like a sense of purpose. But again, a sent a good grateful feeling that like you're watching this area and seeing on the news and that people are suffering and that they need help and you're able to contribute in some way to be able to help alleviate some of those things to me is just tremendously rewarding.

And again, to your point, like being able to go to the base in Tracy, California, and meet the folks that were there, right, to meet the customers that you talk to to see how they're putting these things together and loading the trucks. To me, again, it's kind of like the kid in you, right? Like you're learning things all the time.

To me, that's the best part of like having kids is watching them learn new things. Right. And have you met did you watch Mister Rogers when you were a kid?

A little bit. Not a ton.

Well, one of the things they used to do is they would literally do exactly what you said. They would have somebody take them through like a factory and show you how things are made or how things get packed or whatever. Right. And those customer visits always reminded me of, like those Mister Rogers episodes I would watch as a little kid where they, like, literally show you how things are made and like, you don't really get to learn that and nobody really talks about it.

But it's incredibly fascinating to me to see also all of the things that go into making anything right, like just prospecting sometimes. I remember prospecting appliances one time and just learning how many different parts come from, how many different factories to come together to make like a washing machine and just you would never think about that where the motors come from, that this outside of the washing machine started as a steel coil somewhere that went to somewhere else that then got stamped and then got sent to somewhere else.

And it's like you realize we all I think at least I did conceptualized all these things get built under one roof. And the reality is, is they don't they get built a little bit all these different places and then they get moved around until they get put together. And we get to see how that happens in a way that, to be honest, most people don't have any visibility or any understanding or any opportunity to ever be able to witness.

Yeah, not only do you get to see it, but you get to be part of it, which I think part of it.

That's exactly.

Well, I want to I want to shift gears as we wrap up here to talk about some of the things that are not super a fan of and how I think could change in number one, it's kind of obvious lately is the amount of like the vulnerability for fraud that we've seen. And we're going in a direction where there's a lot of stuff out there now that can be used to help prevent and deter from that.

But man, we had a target on us, you know, 18 months ago, right? Everyone's making money hand over fist and people start fraudulently brokering dollar brokering and they then they get like greedy and start doing it as like a scam and with no intention, even pay somebody for it. But the definitely the the it's it's like a catch 22 because I love that there's such a low barrier to entry and you can get into an entrepreneurial situation with very little money.

But that's also a vulnerability. And I guess I wish that there was there was more screening for folks that come in. So, you know, from a government regulation standpoint to prevent bad actors, right. Not saying that you have to be a U.S. citizen or be located in the U.S. to do this job. But if somebody if it's very clear and obvious that somebody is registered, 150 MCI numbers out of an apartment in South Dakota.

Right. As a as a trucking company that should be a red flag. So it's a vulnerable It's definitely vulnerable. And it puts extra work on us to have to properly vet motor carriers and stuff like that. So that's one that it's there's a lot of frustration because people are it's not like something happened by mistake and we're trying to figure out a solution.

It's like someone intentionally is trying to do bad things to you and you've got to be defensive about it. Right? So that's one thing about it that I wish was different. And I think we'll get there, right? There'll always be a new way to scam somebody, but I think we're heading in the right direction.

I agree wholeheartedly. I mean, I'm not pro regulation by any means. I mean, I don't want the government volved unless it's absolutely necessary. But the role I think the government does play is in protecting the public or creating markets with enough trust that they can function. And I think, you know, our you know, our industry basically operated under the radar for 40 some years before it really started to become even mainstream, noticeable.

And a lot of that became through the pandemic and a lot of that that happened that people never even really thought about how things got where they got right. And to your point, you know, when you got lots of easy money, you're going to have lots of fraud. That tends to follow that. And now you know, it is what it is and they've got to work it through.

So in my mind, the regulation, should it make it harder to get into the industry, it should just make it more stringent on being able to know the people that are to be able to go back through to that individual. Right. Companies are kind of like standalone human beings per se, like they have their own tax identities and everything, but you shouldn't be able to create them just to defraud other people.

Right. And I think there are ways that they'll be able to regulate that in a way that doesn't make it harder to get into it, but is a little more stringent to make sure people aren't creating, like you said, 20 or 30 different companies out of the same address just to intentionally defraud people. And to me, the banking industry went through similar things a hundred years ago and they passed regulation, right.

And then more regulation as more fraud happened until eventually got to where it is now. So I think we do get there.

And I think so to me, again, to be very clear, I'm not a fan of regulation for anyone that cares. I'm a registered libertarian, so free market is something I'm a big fan of. What I will say is that we have rules and policies on the books right now that are not being enforced. Nothing's being done on it.

And I think that's what frustrates me is there's been no examples set out of it and all the data information that the CSA has, they're not doing anything with it on either the front end, if somebody replies who's a bad actor and has been complained on or on the inside, which is, hey, they've committed, that's been reported on, go do something about it.

Right. There's a you can go get fined to $10,000. Right. So anyway there's that. The other frustration I have is wish there was more. I don't want to sound too lax Friedman here, but I wish there was more love in the industry. Man. There's so much animosity between freight brokers and truck drivers in general, right? You get you get they're good, smart ones, right?

Carriers are brokers and they see past it. But there are so many small brokers and small carriers that just think that each other are next in each other's worst enemy instead of just working together. So we can all do a great job and I'll be prosperous with it. And I've been saying this for years. If I could change one thing, it would be to just we all get along so much more than we do right now.

I couldn't agree with that more. I don't know that there is any path to getting to that place. I mean, to be honest, that's a lot of why we do. What we do is to be able to provide information to try to at least do what you can to shine a light on the misinformation, because I think a lot of that is caused by that.

They're mostly, I think, the fights over people that don't really understand how things are functioning. Most of the fights that I've seen are usually to people of different perspectives, and they're just aren't clearly communicating with each other what they need. And to me that creates lots of problems. And it could just be a function of humanity, right? Like human beings, when you have that many functioning in an open market, you're going to have a little bit of animosity.

I do wish there was more of it, and I don't think it's necessary because I don't think it even helps the people that are angry. I think it maybe temporarily makes you feel better, right, Because you can blame someone else for what you're experiencing. But the reality is, is it also makes it harder to fix whatever it is that's really causing that frustration in the first place.

Right now, any time somebody blame somebody else for anything personal, professional, wherever in life. Right, you get the benefit of feeling a little better because you felt like it was their fault but you immediately lost the ability to now fix it. Because if it's someone else's fault, I can't make them do anything different. And if they really are, the reason that I can't succeed, then my hands are tied to do anything about my life.

And to me that's not acceptable either. Like in almost every situation, if you think hard enough, there's probably something everybody can do to get out of their own situation that doesn't require blaming any group or any other person other than taking personal responsibility to just change how we are doing things to do them more effectively.

Agreed and agreed. Well, as we wrap up any final pros, cons, loves, hates about the industry.

Yeah, I mean, I was thinking about this too, like the other ones that I really had to. Or just like the speed too. Like I love the speed at which the industry moves. I love the pace. Yes, it can be exhausting. Yes, it can be draining at times. But to me, that's also what keeps it exciting, right? Like, yeah, I struggle just like every other broker from time to time with wanting to get something done before I got a customer issue that comes up or a truck that has an issue, right, Like at a bunch of them this week.

Yeah, it's frustrating, but without that, right, Like you're just sitting there doing your own homework, kind of sitting in a library, working through tasks. And to me it's like it's vibrant, right? Like when your customers are reaching out to you and this is happening when that is like it's just a lively position or industry where like it's nobody's really sitting on their hands and if you are, you're probably not doing what you should be doing to be doing more or whatever it is that your actual goal is.

Yeah, The last thing I'll add in is, to your point, fast paced. It's also an ever evolving industry and I love that there's been so much buy in for technology. I can't wait to see how we can leverage some of the emerging AI improvements to make our job more efficient and for us to help customers so much better.

I don't think that we're going to see all, all truck drivers go away and be replaced by autonomous semi trucks any time soon. So I think there's a lot of there's a huge ramp up to any kind of massive change in our history. But I love how we're embracing it and there's not a lot of resistance to it.

So very cool. I mean, you think back to before you and I even worked in the industry, right? DHT did not. People didn't use a website or a load book, right? They would literally send their truck less than their load less. They fax them over to trucking companies. Right. Or brokerages. If you're a trucking company, truck drivers would stop at a truck stop and look at a board that showed what loads were available.

Now look how far we've come. So we'll keep you guys posted as we hear more news on the the convoy stuff here, it sounds like. Let's see here. You guys can't see our our hidden producer here behind the scenes here. But he did say a little bit ago that there was a, freight caviar posted a video of someone having a conversation with convoy.

Man, this is going to get interesting to see how how everything pans out on the news side of things. But well, good deal. That's all I got then. You got any final thoughts?

Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, You're right.

And until next time, the go Bills. That wraps up this episode of Freight 360. Check out the show notes for links to anything that we've referenced on this episode and make sure and visit us online at freight360,net to see our entire library of episodes, videos, blogs and.

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Freight 360
Freight 360

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