Episode 215: Developing Your Carrier Network

Freight 360

October 27, 2023

It takes more than just getting shippers to be a successful freight broker.  Building a strong carrier network makes the best freight brokers succeed.  In this episode, we’ll give you some actionable tips that will help you build and refine your carrier network.

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0:00 Intro

2:40 Sports & News

12:48 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 Freight360 podcast from Freight Broker Sales tips to Sports Talk. This podcast is all about helping you grow as a Freight broker with your hosts, Nate Cross and Benjamin Kowalski. Let's talk Freight. All right. Welcome back. For another episode of the Freight360 Podcast. There's 214 other episodes as this is episode 215. So make sure to check out all the other content.

Subscribe. Leave us comments. Send us your questions. Share it with all your friends in the industry. Make sure to check out Freight 360.net that is our entire library of all of our content and our are back when I call it the back library or whatever.


Back catalog. There ya go. Thanks, Ben. And don't forget, if you ever want to learn more about our training, check out the Freight Broker Basics course. It's a full length self-paced course that teaches you everything from how to open up your own brokerage, build up your customer base, your carrier base, and even hire the right employees. So this episode is brought to you by Blue Book Services.

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Members receive access to real time credit and business information for companies throughout the industry. To learn more, go to lumberbluebook.com and click Join today. That's lumberBluebook.com. Ben what's happening today my man.

Living the dream man, hustling freight, trying to just. I don't know. It's pretty much it, man. Living the dream, making, making prospecting calls and hustling freight. How was your trip to Disney? Speaking of, you're just getting back in the thing. Yeah. Yeah.

Just got. So today's Thursday recording. A little later in the week. I got back about midnight, a little after midnight last night. So it was good. It was a good, nice trip down to Disney World though. And I got the kiddos enjoying the parks and all that stuff. So nice to have some warm weather and I come back and it's literally going to be 72 degrees here in Buffalo today in late October.

So your birthday is coming up, isn't it, this weekend?

Yeah, day after tomorrow. So happy.

Happy almost birthday. And make sure you guys all flood Ben's inbox wishing him happy birthday. So we had good stuff. Sports. I mean, I'll start off by saying the bills are just really frustrating everybody this all released on Friday, so who knows what will happen for Thursday night football. I'm going to help. The bills can bounce back and take a win over the Buccaneers, but had an embarrassing loss to the Patriots last Sunday.

And funny story. I was in Disney about the same time last year with my kids and the Bills lost an embarrassing game to the Jets. So I'm 0 for two to when I'm on when I'm at Disney with my kids and the bills are playing, so maybe I can't do that ever again.

But we are on the bye week next year.

Yeah, planning our does not go. I don't want to go. I want to go to Disney anytime soon. I've been there enough time with my kids, but so yeah. Other stuff what the Steelers got. Just get the Jags this weekend Jacksonville.

I genuinely forgot already.

I think I was looking at it earlier. Let me see here.

Yes it is.

Yeah well they they embarrassed buffalo so hopefully hopefully you guys can take him down so there's actually there's some discussion about the Steelers in Buffalo is that Bills fans are like man you know we were we're looking at a conference champion I'm sorry division champion and now we're like looking at maybe a wild card. They're like our luck.

The friggin Steelers are going to beat us out for a wildcard spot and we're going to be out of the playoffs. But it's still early on. Steelers are four and two right now. The man it's crazy.

They were in a good looking four. But I'll tell you what I mean I did get to watch the last game because it was finally televised down here and it was a 4:00 game. It did not look great until the fourth quarter. I mean, it was definitely kind of a new year.

They planned that it was televised. it was televised because it was a 430 game. I gotcha. Yeah.

Yeah, I played the Rams. Yeah. I mean, they they pulled it off, found a way to win. And hey, I mean, you find a way to win. That's the thing that matters At the end of the day, when buying golf, I always used to say it's like they don't ask you how, they just ask you how many. It's kind of the same thing with a win or a loss like this, it really matter how you got there.

Its a win or it's not.

So other sports, it's we're going into the World Series right now. So what surprised me, I thought the Phillies were going to go all the way and baseball. Just think everyone the way that everything shape was shaping out and they were up three games to two and then they they lost two straight and got eliminated by that Diamondbacks.

So it's going to be Diamondbacks and the Rangers in the in the World Series. And what's interesting is they were both while I believe they're both wild card Yeah they were they were both wild card teams so not you know didn't have a bye or anthem or didn't have a advantage by skipping the wild card series or anything like that.

But yeah, they just battled back and going to the post. They're going to the World Series now. It's been a weird year for baseball. I haven't followed too much of it, but this is a great time of year. You got like everything on, you got baseball, you got hockey, NBA football. It's nuts. Anything else for sports? Anything in the golf world?

No, no. All right. Well, we're going to do an awesome episode today and it's going to be about the carrier side of things. We talk a lot about sales. We're going to talk about the carrier side of things. But first, let's give a shout out to our friends over at DAT and we'll get into it.

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Absolutely. I almost forgot some news, man. I want to I want to bounce back and hit on some news real quick because obviously convoy was like the big thing. Did you see there was like a lot of obviously it's been over a week now and people are saying like the reason if you see like what the articles are saying about like the reason why they went down and all of that.

I haven't.

So again, I was on vacation like the last week, so I wasn't totally in tune with it. But a lot of the stuff I read was like they neglected, like the human element. Like they just thought they could pump money into like technology and it would solve all these problems when the reality is human beings and relationships are far more valuable than any technology like, Yes, they will enhance it.

But you can't you can't have you can't win at all without having that human element is kind of what a lot of the opinions and feedback was. So I'm not surprised to hear that.

Not at all. I mean, there's been a lot of stories around the tech industry and everything recently, and I mean especially around the cost of capital, right? Like it's all great until it isn't, but it's easy to make those things work a lot longer than they probably would otherwise when you don't have to pay for a cost of capital, when interest rates are like 0% and you can borrow as much as you need to gamble into the future, they'll do it as soon as you have to pay for that risk.

All of a sudden people start looking at, is this business really making money? Are they really cash flowing? Because the whole mentality of the past ten years in Silicon Valley is like growth is king. It doesn't matter if they're cash flowing, just borrow enough money into it. Eventually cash flows well, like that's not really how everything works. And it only really works in an environment where it doesn't cost any money to borrow money.

So in convoys, example, right, like they borrowed tons of money, levered it up and again, to your point, just hope technology was somehow going to solve everything. And the reality is our industries are people business. It's a relationship business. It's the glue that holds every logistics company together. Right? Like it's not the contracts, it's the people working with other people to solve problems for each other.

Yeah, exactly. In other news, and make sure you guys are subscribed to the newsletter, you can go right to our website Freight360.net and there's a spot to put your email address in. We send out a market update every Thursday now, and I've been trying to include a visual that shows the rates for Van, Reefer and Flatbed and if you look at them, they're pretty flat like it looks like we haven't seen a whole lot of movement on rates in the last like six months.

They've kind of like, you know, national averages. That is, you know, you're going to see variance in certain areas around the country. Like, for example, Christmas tree season is coming up. Right. It's we're in that time right now where people are either already started to or are getting ready to start shipping a lot of trees. And that's going to eat up a lot of your reefer and drive and capacity in certain areas in the northwest and in the northeast and wherever they're growing Christmas tree.

So, yeah, but you know, rates kind of look stagnant here. And then the other thing you sent me this article about rail cargo theft. So basically that I'll just kind of read it off here. It's summarized in our newsletter, but it says that over the past few years has been a no notable increase in rail cargo theft, especially in the areas around the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, with criminals targeting trains passing through the less populated regions.

Thefts are typically crimes of opportunity, with thieves breaking into containers while trains are slow moving and they're pilfered goods to collect later. So, I mean, you've probably seen the pictures or videos on TV or on the Internet, just like literally areas where people just broke into trains and there's just stuff all over the ground that they ripped out of there.

Anyone trying to steal. But there's a the article is from was about flex port. So they're establishing connections with various law enforcement agencies using advanced data analysis tools and recovered stolen goods. Yeah, GPS trackers secure, opting for more secure train lines. Yeah. Yeah. So basically, it's a big rail. Cargo theft is a big issue in the last few years, like the article says.

And, you know, cargo theft in general seems to be one of those things like we had We're going to have a we're going to have an episode probably in December with is a cargo net.

Right there or a risk I believe that is the parent company of cargo net talking about sell right now.

So yeah, curious because you know, we talk about a lot about the fraud in the industry and double brokering but cargo theft was a big one as well whether it's someone you know threatened to hold your load hostage or legitimately someone stealing a tractor or a trailer loads full goods or in this case, breaking into a train.

So, yeah, curious to see. I mean, the train's just kind of a very obviously seems like a bigger target, right, versus a a van that has one driver because the train just has hundreds, right? Sometimes hundreds to hundreds, you know, containers on board that can be broken into with, you know, not one person for every single trailer that's there.

But yeah, man, we'll see. We'll see how everything pans out and how they crack down on the fraud there in the in the theft. But good stuff. That's our news for the week. Make sure again, subscribe to the newsletter. Go to freight360.net and throw your email address in the subscribe line there and you'll get our Tuesday and our Thursday newsletter every single week.

All right, cool. Let's get into our content today. We wanted to talk about building a good carrier network. And this is, you know, one of the things that I oftentimes think brokers overlook. They're like, well, I've got to have a solid customer base, my book of business has to be pristine. I've got to have all these customers, Well, you can't do any of that and be successful and profitable if you don't have the other side of the equation, which is your carrier network.

Right. And my boss at Pearce World Wide Logistics, he's the owner of the company. He always says anybody can go out there and post a load and find a truck off the load boards. What stands you apart from everybody else, To be superior as a company is to have really strong carriers in your network that you don't have to go to load boards for right or should be only use the load boards as a as a last resort.

Right. You should have a preferred network of carriers. Ideally, you should have a lot of TMS data internally that you can look at load history, things like that, and just have relationships. We can call a carrier and find out what their capacity and their availability is versus just going out there and doing the old post and pray and on the boards.

So that's kind of how I want to set the stage. And if you remember our episode with Pardeep about about two or three months ago, one of the really cool things that I've gotten to learn about his company over the years is that that they their last resort is the load boards they have their loads get tendered over from customers and there they have carrier sales reps that will work to find capacity.

And their goal number one is to go to their what they call preferred carriers. So they have a network of carriers that they've already vetted, trusted, worked with for a number of years now. And that's goal number one is go to that existing carrier base. Well, we already know these people. We know their track record and who they are.

We're going to use them first. And then next up, we'll go through a variety of other things. And our last case scenario, we're going to post on a load board. So I think that's really cool to have that as a as a focus when it comes to brokering freight as having both sides of that equation, Ben what have you.

You know, I want to kind of go back to your early years with being at a big box. W2 What did that process look like for you guys? Was there a metric that they tracked carrier utilization or is it, hey, just get the loads covered? We don't really care. What did that look like?

There really wasn't anything related to carrier utilization. But even since then, I think they were the one of the only companies that also had like ownership over carriers and.

Meaning what like a rep would be, Hey, I own this carrier.

Correct. Or at least having first priority at it. Right. And here's the thing. When you work in a much larger company, it's viewed very differently than in other sized companies. Right. And I'll give you instances of why and how that plays out. Right. So you're in a tight market, right, And say your customer really needs a load moved.

I go into the same system that everyone else in that organization does to look at that lane. Right. So the broker who may have used or brought that carrier into the network for his customers, freight say it's Mike, right? Mike's been working with that carrier all year. They got negotiated good rates because they've been working with the same customer.

They've worked on and off. You know what I mean? For consistently, a long time, my customer all of a sudden has a last minute load. They need a lot of help with. If I call that carrier and go, Hey, I need you to run that same load. Mike was running and Mike has a load unexpectedly, like in an hour or two.

Like I now disrupted the service that Mike built through his relationships. Right. So there is infighting to get access to carriers, especially reliable carriers with fair rates, Right. Because everybody wants to work with them and you need some type of guidance as to are they always up for grabs? Is that first come, first serve or does the person that built the relationship have at least first shot?

I ran into this a lot in drayage because I built out that aspect there with my customers. And then everybody else started to try to poach my carriers that I built and spent weeks and months developing relationships with to run a load here, there. Well, then my customer, when they needed them, I didn't have the same access because people are using them for other freight.

So like, that's interesting. System kind of plays out and like I had to have to fight over it. I mean, literally would get into like disagreements and have things escalated to like upper management going like, well, this freight's got way higher margin. I've worked with them longer, nobody should be able to use them without my approval. And that's the way some of the way.

Yeah, I mean it. Well, that's regardless of the the good, the bad and the ugly in that story is it goes to show how important a good carrier relationship.

For sure.

It can save it can save your day or it can cost you a customer if something falls through.

Here's the thing, too. I want to point out, right, Like I've now had the opportunity and the hard work of building a carrier base from scratch, and I've been able to access them that have already been that right. And I think the thing that is most often overlooked by freight brokers is exactly what you said is the value of having the carrier is half of the business.

It is not 10%, 5%, it's half. Half comes from a customer, half comes from a carrier. Right. And again, somebody might make the argument, well, well, if I get another truck and they pick it up and they give me a better rate, like why does my relationship matter as much as it does for the customer? Right. And there is so much risk in using a carrier from a load board that you've never used, even if they've been in business a while, even if they're a decent carrier.

And everything you see shows that they probably are a good carrier. Your first time using anybody. There's a lot of risk there. Like you don't know how they manage their time, you don't know how their last load is before they get to your load, right? Like they could have a receiver and the carrier could do everything that they're supposed to do, but yet the place they deliver to every Wednesday and your load is Wednesday afternoon and every time they deliver Wednesday morning, it could be an hour unload, it could be a four hour unload.

That's not the carrier's fault. But all of that plays into the service that I'm paying for for my customer. Right. Are they going to have enough time to get their to check in on time? Is it a flip of a coin on whether or not they're going to have enough time where they just hope they'll make it? Those little decisions and how they operate their business all come into play and how the services I'm packaging to put a price on for my customers.

Right. And the less you know, the more risk you have. So these relationships to me in some ways are even more valuable because I want to go even one step further. When you are prospecting, if you have no carrier base or no relationships, what are you really selling? This is what shippers have the fear over and why they don't want to work with brokers as sometimes a matter of policy because they're terrified you're going to take their trusted freight that they care a lot about because it's their business.

And you're going to gamble with the next cheapest truck that comes past their facility to put their load on. And that's terrifying. That's why there's a fear or a hesitancy to trust brokers out of the gate because they don't know if you really have trusted carriers or you're just going to pick the cheapest guy to run their freight and cross your fingers and hope everything goes well, right?


I would challenge our I shouldn't say challenge. I would suggest anybody out there listening. If you have the ability to take a look at your metrics internally for your brokerage, run a report that shows the activity for your carrier base. So, for example, let's say, you know, we're coming up at the end of October here. So if you do year to date, it's ten months worth of data.

Look at how many loads you've done and then how many loads, on each carrier and then rank them from, you know, most loads ran to least and I'm willing to bet there's a lot of one load, It uses a ton of maybe two. Very, very rarely will you have a ton of carriers that run repeat business and if you do, that's great.

We ran this at a previous brokerage that I worked for like seven years ago and I was shocked. I think it was like less than 1% of our carriers ran more than 20 loads for the year or something like that. And I was like, What? So like, it was such a transactional thing. And, you know, with every single broker running their own book of business and their own operation and we didn't have a carrier or procurement team that did that, everyone's really on their own.

There really was no way to push the company in a direction. You just had to really try to entice people to build relationships with carriers themselves. But it's it's shocking, man. They really is. Yeah. Being that transactional goes right back to what you said. It's so much risk. Every single time you're adding a new carrier, you have no no idea what's going to happen right.

And again, it's not just the driver. Right. And I want to be very specific. It's not just the asset or the tractor or the trailer, right. It's the other customers that are serviced by that carrier that also affect the service on your load. Right. And I took you through an example, right, of like where they delivered before. Right.

Maybe you got a quick load one day, maybe three out of four loads they deliver are on time. And that fourth one is a three hour unload because they've got a push at the end of the month or whatever happens. Right. Whatever that is, no one knows. So when you're using those carriers over and over, you get to know them.

You get to know the other routes they're running. You get to know what else is important to them. Again, that helps you prospect more effectively when you can go, Hey, this carrier I've used for years in the Southeast also heads over to Arizona on Thursdays, guess who I'm gonna prospect on in Arizona. Hey, I've got reliable carriers I've used for years that I know are coming in your area That to me right is how you add value in a prospect yeah but even aside from that, I want to point out one thing, right?

That risk we've talked about fraud a ton this quarter. We've done episodes with DAT. We are doing episodes, you know, with cargo Net or risk coming up. We've done episodes.

Of Highway.

Highway, like billions of dollars of freight are being stolen per year. Right. And take into consideration like that's top line numbers for like the biggest brokers in the country, right? Billions of dollars. You're like every load for one of the largest brokers being stolen in a year. Like, that's insane. How much is being stolen, Right? And every single time you use a carrier that you've never used before, Right.

That risk is higher than one you've already used, Right? So not only is there risk to your shipper, is there risk to the load, but there's risk to you, the brokerage that maybe you're using a possible double broker, maybe somebody could steal your load. And all the criminals know that this is happening and this is what they're exploiting.

They're exploiting brokers that don't vet carriers that don't care about relationships that use them, transaction only. And they'll go, Hey, let me work my way in, grab five loads from you. And then a month later you find out that like you paid the wrong carrier, they stole your money and there's no recourse at the end of the day.

And we don't say any of us to scare you. But we it's, it's more sort of to make you aware and alert of what's going out there. If something seems too good to be true, that this carrier just happens to be right there and no dead head and they have a great rate, you might want to double, double, triple check your your vetting process there to make sure you're not getting duped.

00:24:37:17 - 00:24:58:10
Speaker 2
To every every week. Now, Nate, I talk to somebody that runs into this instance. They either heard about a double brokered load or they found out that they had one slip through the cracks. And then somebody I talked to yesterday, a client we've had for years, you know, he had one slip through. They're going to start using highway like literally this week.

But when he talked, I think it was traveler's insurance called them and said that like that same the same carrier and the broker that was involved. Right. They said as of the day, they called there was at least $300,000 worth of fraud related to that. They think that that carrier and broker in that fraud was making about a half a million dollars a day stolen loads before they got clipped.

That's insane. Well, I want to get into some of the the ways you can build relationships. But I want to take a quick break and shout out to our friends over at Lean Solutions Group. Is your freight 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 to web development and marketing. I can't talk today partner with the best visit www.leangroup.com to learn more that's leangroup.com. All right so I want to talk about some of the ways you can really build good relationships with carriers and a lot of this is going to mirror the same concepts of prospecting right on our prospecting shippers.

We're going to try to build rapport and find out what's important to our customer or our prospect. What is it that their needs are, what are their priorities, and how can we step in and offer some kind of value? And the same goes for carriers, right? Carriers are going to have their pain points too. They're going to have their frustrations and their needs, and they're going to have areas where they need help that you can offer assistance in.

That could be, you know, they're sick of deadheading for all their existing loads that they're hauling right now because they're just finding stuff off the load boards or their brokers that they're using or the customers that they're using are spread so far apart that they're driving 200 miles empty between every single load. Right? You can come in and try to prospect new business that fits their you know, their geographic location a little bit better.

And the same thing goes for if there's certain facilities that they do and don't like to pick up from or deliver to. Right. You can assist them by being that sales arm for their company and try to find out new business opportunities for them. So I think the biggest thing is to put yourself in the mentality or in the shoes of the driver as Dean Croke calls it.

Put yourself in the in the driver's seat. Right. And get behind the steering wheel and kind of figure out what is it like to be them and what's important to them. So, you know, whether it's the location or where they want to pick up stuff like that, this is what you have to find out. And you'll you'll never know this if you just post loads on a load board and talk to a carrier that calls in and you dispatch up and move on to the next one, you've got to find out, Hey, where are you guys trying to go?

What is your fleet look like? What kind of equipment do you haul? What's your range that you guys operate in? Do you have a preferred lane? Right. These are super important metrics and you can use tools like Highway to find this stuff out. You can talk to them, have it inside of your TMS. There's a whole slew of ways that you don't track this stuff.

It's literally wasted golden opportunities for sure.

And here's the other thing, too, right? Yes. Like there's an opportunity cost for every carrier calling. You're probably not calling up prospect, which I think is probably one of the reasons why this is not done as much as it should be done. But the reality is, is there needs to be a sale made to a carrier in the same way you got to make it, just like you pointed out to a prospect.

That's why you.

There's a role called carrier sales, right? Because. Yeah. you're selling. Exactly.

And I think most people think it's just like, I'm selling them the load. But the reality is, is it like you've got to understand and what's going on with this carrier to find out if you are going to work together and where are you guys going to work together or maybe where the opportunities are or aren't, Right.

You can't make that decision without having a conversation and understanding them. Right. And I want to make a point to everybody new out there. That doesn't mean you should spend the first month of your job calling truck companies first, Right? You do need to know at least a general idea of either where your freight's coming from or where you want to start to prospect before you pivot to the carriers, because the carriers are going to ask you these questions.

These are the questions you need to be able to answer to them. Hey, I'm a carrier. You're a broker out of the blue calling me. What is my risk working with you? I don't know you. I don't know your customers. Are you going to put me on loads that are just a huge pain in the ass that are going to be horrible?

Unload time or load time with tons of dwell. You're going to fight me for detention. There's a lot of risk from the carriers point of view to work with the broker, right? So you've got to have that conversation to understand their needs, their frustrations, like you've pointed out, and to be able to talk through where the opportunities are to work together.

Right. The more of those conversations you can have, the more fruitful the relationship is for both of you. Right. To solve the points you're making out. Okay, here needs this, Right? Okay. Well, like, maybe you're not going to put them on the same types of freight that you would maybe another carrier that is prioritizing to move volume and doesn't worry about some of those things.

Right. Not every carrier is created equal and lots of them have different preferences to commodity types, to the types of shippers, to the lanes they want to run to to. Nate, to Dean's point what hours of the day you're going to be operating on time?

They're just like style.

00:30:17:04 - 00:30:33:13
Speaker 2
Yeah. How about the question no one ever asked? Like, how fresh are you on hours? How's your week been? Right? When have you been running? Right. There was a question, our forum today that somebody said a carrier post and said broker gave me a load, told me it was supposed to pick up so-and-so and would be able to deliver on a window.

Got to the shipper. They said, this has to deliver straight through here. I said, I'm out of hours. I was going into my reset after I loaded and was going to deliver after my ten. They're like, So now I'm in a position where the shipper is expecting me to do something I'm legally not allowed to do. Yeah, and the Broker, nobody clarified this.

These are the instances that are avoidable. And now you've got a problem. This broker spent a whole bunch of time to get this shipper who's now pissed off. The carrier is now angry because they're put in a situation they can't do anything to resolve it. And at the end of the day, you could have asked two more questions.

Found that out to find the right carrier for the right load and everybody could have won.

Yeah, there's I mean, there is so I think about like ethics and just overall customer service when it comes to brokers and carriers. And there's a reason why there's so much animosity because there's bad players on both sides. Yeah. So the example you just gave it, we're going to break it down on the final mile on the next final Mile Q&A episode.

We do. But I had an instance that I think I brought up in a recent episode as well, where a customer was trying to tell a carrier to are telling the broker to tell the carrier to avoid some sort of an inspection point going into California and use this road and yada yada. And basically, like the whole thing was there was a certain kind of a plant on there and they had to get fumigated to enter into California and they got turned around at an inspection point.

So the customers like, just tell him to go take this route, right? You can run around the inspection point, they'll be fine. And for a broker to then take that advice and tell a carrier, that's first of all, it's illegal, but it's terribly unethical. And those are the reasons why there's bad actors out there. And there's bad customers.

Right? That's a terrible customer is that person is bad, but it's it's bad on a broker to do that, too. So I just think about, for sure communication is like the solver of every problem and like almost every single industry, but especially ours. And you mentioned like, how could this have been prevented in the instance that you just brought up from our summit on our Facebook group?

It's a 100% communication, right? I've seen that happen with people screw up reefer settings or temperatures I've seen it with if additional pick up was added or maybe removed and there was a breakdown in communication. So somebody shows up and they're not expected to be there or they show up and they didn't need to be there, things like that.

Well, let's go through those because like we just on a coaching call right before this, I went through some of the questions you should be asking from your shipper as well as your carrier, Right. To make sure you've got a fit before you dispatch. Right. And again, these seem simple for people who have been in it, but they're really often overlooked, right?

First is value, right? I would say this is probably one of the most overlooked right? Asking your customer for the load value and then making sure the carrier you put on it has cargo insurance that covers that number. Yeah, full stop. There is no your contingent cargo has nothing to do with this. Your broker's insurance has nothing to do with this.

None of that is relevant at all in the scenario. Whatever that load value is, whatever that number is, better be lower than the cargo insurance that carrier has on their deck page.

And if it's not, you need to have a you need to get an all risk policy or something and.

See the episode we did with Load Sure.

And the. Yeah, exactly. Well, that's a great episode that I'll walk through that. And there is the rare, rare scenario in which a customer chooses to take the risk of not having their their shipment been fully insured because of the risk, the reward risk, you know, concept in their mind. Very rare.

Done that. But that ship better be in writing. And I've asked my customers and I've said it over the phone emailed it to him in writing and said, I need you to confirm you're okay with this because I'm not willing to take this risk on your behalf. You can take it. That's your decision, right?

Yeah. I mean, I've seen companies that they will literally self-insure, as you would call it, right? They're like, well, the amount of the amount of loss we have in a given year is going to be, on average less than what we would pay an additional all risk premiums. And hey, I mean, that's a side note and that's the exception, not the rule.

But yes, the primary rule would be that carrier needs to have the amount of insurance that if not more than the value of the shares.

Here's the next one. Right. And how many issues come up with this weight or how many times people get to weight and a broker maybe a just and shouldn't have it made it seem a little lower on their post or in their rate column than it actually was to try to. This is a little bit heavy, but if I'll call it 43 instead of 44 5, it should be fine.

Carrier goes. Now the carrier is O.W. gets a fine or doesn't load all of that again needs to be clearly communicated to your point. What does this load weigh that needs to be on that document And that carrier needs to be aware that and tell you that they can scale that weight if you are close to the limits right.

And the reason that is different for every carrier is tractors weigh different. Trailers weigh different amounts. So the legal weight is based on. GROSS So you can't just call the cargo and say, it's because this number, everybody can scale it.

Yeah. Think about some of the some of the sleeper cabs that are a little bit for lack of better terms, a little bit more decked out than than others. Right. They're going to have additional weight on those on those axles, on the cab. So definitely a point of discussion and communication. I've had it happen where a trailer was loaded and it wasn't overweight, but it was over on a certain axle and the like.

The the loading dock knew about it and tried to get away. A driver hits a scale like two miles down the road and comes back is like you guys loaded me overweight and you knew it. So, I mean, that's that's moving a bunch of heavy steel table items for you. But that stuff's all extremely important. And you can we've said it before, but it takes way more time to rebuild trust than it takes to lose that trust.

So if you know something as a broker and it's bad news or it's difficult to handle, like, hey, this is going to be very heavy, so it's going to be close, Talk about that upfront. Don't blindside or surprise a driver. They're going be on head with you do not want to do business in the future. Equipment and things too, that I've seen.

Go ahead, Ben. What you got.

Over the last two equipment type and the one I see overlooked a lot, 48 versus 53. I'm like, it said a dry van full truckload. Okay, well, we're talking 102' 53's. Like I've seen swing doors matter with some customers that I used to have that loaded a lot of plywood because the way they loaded it in, if the doors were swing as opposed to and I can't you remember it's been years but again I've seen trucks get rejected for 48 it's.

Like the swing doors versus your roll up door.

Correct? Yes. Which is I think was the case. Again, it was like five, six years ago. But and the last one, like special requirements. Right. Hey. Hey. Glad you confirmed this. Any special requirements? E trucks? If it's a reefer shoot. Right. If it's flatbeds, chains, coil racks, pipe steaks, headache racks to name a few forms the size of the tarp.

Right. You said they have a tarp. Four, six, eight or 12, Right. Like, I showed up. They didn't tell me I needed a six. They told me I needed an eight. And now all of a sudden trucks were rejected and now you have a problem is going to take you 3 hours to solve. That could have been avoided with two questions.

Exactly. And so what I was going to lead into was it kind of goes into this discussion is pay and expectations. Right. First, how do you pay? What are your payment terms? And because this could be something it's very important to a carrier. If a carrier is going through a growth phase or they're strapped on cash for whatever reason or they had just had a major repair, it could be very important for them to get a quick pay from, could also be very important that they know they're going to get paid in 28 or 30 days and not just be wondering when you know, when they're going to get paid.

And also what do I need to submit as a carrier to get paid by you, Mr. or Mrs. Broker, Do I want to send in pod rate confirmation scale tickets? Like what do you need from me as a carrier so I can get settled with my payment? So those are things that are, you know, obviously like, don't ever say I won't pay.

That's a very it's a very, like, sensitive subject, an area for just about any industry, anybody. But if they want a quick pay or they need a quick pay, is there a fee? Do they have to have a GPS track in order to get that quick? Is there any requirements for them to get that done? Because imagine if you're expecting a three day quick pay as a carrier and the broker is like, no, you what?

You would have had to do X, Y, and Z to qualify for a quite parents house and you didn't do that. Be pretty pissed off right before. So that kind of stuff, that communication is is extremely important Can I mean it can't really drive the point home enough. It like gathering all this data information and having it organized and stored somewhere is so crucial.

The same way that we have a CRM for our customers. You should have the same type of system in place for your carriers. It's not going to be called a CRM. It could just be called your, you know, your carrier database or whatever. But you should be able to track preferred lanes, load in lane history, pricing, history, equipment types, the fleet size, all that stuff.

Point of contact for the dispatcher, right? Maybe the owner, if it's a smaller company, if it if they cover multiple regions, maybe a dispatcher for this region versus that region. Right. These are the go to people. So you don't have enough post on the load boards When I've got to load to get covered, I can help know. I'm going to call Dave over here.

Dave handles everything east of the Mississippi for X, Y and Z company. So that's a very, very important.

Yeah. And I want to go back to rate too, because I think everybody just assumes it's the dollar amount you'll pay or how fast you'll pay. Right. And those are clearly the most important, right? But there are valuable things to a carrier you pointed out earlier that help them keep more of the money they're making. Right. And one of the biggest ones is like Deadhead, like maybe if when you're talking to them, right, like they're deadheading 250 miles every Wednesday because of an existing customer to get to their next customer.

Right. Like if you're able to find a load or have a load that is half that distance to where they're delivering, but gets them closer to where they need to at their next stop. Now, they just saved a handful of hours and driving empty for no reason. That they are now driving loaded and making money that makes them more profitable, right?

Yeah. And in the other markets, right. Like we're in a down market right now rate wise, but it's not staying that way. It's a cycle, right? It's a big circle. It's going to go around no matter how quickly or slowly it does. It's still a circle. The shape doesn't change. So as we move out of this and go to the other side of things, right, like there are lots of opportunities for you to also go back to your customer and to ask for some rate increases, for increases in service to retain carriers that they enjoy working with because there's a risk to your customer.

The same, just like we pointed out earlier in this call, using a carrier you've never used the first time, there's always a risk, even if there are a great carrier, you don't know they're great until you've used them, right. And to your shipper, that is one of their biggest pain points. So the better you are at working with your carriers and having real relationships, the better you are at sales to bring in more customers.

It's a flywheel. The better you do it. The next one helps you get customers faster. Your customers Pfizer carriers faster. Talk to your carriers more, get more customers faster. That's how that flywheel spins, right? But most people just work on half of it. It's like pedaling a bike with one leg. You can do it, but it sure shit Not as efficient as if you needed both legs.

Right. It's a good analogy. Get good at also building the relationships on the hand, not just worrying about where your next load is going to come from. Because you know what? Rather than you sitting and guessing where you're going to find the next load, how about you get back on the phone and talk to that carrier you worked with this morning and ask them where they would want some freight.

Now you got your next target and you already have the thing. You didn't know what to say anyway before you picked up the call. The biggest issue people say is I want to call somebody. What am I going to say? Well, the guy just told you. And in addition to that, when you call that prospect and you say you're calling on behalf of a driver because you want to help them, do you think they're going to be more or less responsive than when you called and said, I'm a broker that can do anything?

Do you want to work with.

Trucks in the area or.

Trucks in the area? What the hell does that mean? Right to them? All they hear is you're going to put my load on a load board with somebody I don't know, and I'm not willing to take that risk.

Yeah, I mean, the using a name is really helpful, too, right? If you call and say, Hey, I've got John on, he's, you know, he's empty here every single Tuesday. Right. It goes a lot further than sure. Hey, I can, you know, I've got trucks in the area, right? So that's that's good stuff. Well, good conversation, man. The I would, I guess, action point.

Right? So next time you're on the phone, the carrier, ask one more question. Start with that. Ask one more question that could help strengthen that relationship. It could be as simple as, hey, how often are you empty here? Right? So that because boom, that could be lead to repeat contract for them. It could be, you know, hey, do you guys have any you know, do you have anyone else in the area, you know, each week.

Right. Or do you guys prefer a certain region or whatever that case? Let me find out one more thing and add it to your your notes inside of your terms.

So I want to go through one last kind of example, right. Brokers where I always ask like, well, how do you get contract freight? Like you usually start in spot world and then how do you really earn a dedicated lane, Right. Well, this is also how a brokerage gets dedicated lanes is you ran one load with a customer with a carrier.

They did well. You asked them the questions we discussed in this episode and you learn more about them. And let's say you find that they are going to be exactly where this load picked up for you and your customer every week because they've got another customer that puts them that right. Well, the next step is you call your customer and say, Hey, John, how did he do a driver?

We sent him. How were the issues service? Great. Hey, let me ask you, I'm here. Do you guys ship this load weekly? Maybe? Yes, maybe no, if it's yes. Right. Hey, again, the reason I was asking is because John literally delivers right by your facility every week. What's the chance that we can get this load for him next week?

Maybe you get it next week, maybe you don't. But the third week you call and you do the same thing. And the fourth week and the fifth week. Because as soon as the other carrier that was running before you came in to save the day when somebody dropped the ball, it will happen again. Now. It happens a second time.

Like, yeah, why don't you send that guy in now that you've run two of them, you're way closer to that customer giving you that lane every week without thinking, without you having to do anything. Now your driver gets the same load, the shipper doesn't worry about it. You don't have to find a truck anymore. And you got one load that you can rely on every week of the year.

And that margin as part of your book of business, that's how you turn spot into dedicated and that's really how a brokerage builds its book of business anyway. Yep, you can't do it without that piece. Otherwise this is why people and brokers run out of time. They go, I can't prospect. I'm all day running around. What, because you're using a different carrier every damn time like that takes a lot of effort.

Again, pay the guy that's reliable a little bit more. Never have to worry about it again. Set it and forget it. And you got that revenue every week. And your book of business shippers, happy carriers happy and everybody with not nothing.

I mean, you mentioned paying a little more. There's often times when you can get a better rate from them because they'll able to take a little less for the consistency. Yes. They're not worried about, hey, I've got a I've got a debt had 250 miles. Now it's like, hey, I'll take a straight a little bit less, but my costs are way less.

So right in the end, it's a win win.

So there are ways to provide money or economic profits that aren't just an increase in rate, right? You can reduce time, you can increase efficiency and reduce that having to have it. Yeah. You help them make more money every single week by reducing the waste that they had in their routes.

I think people oftentimes they don't realize how wasteful deadheading really is. Right. It's not just fuel. It's time, it's maintenance. Right. If you do 250 miles, that's 250 miles sooner. You have to change tires, oil, all that stuff every day.

So that's a long way. I mean, for anybody out there that is a broker you don't need have driven a truck, think about the last time you drove 250 miles. Was it an enjoyable experience? I don't think I've ever driven that far in my life and didn't think I didn't want to do it like 100 miles, Right?

Even like a hundred miles would be like a more common deadhead that we see is still like 2 hours.

Yes, right. For sure.

Yeah. Well, good stuff. Good conversation. I like it. Let us know what you guys think in the comments. If you're on YouTube or leave us a review or send us a message to our website and we will we will appreciate the feedback. So any final thoughts here, Ben.

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

And until next time, go Bills. So 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 to visit us online at freight360.net to see our entire library of episodes, videos, blogs and more.

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