Part-Time Freight Brokering, Load Board Comparisons, & More | Final Mile #31

Freight 360

February 20, 2024

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

  • Detention Pay
  • Part-time Brokering
  • Load Board Comparisons
  • Commission Plans
  • Outsourced Cold Calling

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Speaker 1: 0:19

All right, welcome back everybody to the final mile. We're going to answer all of your questions, including a bonus question at the end. If you follow Duna on Twitter, he shared a funny one from Reddit. We're going to give our take on it, but, as always, please make sure to check out our website for all of our content. Check out the Freak Boker Basics course for more information on our training option there, and check out the description box and support our sponsors. Okay, and you got a smile on your face, what's up?

Speaker 1: 0:49

I want to start with the last question oh yeah, hey, we'll get to it, man, I promise you we'll get to it. All right. First question If you are a carrier that owns a truck but you have a driver who gets detention pay this came from our Facebook group so I want to kind of talk through it. The answer is the trucking company gets detention pay. For the trucking companies, you know, like it doesn't matter if you have a thousand trucks or if you have one truck, like the trucking company is the one getting paid by the broker. So if the detention is paid from the customer, it always goes to the company.

Speaker 1: 1:24

Yeah, exactly. If I mean, if for some reason, the company has a policy that they don't pay that attention to the driver, that's pretty messed up, yeah.

Speaker 1: 1:33

I mean it depends, right, because they might be paid hourly, they could be paid per mile. It depends on how your pay structure is set up, but yeah, so here's something I want to point out, though. We talked about this with Chris Jolly on his show. That we did recently is to make sure that you get detention, like the detention request, like record that amount, like have it annotated from the customer or the carrier sorry, like in an email or something. Right, if they say, hey, I was there for four hours, I want $100 in detention. You know, two free hours, I got it, but I got two more hours there and they only say they want $100. You get to provide your customer. Come back and like, well, no, I want $200. Well, I just got $100 approved. Well, no, right, here in this email, you agree to $100, right? That's a good point on that note of detention.

Speaker 2: 2:27

And also like to your point like the money goes to the company, but I think most companies pay that to the driver.

Speaker 1: 2:33

Yeah, most companies are going to pay it to their driver, right, assuming the driver is paid like a percentage of line haul or per mile or whatever the case might be, but that because that's, you should be kind of saying for their time, right, exactly. And again it's getting paid 50 bucks for an hour of detention.

Speaker 2: 2:52

Doesn't make up what you would have been making when you were hauling and really softens the blow a little bit.

Speaker 1: 2:55

You know what I mean. Yeah, so good question, though. Oh, I did want to add in here. I got to pull up this where's our YouTube? Somebody left a comment on YouTube about our about our final mile show here. Let me pull this up because I want to read it off. It made me kind of laugh. He said or it could be she, I don't know. User at Stingray 141. Hopefully you're watching this. You waste too much time on issues not related to the subject of the video posted. You are not able to answer any straight questions or you don't understand the question. Well, the reason that our what was that video titled?

Speaker 1: 3:33

It was titled standard pricing for free brokers and more. So literally we usually answer like between four and six questions. We can't make the title that long so we give it like a broad title, usually one of the more important or the bigger questions in the episode. And then we have a description box that shows, like it literally says Ben and Nate discuss and it'll show like here's the things that here's the questions that we're going to answer.

Speaker 2: 4:00

Details Nate, nobody's got time to look at that and read the details to get the answers.

Speaker 1: 4:05

And don't answer. We don't answer questions directly. I think we do a pretty good job.

Speaker 2: 4:09

But anyway, other YouTube shorts to get to man.

Speaker 1: 4:12

Positive or negative, I don't care. Youtube sees a comment as engagement, so thank you very much for your comment. We really do appreciate it. All right Back to our questions here Next up.

Speaker 1: 4:25

I'm a driver that wants to get started in brokerage, or to get started in brokerage on the side. How can I do it part time, ben you, you have successfully helped somebody broker part time. I never have, so I can't. I'm going to give my opinion here, and my opinion is that if you are not going to see them in brokerage, you're not going to succeed in brokerage if you do it part time, because brokerage is not a part time job. This is a generalization, right there. And your problems aren't part time, right, if you have a, and then you could have an exception. If you have a very flexible other job, right, maybe you can balance the two, and I think that's where your client is the exception.

Speaker 1: 5:04

But if you are planning to work a nine to five job and broker on the side, not going to work, if you are going to be driving behind the wheel of a semi truck class eight truck for 10, 11 hours a day, you are not able to broker when you're doing that. And I've heard people say, oh yeah, I'll make prospecting calls when I'm in the truck, like what? Because you're really going to be focused, when you're trying to be safe driving down the road, versus on your Bluetooth headset for you know all this time dealing with a prospecting call. But I don't think it's. I don't think it's a part time doable thing. If you want to intern somewhere in your free time, you know, cool. But let's answer the question. I'm a driver and I want to get into brokerage. How can I do that?

Speaker 2: 5:51

Here's how I've seen some people do it part-time right Is that they're not prospecting lots of companies first off. They're usually prospecting a much smaller amount and they're prospecting in a way where they're not really going after the same objective that you and I and the traditional freight broker goes after, right To your point. What we're talking about is. Here's what the life cycle of a freight brokerage works right. You start, nobody knows who you are and nobody's giving you business. You call lots of people every single day until you create the demand for you. Once these people that you've talked to for weeks and months start giving you business, then you can move it. But as a freight broker, we excel and add value to a shipper by being able to help them unexpectedly when they don't know they need it and whenever they need it. To Nate's point if you're only available part of the time, you spend a whole lot of time creating demand and then you're not around when the opportunities come that you spent all of the effort to get right. That's why Nate and I usually say this isn't a part time thing. You should, if you're going to try this, give all of your time to it, because that's the most likelihood you'll succeed right If you're there all of the time doing all the things we say. Now some caveats and things that I've seen clients that are able to do it part time, right, they're calling very specific industries and they're calling it usually more like an asset care, like an asset company, even though they're a broker. They're calling like I'll give you an example Like I had a client that was a Drage driver and all of his cousins and his brothers all owned their MCs.

Speaker 2: 7:23

They were all owner ops and they all did Drage in Chicago, right. So what one of them did was when he was sitting waiting in line for, you know, to get containers, or waiting in line to drop a container, basically just waiting. There's a lot of waiting in Drage, right, he would call local freight forwarders and he was basically like look, I'm running, I'm running assets, I have a truck, you know a handful of my family, I'll operate out of Chicago. We can give you fair rates. Let me know where you guys are. I've delivered to you in the past or whatever. It was his opening. Hey, if you've got some containers coming in, let us know. We'd love to bid on them. Containers are almost never last minute in a normal market. You know when they're coming 45 days before they get there. So even if you're in the truck and your customer says they need something, you've got plenty of time to call your friends and family that are also drivers, and go hey, can you take three more containers next week?

Speaker 2: 8:14

Can you take another 10, two weeks out? That's where I've seen prospecting and kind of doing it while you're driving works. Where I rarely see it work is in like the van world, calling companies that have very last minute needs, like produce brokers that don't know what they're shipping today until they've sold it this morning, or don't know what they're shipping tomorrow morning until they sold it this afternoon, and that it is really hard because your customer is going to call you. You are probably going to be driving and now you got to go cover your load. You at least need somebody else sitting in front of a load board because if you got to cover loads for a new customer like I might spend an hour and a half talking to 25 carriers before I get the one at the rate that works for my customer for what they need to. And like you just can't do that while you're driving and by the time you pull over and stop you've lost that opportunity. Somebody sitting at a desk is able to just execute much faster.

Speaker 1: 9:01

I got two things to add. Number one I have to correct myself because I do know of one guy that has been able to broker part time and he's with my company. He's a sub agent for somebody in our company. He's a driver that has six he drives himself, but he's got like six trucks total in his company that he owns. He has direct shippers that work for him and they had access freight from what he could cover. And he said, hey, I will go join a brokerage and be able to broker your freight out to third party trucks. That way I'm still your main point of contact. So he's already got relationships with shippers directly. They want to use him for more than what he can do.

Speaker 1: 9:45

That's one way to be and he does a part time. So you do like you know, a couple of loads here, a couple of loads there. Another way I've seen it happen If you have a husband-wife combo, one's driving, the other one's prospecting. Seen that too? Yes, all right, enough on that one. Let's get to this commission question. This was again I think this was from our hey hold on.

Speaker 2: 10:09

I'm going to add one more point to the last question.

Speaker 1: 10:11

Yeah, what do you got?

Speaker 2: 10:11

If you're a driver thinking about this, I would say a much better idea is take the broker you like working with the best that you've got the best relationship and just come up with an arrangement where you can bring them customers. They can help you when you're not available and it's a win-win. The brokerage can help you when you're loading or unloading or driving and if you bring them leads they can give you a cut or a commission on that business you help bring in the door. I've seen that work a lot, absolutely the guy at our company.

Speaker 1: 10:38

That's how it worked. He was the carrier for one of our customers, or one of the agent's customers, and she's like, yeah, just bringing on as a sub agent under me. Yeah, I almost missed our third question. Our third question is what is the best load board for freight brokers? Well, we're sponsored by DAT, so I feel an obligatory answer for DAT. But let's break down where we find certain load boards to be good for certain types of freight. There are some niche load boards out there, for example bulk loads. We did an episode with the owner. If you're in the bulk community or bulk environment, that could be your end dumps. Your hoppers, bulk liquids, bulk loads would be a load board for you If you do auto hauling. Dragecom.

Speaker 2: 11:30

What's that? Oh yeah, dragecom.

Speaker 1: 11:31

Oh yeah dragecom Right, the Drage Directory for, and I think they have a premium paid version I can't remember the name of it, as it's like 600 bucks a year where you can basically export all the emails and reach out to carriers. That way the directory is free to see basic information on there. But dragecom is great for drage. Auto hauling central dispatch is a very common load board for the auto hauling sector. Selectus is a really popular one for hotshot expedited. You're going to see like Sprinter vans, box trucks, straight trucks, different lengths and stuff like that on there. Now let's get to DAT and truck stop. Now they're going to both tell you I am primarily a DAT user. I have always liked it a little bit better than truck stop. But I will tell you where.

Speaker 1: 12:25

Truck stop has some things that may be beneficial to use both. I think if you are primarily in the heavy haul open deck sector, there are some things on truck stop outside of just capacity alone that are pretty cool. They have a. You can pay three bucks to get a heavy haul quote from their services on there. I think a lot of their users say that they have a better carrier network for open deck capacity whereas DAT I find their analytics to be far superior. They just have a much larger user, a customer base, hundreds of thousands of trucking companies on there Under reefer and van. We tend to have great success with DAT on there. Any other big ones that I missed? Oh well, not big obviously. The two big ones we talked about, have you heard that? Have you ever heard? You know truck stop being the flatbed dominant one?

Speaker 2: 13:27

I used again. I haven't moved a lot of flatbeds in at least a little while, but when I used to I used to find many more flatbeds on truck stop than DAT. They're just tend to be more. They're used to tend to be more open deck that I could find quicker on truck stop.

Speaker 2: 13:45

Another thing I noticed and I was told this I used to run a lot of stuff in Texas to oil fields, pipes and things, and some of the carriers told me what would happen down there is there's just hundreds of carriers that run the same lanes, basically east to west Texas, the Houston area to out to the oil fields and Odessa side of things a different, like you've said, like maybe to GPS coordinate, maybe to an oil field, but like there's just so many carriers that just do that and what they do is they basically and again, this was a couple of years ago, but they would keep truck stop on and they set an alert that when somebody would post a rate on that lane over a certain number, that's when they would call.

Speaker 2: 14:21

So like literally you would hear silence and you would up your rate 50 bucks a time and then you could find that and your phones would blow up basically and all the carriers would call in. And again, this was two, three years ago. But that was how that market kind of functioned and I guess they all just kind of used it because they just got used to it.

Speaker 1: 14:37

I don't think that it was necessarily better or worse, it was just that market tended to it's the thing, man it's like there's I mean posting and searching for trucks and loads, like that they both truck stop and DAT do it. It's where they have differentiating features that may be more appealing to a certain type of carrier or freight broker for that matter, that you're going to see maybe a different clientele on one over the other. Good discussion, all right. Commission question. I get 25% commission after reaching a $2,000 monthly profit goal and it is paid to me every three months upon customer payment. Is that good, bad, decent, All right. So let's unpack this. Once this person gets to $2,000 and grows profit, for the month they are eligible for commission and they will get 25% commission on anything over that 2K. It's only paid to them every three months and they're only getting it when the customer upon customer payment. So getting paid upon customer payment is common in the W2 world. Is that how you were paid when you were W2? Customer had to pay the invoice first.

Speaker 2: 15:40


Speaker 1: 15:41

Whereas in the agent world typically get paid upon invoice. It's much different and you're not getting a salary Paid every three months. I don't like that. I mean monthly commission is about as far off as I'd want to have it paid out, but weekly, bi-weekly. We pay agents to get paid weekly normally.

Speaker 2: 16:03

Normally you're getting paid bi-weekly from what I've seen or weekly 25% is not bad, though.

Speaker 1: 16:10

This person is W2. They're getting 25%. 2k is not a very big monthly goal you've got to hit, so I would assume the company is probably saying, all right, once you hit 2K you're covering your seat to us. Maybe they have a small salary that's going to cover that, and then they get the commission. But what I'd be curious on is if they have a small salary, dude, you don't want to get spiffed out or commissioned out four times a year. That is, I don't know how you budget your money that way.

Speaker 2: 16:40

Yeah, and something to me. I'm like there's some reason They've got to crave.

Speaker 1: 16:48

But I would say it's not bad, but it can be better. I'd want to get paid every month at a minimum. Yeah, so yeah there you go.

Speaker 2: 16:59

Now I mean, to be honest, you're probably not going to get paid within the month for that commission. That month you get paid usually like 60 days after. If your average pay terms are even like 30, 35 days by the time it clears, then your pay term comes around 10 days later. It ends up kind of usually falling closer to two months anyway. That's why I was trying to do the math. I'm like three months is long. I was like, but I've had customers that I didn't get paid for six, seven months, as a year or two, because just getting the invoicing right they slow paid, it like just headaches with things, and I'm like that happens a lot. I was like I mean shit, I've had, I think, my first big, huge customer that I had issues with, like Maersk back in the day. I didn't get paid until like August for stuff I ran in February, but again, yeah.

Speaker 1: 17:48

I mean we're in the middle of February. I'll say you move a load for our customer and it delivers next week the invoice could sent out. Let's say they pay in 40 days, which then so we're February, nothing happens. In March, they pay at the beginning of April and then at the end of April, all your numbers are running, you're paid in the middle of May for your commission, like you're right. Yeah, I mean, depending on how the timing follows, it could be like that.

Speaker 2: 18:14

And again, like that's what would happen. Like again we were on pay terms of two weeks, I think, at TQO. And like again, just like an example January one, you run the load, it gets delivered. The fifth, the invoice goes out maybe the next day, 40 days until they pay your middle of February, but then if you just got paid the day before, you don't get paid again for another 13 days. So you tack another two weeks on to that, like you're pretty close to a little more than two months. Yeah for sure.

Speaker 1: 18:40

That's what I was thinking.

Speaker 2: 18:41

What Steven just said. Hey, I wonder if the company has a hold back on commission payments to the account for customer payment. But if it's three months, I got to imagine they're not paying the commission until they've received every dollar from that customer.

Speaker 1: 18:53

That's what they said. Yeah, the question said it's paid to me every three months upon customer payment. Is that good or bad?

Speaker 2: 19:02

So yeah, yeah, and again, they might just do it quarterly.

Speaker 1: 19:06

Ask your employer to pay you monthly, if you can do that.

Speaker 2: 19:09

Yeah, and again it might be a small company. They just do it quarterly because it just takes a lot of time to go do that. They run all the reports and pay everybody once a quarter for everything earned up to that point. Yep, I mean.

Speaker 1: 19:20

So the last question and this is a bonus question this came through Reddit, the Freybrokers Reddit page, and Dooner posted it on Twitter yesterday. I didn't actually read the responses, but they said listen, I don't know what you guys think. I'm an independent Frey agent and I'm thinking about having my wife call in companies. I think they're going to listen to a woman more than me and then I'll just take over once I get the account. What do you think? Ha? Ha, I'm pretty sure it's probably a sarcastic question, but no, okay, well, actually hold on.

Speaker 1: 19:58

There is a discussion to be had here because, ben, you and I even talked about this recently where you can split up the sales roles to a business development and an account manager yeah, and maybe his wife's. The business development specialist that goes out there gets appointment set per se, like get somebody on the phone and then, once the conversations are happening, your account manager can then come in. The danger there is, unless you have it structured well and it's very clear whose job is what typically, people try to outsource their cold calling because they don't want a cold call. That doesn't solve your problem, because you're not going to get any better.

Speaker 2: 20:39

Make someone else have it.

Speaker 1: 20:40

Yeah, exactly. And then if you have somebody else doing all your work for you, what's the stop them from going and working on their own? He used his wife as an example, but I'm just talking about you're going to outsource it in general. Yeah, now if you're at a larger company that has structure, they might have like a business development role that your job is to go bring in new business and then, once that business is secured, you might introduce an account manager to assist with a lot of the day-to-day stuff where that business development person can start to take a backseat role in just maintaining the relationship and not the actual transactional sales portion of it. But that is totally different than just having your wife cold call for you. So it made me giggle.

Speaker 1: 21:25

Do I think girls cold calling are better than guys? I don't know. It depends on who you're. You could have a bias one way or the other. You might have a guy that answers the phone and he likes the soft sound of a girl's voice and, yeah, he's going to listen to her more. You could have a girl answering the phone and feel threatened by the girl on the run of the phone. You could have a guy answer the phone and he doesn't like the sound of them, it doesn't matter. It's the same as if a guy calls a guy and doesn't like the guy that he's talking to. I think it just depends. Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 2: 22:02

And again.

Speaker 1: 22:02

I've seen girls do great and I've seen girls Not too great in frame brokerage. It just depends on.

Speaker 2: 22:07

For all the same reasons, it's all. It always almost hinges on this very specific point how comfortable are you doing things you're uncomfortable with, right which sounds like ridiculous, but it's true. It's like can you put yourself in an uncomfortable position to talk to people you've never met, right? The people that tend to just have less problem with that because of their hard wiring out of the box, just the way they are, I think, tend to have an advantage in sales. But I absolutely have met people that hate it and still kill that person in sales because they work harder right.

Speaker 2: 22:39

Yeah, I'd say that's your only real natural advantage and it has nothing to do with your age or your sex or, to be honest, your experience level. It's just you see little kids that are willing to be able to talk to strangers, which you teach them not to right the kids that have less problems with that. I just laugh because my daughter does this constantly. Every person she gets in the elevator she tells her whole life to you and I'm like, yeah, I was like there's my little sales girl. I'm like, always last, I'm just like that's it, like that's the thing that's hard to train, right, that you can just walk up to a random person and talk to them.

Speaker 1: 23:11

Yep, yep, oh man, that's so funny. It's very true, though, good questions, we appreciate everybody, and to our hater out there, I think we did a good job at answering all of these questions today, but I can guarantee you that the title of this episode is not going to include all five questions. It will probably be one of them, so, but thanks for listening, ben. Final thoughts.

Speaker 2: 23:38

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

Speaker 1: 23:42

Until next time, go bills.

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