10 Ways to Find Shippers

In this blog, we're going to talk about 10 ways freight brokers can find new shipping customers. As a freight broker, finding new customers is essential to the growth and success of your business. So, without further ado, let's get started!

Alright, in no particular order, here’s the 10 ways you can find new shippers.

#1 Use social media - Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are excellent places to find and connect with potential customers. You can join groups, engage with prospects, and share industry news and insights.  You can choose to be a fly on the wall in these groups or engage regularly, the choice is up to you.

#2 Attend trade shows and events - Attending trade shows and events related to the shipping industry is a great way to network and meet potential customers face-to-face.  Most industries have some sort of trade show.  For example, the building material and produce industries have dozens each year all around the country.

#3 Everyday items - almost everything you consume or use was shipped on a truck at some point.  Think about your groceries, tools, clothes, and car just to name a handful.  Where were they made or shipped from?  That’s a great place to start when gathering a list of leads.

#4 Leverage referrals - Referrals are a powerful way to gain new business. Ask your current customers for referrals and offer incentives for referrals that turn into new customers.  By asking for a referral, you’re showing your customer that you value them and expecting that they value you in return.

#5 Reach out to manufacturers and distributors - Manufacturers and distributors often need help moving their goods and may not have the time or trucks to do it themselves. Reach out to them directly to offer your services.  You can find companies like these in your local area, in a database, or with a simple Google search.

#6 Target smaller businesses - Smaller businesses may not have the resources or connections to move their freight efficiently or at all. They are a good target for freight brokers looking to build their client base.  Smaller and especially newer shippers are less likely to have competition from other brokers when it comes to your prospecting, so take advantage of these ones!

#7 Keep your eyes open - when you’re driving down the road, keep an eye out for distribution centers, warehouses, construction projects, and anything that requires a truck either in or out of its location.  You don’t have to be at your desk to be generation leads or prospecting.  A good broker uses good situational awareness to identify new prospects.

#8 Publish content - Creating and publishing content like blog posts, social media posts, and videos can help establish you as an industry thought leader and attract potential customers to your business.  These platforms and content can drive new leads to you and just simply demonstrate your expertise when it comes to freight and shipping.

#9 Network - Networking events like Chamber of Commerce meetings, business events, and industry conferences can help you meet potential customers and establish valuable connections.  I’ve even met customers on the golf course and over a drink at a local bar and grill.  Face to face conversation is a powerful tool, so use it anytime you can.

#10 Collaborate with carriers and other logistics companies - Collaborating with carriers and other brokers can help you expand your reach and find new business opportunities.  Carriers will tell you which locations they want to pick up and deliver to and even which lanes they want to run.  This gives you a good idea of what and where to prospect.  Certain freight brokers only work in a particular niche, and networking with them could lead you to opportunities that they don’t handle but you could.  The same goes for freight forwarders that specialize in air, ocean, and customs brokerage, but not necessarily domestic over the road shipping.

There you have it - 10 ways freight brokers can find new shipping customers. Remember, building your customer base takes time and effort, so don't be discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Keep trying different strategies and stay persistent, and you'll eventually see success.

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