Freight Broker Reading List, Insurance, Tanker Transport & Small Shipments | Final Mile #39

Freight 360

April 16, 2024

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

  • Books for Freight Brokers
  • Freight Broker Insurance Policies
  • Questions for Tanker Loads
  • Moving Small Shipments

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Speaker 1: 0:19

Welcome back for another edition of the Final Mile where we answer all of your questions. We pulled I tried to pull a bunch from YouTube comments today, so appreciate you guys sending those over. If you have a question that you want us to answer on the show, leave us a comment on YouTube. Send us an email info at You can go right to the website and click on the contact button to send us a message that way. And while you're there, make sure to check out the Freight Broker Basics course. It's a full-length training option for you. It'll teach everything from how to get your brokerage started and all the good sales and operational best practices and tips to succeed, and even how to hire the right employees as your business starts to grow. Again, as a disclaimer, we're answering 4 questions today, so if the title of this video or podcast is about one specific question, we will get to it. It may not be the first, but we will talk about it and please take a moment. Check out the sponsors in the description box to help support this channel.

Speaker 1: 1:23

Alright, our first one. I love this question. It's unusual for us, but I wanted to answer it. What books do you recommend for freight brokers? So this one came through YouTube, and I do remember when we were on the Freight Caviar podcast I think it was Paul asked us if we had any favorite book reads, and I want to start by saying this that to be a successful professional in sales or really any industry, if you're not continuing to learn and consume knowledge, you're doing yourself a disservice, because there's always opportunity to grow. No one's ever 100% perfect or knows everything, and things change. So getting, uh, staying up to date on on trends and and just changes on the industry and policy, but also just learning new strategies and techniques, um, I think are huge. So, ben, I see on the camera it looks like you pulled out a stack of them there. Why don't you give? Give me yours. And then, um, I'm going to go through some of my favorite reads.

Speaker 2: 2:25

Sales and relationship, two that I think are really relevant. So one is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I did a short YouTube video on some of the concepts in here.

Speaker 2: 2:31

But fundamentally, why that one I think is so valuable for freight brokers is it's just learning how to create habits for yourself, which are valuable in anything you do. But specifically when it relates to prospecting and the things we do at this job, like it tells you where the hurdles are, where you're likely to run into issues with any habits. So it gives you like a really good conceptual and psychological understanding of like how we just develop habits to begin with. So for me that was a really good one. The other one and this is one of my favorite books also, it's called Influence and it's the psychology of persuasion, by Robert Caldini.

Speaker 2: 3:07

Okay, this book has been recommended by, like Warren Buffett, lots of other famous people. I think it was written in like the late seventies or early eighties, but the long and short of it is the psychologist goes and he just gets like every traditional sales job that was available back then, so like car dealerships, insurance, real estate, whatever and he learns all of their training, goes through, gets the jobs, learns what they're teaching him, and then he writes each chapter on like the psychological techniques that are involved in every one of these sales cycles. So it's a really good one overview, but there's just really actionable things that you could learn and use in sales and business development and again, even just as it relates to just building relationships and how human beings trust and connect with each other, and those to me I would read influence first, because one. It's an interesting read too, and there's just so many takeaways that you could learn that are applicable in what we do.

Speaker 1: 4:09

That's good. I've actually never read either of those, but I got them on my to-do list. I'll give you two of mine, so, and I probably mentioned both of these at some point. But first one was recommended to me about 10 years ago or so. It's called the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene Good book. He's got a lot of really good books. They kind of talk he uses like a lot of historical references, talking about the arts of like war and power and things like that. But the 48 Laws of Power goes through like four or sorry, 48 basic, simple rules and gives an application of someone that followed it and another application of when someone didn't follow it and why it was bad for them. And some of the examples are despise the free lunch. If something seems too good to be true or it's a free handout, there's usually a catch attached to it, right.

Speaker 1: 5:06

So, like, for example, in freight brokerage, if a, if a carrier's rate seems way too good to be true, it could be fraud, right? So kind of be on the lookout for stuff like that. Never outshine the master is another one of the laws in there. So like don't try to undermine your boss when your your boss or your mentor when they likely know more than you and can help you learn things. But that's one of my favorites is the 48 Laws of Power.

Speaker 1: 5:30

The other one that I know you've read as well is Never Split the Difference. Chris Voss, a former FBI negotiator, really really good when it comes to negotiating and the psychology behind what somebody is saying versus what they actually want or what's behind that message so really good one. He's got a lot of. I think almost every chapter gives a historical example of a hostage negotiation or any kind of negotiation that he went through and how the principles that he outlines in that book can be applied, and he gives you really simple, bite-sized takeaways to how to apply them in everyday life, in relationships, in business and sales and all of that. So never split the difference by Chris Voss.

Speaker 2: 6:13

Here's that. Here's one last one too. It's it's a cheesy title but it's really good. It's called how to get rich and it was written by a guy named Felix Dennis I think he's passed away, but the the one. It's written in a very like relatable, kind of down to earth way where he's almost like talking to you like a friend. But the guy was really successful in business and the book really outlines the major lessons he's learned doing this throughout his lifetime and it covers everything from like negotiations with like equity and expenses to like very simple things on how to build relationships. And that's been suggested by lots of people. After I've read it, I've heard in fact I heard it brought up when I was swimming this morning somebody on a podcast I was listening to was talking about how they read that book once a year, because it just has a lot of really good principles written in a really good way. So anybody that is going into business, I think that is also a very good book to read, Nice.

Speaker 1: 7:11

Good question. I'm glad we answered kind of a unique one. Next up, what are the different freight brokerage insurance policies? This could be an entire full length episode. We're not going to go into all that detail on it. We did a. We did a couple episodes with Cameron Pesha, didn't we on insurance over the last couple of years? So definitely check those out. I think we did one in December or something like that most recently.

Speaker 1: 7:35

But I will cover the two main ones super briefly here and explain what they cover. So these are the most common ones that you'll be asked to have in place by your customers. It's going to be a general liability policy as well as maybe a contingent cargo policy. So general liability can handle things like slips, trips and falls inside of your workplace. It can handle really just any generic or general liability like the name that could be caused by your brokerage. What it does not cover is a slip, trip or fall at a pickup or delivery that would be held by your customer.

Speaker 1: 8:16

And the other one we mentioned was contingent cargo. This is a safety blanket, safety net type, fairly cheap coverage that it'll explain out in the underwriting and how it's actually written that if the motor carrier's primary cargo policy fails because of X, y and Z, your contingent policy will then step in. What it's not doing is it's not a primary cargo policy, it's not in addition to your carrier's cargo policy, it's a safety net. So examples of when that might kick in is, let's say, your customer or your carrier's insurance policy somehow lapses in transit for some reason. That would be a potential reason that a contingent cargo policy might kick in. If a carrier's policy denies a claim based off the commodity, your policy would not cover it. Remember, it's not in addition or in lieu of, it's just it kind of goes hand in hand. So typical coverage levels are going to be a million for general liability and usually 100,000, sometimes 250 for contingent cargo. Anything else on the insurance side? I know it's very basic, but I wanted to at least hit on those.

Speaker 2: 9:27

The insurance side. I know it's very basic, but I wanted to at least hit on those. No, just the simple fact that whatever you're moving, ask the load value, whatever that number is, your carrier should have cargo insurance that at least meets or exceeds that load value. That's it.

Speaker 1: 9:42

Yep, precisely, and if you run into a situation where you need something above and beyond what the carrier has, we did an episode with LoadShare, really really good example of an all-risk policy, which is also called a shipper's interest policy, which you'll be the first position insurance policy in lieu of the carrier's policy, whereas contingent cargo policy would not do that. All right. Next up and I'm going to kind of rely on you for this one because I don't have a ton of experience in it but if I'm quoting a tanker load, what question should I be asking my customer about the load? So they asked more specifically so, compared to a standard FAK dry van load, what are some specifics when I'm dealing with bulk or tanker loads? What are some of the out or like the different specific questions that you would want to ask about that load? That's specific to tanker.

Speaker 2: 10:37

The commodity is going to determine a lot of this and your shippers equipment type is going to matter a lot. So when you ask the equipment type which is a question you would ask for any load right, you want to be more specific than just tanker right, because one, if it's a solid versus a liquid, versus a gas, that could be three different types of tanker right. And then, after you get whatever your shipper requires for their equipment, you want to be very specific as to like what type of tanker they're requesting. Right, because you've got rear unload and you've got mid unload. It's usually one of the two, but most shippers or receivers have a preference.

Speaker 2: 11:19

The next is does it have a pump on the tanker or will there'll be a pump on site? Some tankers have them, some don't. The next one, after that, is the length of hose required, because some require 20, some require more, some require less, and that is the hose that the tanker will carry to connect, if it needs to, to load and unload. Right, and then, in addition, that the size of those hoses matters, right, and then, beyond that, like you've got some different requirements for the amount of domes, like the top hatches on a tanker, because some shippers have preferences for two or three or whatever that number is, for specific reasons. And then, when you get to the equipment side, right, like there's just a lot of different variations. So, like, some liquids need to go in stainless, some need to go in line tanks, and that really matters. Also, as to, like, what you're putting in it and where it needs to be put in. Right, because different chemicals have different things related to it. Right, and that's the other big one too.

Speaker 2: 12:23

Once you get beyond that is usually the hazmat requirement, because lots of things that go in tanker will have some type of hazmat or cleanup aspect, if something does happen, which usually makes the insurance go up or down. So, like those are the big questions you want to ask, usually on the tanker side is what equipment? But getting very specific, like rear unload, front unload, size of the tanker, does it need to be lined? Is there a hose requirements? And I will tell you, though, that usually every single shipper will send you like a SDS they call it, it's a safety data sheet for that load. It will show you exactly what they're asking for on the equipment type and you can look line by line, and it'll have everything I just said right, so it's really common. As hey, can you send me the SDS for this sheet? It'll usually have those outlined on it as well.

Speaker 1: 13:11

The last thing I'll add is if it's hazmat, obviously you'd want to probably find out the specifics of the dangerous goods side of it UN number, placarding requirements, et cetera Cause obviously you know, drivers got to be endorsed. Well, first of all there's a tanker endorsement, but hazmat as well, so cool, all right. Our last question is how can I move small shipments that could potentially fit in a car? Well, there's a wide range here and I will say this that not every single piece of freight is going to be a good fit for a freight broker. And what I I'm specifically saying is because the question asked about it's small it could fit in a car depends on the size.

Speaker 1: 13:56

If it's like parcel size, there's really not a good place in the industry for freight brokers to be involved in that, because you've got your FedExes and your UPSs, who really have market share and really big, very ease of use of getting their services. Think about how cheap and efficiently they can move it. What I will say and there's a company and a town over from me that they are a freight brokerage, they're a freight forwarder and they're also a contractor for some of the small parcel companies, so they can do kind of everything, but they're experienced in that small parcel thing. They've got good relationships. They can potentially, if you have a recurring business, potentially get you rates that would be better than if you just went one-off to the USPS or FedEx or UPS, dhl, whoever to try and get a small package move.

Speaker 1: 14:49

Now, if we're talking a little bit bigger maybe a couple hundred pound box or a single pallet then you're looking at more of that smaller equipment like your sprinter van that might hold a single pallet or maybe two pallets. Sometimes you get a small straight truck or a box truck. Sometimes you get even bigger and you're talking, you know, 20, 26 feet. But specifically on this and again in those cases we talked about the expedite and the small shipment world there is a fit for brokers there because of those fleets of carriers are, you know, they're typically your small company that needs freight brokers to help them find freight. So, uh, but as far as small, you'd probably want to get more details and you know, maybe go, maybe go, run a rate yourself on like ups and see like, oh, that can move for 30 bucks. Even if I could move it, is there really enough meat on the bone for me to make any money doing this?

Speaker 2: 15:45

yeah, and how much would you have to move, like, of these shipments, right To pay your bills in a month, no matter what your cost of living is right, like you'd have to move a lot of them and you'd have to be really efficient and really effective to do volumes of a very small package. When you get that small, again, if it's going a short distance within a town or something, it's like usually a courier service more so than like a shipping company and again they're very close. I mean, you know, technically some courier services probably move some things a shipping company could and vice versa. But at the end of the day, like it's a little bit of a different business, I think, and you are going to operate a little differently, you're going to be using to your point, like trucks off, selectus or very small local carriers with low cost so that, like you can actually make something to coordinate this. But again, if the volume's not there, it probably makes more sense for a different business type than a freight broker to be doing lots of very small parcels.

Speaker 1: 16:44

Yep Agreed. Good stuff, good questions. Keep sending them our way and we'll do our best to get to as many as we can. Any final thoughts, ben?

Speaker 2: 16:54

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

Speaker 1: 16:58

And until next time go Bills.

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