Finding Shippers, Insurance Insights, and Broker Training | Final Mile #42

Freight 360

May 7, 2024

Nate Cross & Ben Kowalski answer your freight brokering questions and discuss:

  • How to find shippers
  • Insurance for excluded commodities
  • Freight broker education

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Speaker 1: 0:19

All right, hey folks, welcome back for another episode of the Final Mile. We're going to answer a few of your listener questions today that came in through our Facebook group and YouTube as well, so we appreciate you sending your questions over. We do our best to get to as many of them as we can, especially the ones that are really good for a wide chunk of the audience and are relevant. So continue to do that and take a moment to hit the like button, subscribe, share us with your friends, leave a comment, send that question on yourself, head over to our website,, to check out all of our content, including the freight broker basics course for a deep dive and how to get your brokerage started and successful. And please take a moment to check out the sponsors in the description box. They help support this channel and allow us to continue to give you guys a lot of free content.

Speaker 1: 1:11

All right, first question today is what systems or tools can I use to get shippers? Well, I mean, we could do an entire hour episode on this and we're not going to. Well, I mean, we could do an entire hour episode on this and we're not going to, but I picked this one, ben, because we you and I, as some folks know, we are a TIA instructor, so we the TIA has a, a program that certifies new freight brokers helped write and educate, or basically write that curriculum and deliver it, along with our friend, chris Jolly, the freight coach. But we just did one like last week on how they can generate leads, how do they find shippers. Because you know, when you're brand new into this, you're like, right, I got to go out there and I got to find. I got to find freight. Where's this load board full of freight that I'm supposed to just go to and start bidding on? It doesn't work that way. You literally have to go out there and generate a certain amount of leads as potential customers that you can actually start to prospect and start to call on. So where do you find these shippers? We'll give you a handful of them here and then I'll let you kind of add into it.

Speaker 1: 2:26

But the Internet is going to be your best friend in a lot of this right, whether it's just simply Googling or if you're going to use some online tools that allow you to get contact information or company information. So some of the obvious ones that folks have heard of are Zoom Info information. So some of the obvious ones that folks have heard of are Zoom Info. If you do use Zoom Info, or if you are considering it, I would also encourage you to check out some of its competitors, like Apolloio, which I personally like. I think the price point's better. They do have a free one you can try out, but what?

Speaker 1: 2:56

Um, basically they buy data from other places, but they also use email scraping, so they'll they'll see somebody's email signature as of yesterday, list of them as a traffic manager at ABC steel, and now you can confirm their phone number, email, et cetera. Right, so that's how you can get companies and individuals at companies to call, I mean, one of our partners Blue Book, right? Produce Blue Book, lumber Blue Book these are. You can become a member and have access to tens of thousands of companies that are within either the produce industry or the lumber industry and, in general, any kind of trade organizations or trade groups where you've got membership. If you can get a list of all those, that's a great way to get a lot of leads all at once. Ben, give me a couple more. I know I kind of named some of the common ones there, but what do you think there?

Speaker 2: 4:01

Chamber of Commerce's or other good sources where you can get a good group of leads. A great tool we talk about a lot Data Axel, which you should be able to get for free through your library Everyone we've ever talked to was able to and that is a database of every company in North America listed by their industrial code, so you can literally source by not just a company but the code number for a company. So if you've got a customer, or maybe no customers, what I would do is like pick something first, because looking for everything is impossible and you actually find nothing. So get a little focus and pick something or whatever that is. And then my next step is I usually do two or three things. I go to GPT or Gemini, one of the AI models, and I say give me the top 100 companies, give me 50 medium-sized companies in here, and I look to just get a feel for how big the biggest ones are and the smallest. And then I usually go by the NAICS code and I throw it into Zoom Info and it will give me everybody that is under that. And again, if you don't have Zoom info, it's super expensive, but you can use the free tool, data Axle. We'll still give you the same list of companies. You'll get their general phone numbers. You can then take that list and work through it in LinkedIn to find some names of peoples with titles to get a little more specific, or then use that same list with, like, an Apolloio or Seamless, and you can get some individual people with phone numbers.

Speaker 2: 5:29

This is part of that lead generation time, right, like where you are just getting better at doing research, because that's what finding shippers is is. You've got to get good at finding information. And the other thing I want to point out right is the easier they are to find, the more people are prospecting them. So what I have found is the prospects I really want are the ones that either have old websites, no websites, maybe a phone number. They don't have a huge public profile in a lot of cases, because why that's one less? You know it's a little bit less likely for the other 28,000 freight brokers out there to find that lead, to be calling them, to be trying to compete for the business. That I am Right. So I kind of move in the opposite way of trying to find the, you know, the under the radar medium sized companies that again tend to close or turn into customers faster.

Speaker 1: 6:27

Yeah, so I will caution. One last thing on this question about tools or systems. There's a lot of basically like shipper lists that you can buy and I would caution you I'm not saying they're all garbage, because there might be one from like yesterday.

Speaker 2: 6:46

They're selling it to you. They're selling it to more than you, Otherwise it wouldn't be a business.

Speaker 1: 6:50

For sure and a lot of it like, for example, I went through this with an agent at some point last year 10,000 leads that he had bought on a spreadsheet and we did a dialing session and, like all, the phone numbers were bad. The people weren't in the same position. The people weren't in the same position. Very, very rarely did it. Did it give anything other than the name of a company that I would then go into a website like a pollen, like all right, hey, I found the new contact and phone number. Um, could have just done that without having paid whatever he paid for the spreadsheet.

Speaker 2: 7:25

you know the shipper list, so yeah well, data axle again is going to give you really the same information you usually get from a bot list that you can get for free through your public library. For sure?

Speaker 1: 7:35

Yep, absolutely All right. Our next question, and oh, back to the AI thing. I don't know why I missed that one, because I've used it before myself. It's great, all right.

Speaker 1: 7:45

Next up, how do I get insurance for a special commodity that my insurance policy doesn't cover? For a special commodity that my insurance policy doesn't cover? Okay, so examples of this could be that well, if you're a broker, maybe it's your contingent cargo doesn't cover it, but I'm assuming more so the carrier's insurance is not going to cover it. So I don't know if this is a carrier or broker asking, but we'll answer it as if hey, I've got a load, it's got a weird commodity there's an exclusion on the carrier's policy, such as frozen seafood or berries or certain explosives, right? What I would recommend for something like this is there's kind of like three ways. We did an episode with Loadsure in the past. We personally use it at my brokerage and it's great.

Speaker 1: 8:35

You basically go to LoadShare's website. If you have a DAT account, you're basically logged right in and just go to the tools and go to insurance. But otherwise you go to LoadShare's website and you get an account that way. But you can buy an all-risk single load coverage policy. So if you've got one load it's high value or it's a commodity that is not covered by the standard insurance for the carrier you can buy that policy for that one specific load. It's going to ask you all the details about where's it picking up, where's it going to, what's the value, what's the commodity, et cetera. Here's your price boom real quick.

Speaker 1: 9:11

In less than a minute you've got a policy that is a first position policy, which means they're not trying to go after the carrier's insurance to get any money back, they're just insuring it firsthand for the shipper. So that's one way is to buy like an all risk policy. Other options would be and there's more friction here. But you could have your carrier go to their insurance and try to get single load policy written just for that load, whether it's an excluded commodity from their standard policy or it's a high dollar amount. Sometimes you hear that called like gap coverage or single load coverage, something like that. Then that's the carrier getting it themselves. So I will tell you that if your carrier's policy does not cover something, don't assume that your contingent is going to pick up on it, because your contingent is contingent on the fact that the carrier's policy would have covered it in the first place. So any other thoughts on that one as far as different commodity stuff for insurance.

Speaker 2: 10:15

No, just making sure that your carrier's insurance does cover the commodity and does cover the load value amount before you look at any of the brokerage options. And again, load shore will go in first place, right even, rather than the carriers. But I still look to make sure the carrier I'm using does have that insurance as well.

Speaker 1: 10:38

So well, on that note, if the carrier's insurance, I mean, you would have to. You'd have to get a first position policy that would cover that if the carrier's insurance doesn't. Otherwise, yeah, no, bueno, All right, Good question, Moving on to the next one. I love this. This was a YouTube comment what is a master freight broker? I saw it advertised in a school. I summarized that question.

Speaker 1: 11:08

There is no such thing as a master freight broker. But this brings up a good discussion, right, there's a lot of education out there and people are like you know, we're going to give you this top tier, $3,000 college level course on how to become a master freight broker and at the end you're going to get a certificate that proves you're a master freight broker. It doesn't exist. That proves you're a master freight broker. It doesn't exist. The freight brokers. It's just a license that is given by the FMCSA and there's not even like a test. You just pay 300 bucks for lots of paperwork. You get a surety bond, Right, and uh and yeah, you're a licensed freight broker. It's literally all. You don't even have to be licensed freight broker to broker freight. You can be an agent for a licensed freight broker or an employee. So there's really not, you know, nothing special and flashy there. I think that's just a sales gimmick, obviously, that someone's trying to say, like, oh, freight broker school, Well, you can be a master freight broker with our stuff.

Speaker 1: 12:07

Here's what I will tell you on education. Then, Ben, I'll let you give your take on it is there's a lot of information and education options out there in the freight industry. What I would encourage a lot of people to do is take action as soon as possible and just learn along the way and always continue to learn. Don't feel like you have to go do a six month master freight broker school through community college of wherever, and then go start your business. No, get into it, get the ball rolling, start getting your leads generated, learn some stuff.

Speaker 1: 12:43

We got a bunch of free educational content that we do. We've got our podcast right. But also look at who are the sources of this information. Are they credible? Do they work in the industry? So that's that's my big take on it. Obviously, you know I don't want to be a hypocrite we do have a course, but our course is built in conjunction with DAT. You know a leader in the industry and it's it's put together by us and we do this job day in and day out and we're not charging $3,500 and putting it through a community college. So what's your take, Ben?

Speaker 2: 13:16

Yeah, it's the same. I mean I think that, like, if I'm ever going to take education from kind of any source, the first question I ask is like why I mean so? I mean, in our industry, if I'm going to work with anybody, I want to know when the last. If they're going to tell me they're going to help me be a freight broker? The hardest thing to do is to get customers, whoever's teaching that class. The first question I would ask is when was the last time you closed a customer? When was the last time you talked to a shipper? No-transcript? And I'll just say this from, like, my point of view, right, because I don't want to speak to anybody else's abilities, I'll just speak to my own.

Speaker 2: 14:05

When I had a period where I was coaching and not able to work as a broker because of my non-compete, I was nowhere near as effective at coaching or training or working with anybody as I was. Once I got back into it and this was only a year, right, like, and I was doing a lot of it, left for a year, basically, and came back and again I mean there was so much that I picked up again getting back into it that you just don't think about because you're not doing it right. And I think this goes to the bigger point that Nate said of action. Take action more than you want to take learning in a way and I know that sounds counterintuitive, but what I mean by that is I think oftentimes people use learning and education to delay or procrastinate on starting the thing, to avoid failure or avoid putting themselves in the place where they're going to be uncomfortable. So I know, like Tim Ferriss, one of the guys I listen to a ton who is like one of the, you know, preeminent learners as far as, like, putting things out there to help people. He says that all the time right Is that like when you're not doing it right, like you're just well. He said this on his episode this week. He's like his problem is he's like I procrastinate by reading, and why do I do that? Because I enjoy reading and nobody ever tells me I should read less. So it's a great way to avoid doing the things that scare me, like starting a new business or doing this thing that might not work, because, hey, I'm learning. Everybody respects that, and it's this catch-all right when learning is important.

Speaker 2: 15:44

But learning without doing isn't anything, it's just spinning your wheels, right, and I think people do this in a way to well avoid the scare or the fear of failure. And I wanted to read this because this is a really good tie-in from a quote that I saw that came in this newsletter this morning. And it's just people think of success and failure as opposite things, that the more I succeed, the less I fail. But that's really sort of a modern conception of success and failure. The fact of the matter is that failure is woven into the fabric of success. For many, the more they succeed, the more they are also failing. They are just much quicker at recovering and learning from the experience that everyone else calls failure.

Speaker 2: 16:32

It's not how do you avoid failure. That's the wrong question. The right question is how do I fail, or how should I fail in ways that lead to the type of skill development and belief system that allows me to succeed in the long term? Right, and it's more embracing that stumbling and falling as part of learning. Right, like you can't learn a bike only by doing it. Well, just by watching more people ride a bike. You fall and that's how you learn not to fall right.

Speaker 2: 17:03

It's the same thing with prospecting. It's the same thing with businesses like embrace it. Embrace the fear, because when you make a phone call and someone hangs up or you say something and you feel embarrassed and it's awkward, you're never going to forget that again and you will probably never say that thing in that way ever again. Because of the negative emotion you felt, right, like people want to avoid that, but you can't like. It's part of success. The people that do well are just accepting of the fact they're going to make mistakes and they don't beat themselves up over it. They look for the lesson and move on quicker Right, and to me that's really how you become a master at anything right, whether it's brokerage or not, it's embracing. You're going to make mistakes, not learning and pushing off trying as far as you can.

Speaker 1: 17:48

I was like to say like, say, like, um. To be able to be good and succeed at something, you need to be coachable. Yes, right, because if you're, if you're so, um, like, what's the phrase? I'm looking for a legit you're so stuck in your own ways, so stubborn right that the way you do it is the right way and there's there's never any chance that that's not the truth, like, yeah, you're not going to go very far, you might get a little bit, but you're going to be very, very limited.

Speaker 2: 18:17

And you don't learn anything from the wins. Right, you know like the one thing I love about being proven wrong when I'm learning or someone else points it out or I find information I wasn't aware of Right Is when you realize you're wrong and you can accept it and move forward. You know you learned something because you changed right, you were willing to accept the new information and change right. That's growth, that's learning, that's improvement. Right Winning and avoiding stepping on things is teaching you nothing but how to avoid the things that might have led to a bigger success. Right or growth, however you define it For sure.

Speaker 1: 18:51

Well, good questions, questions. Keep sending them in our way. As always, you get the philosophical take from ben kowalski. Um, you got any like cool quotes beside?

Speaker 2: 19:01

well, I guess you just gave us that little rundown there, but usually have like a good proverb for each, uh, each episode well, I want to throw the other one that I was telling you guys I don't think I said this on the show, but it was the one I texted to you that I really liked right, which was courage is knowing it might hurt and doing it anyway. Stupidity is the same and that's why life's? Hard.

Speaker 1: 19:21

I love that one Yep, all right. Well, great episode. We'll see you guys on the next. Well, I guess on Friday for the Freight 360 podcast, ben, final thoughts here.

Speaker 2: 19:35

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

Speaker 1: 19:39

And until next time go Bills.

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Freight 360
Freight 360

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