What Is a Freight Broker and When Do You Need One?

Not every shipper is equipped with its own private fleet—nor wants one. That means they have to find outsourced carriers whenever they have freight to move. While this option can make better business sense, depending on the company’s unique needs, it can often be challenging to find capacity at a reasonable rate or on short notice—especially at a time when capacity is in short supply.

That’s where freight brokers come in. They can help bridge the gap between shippers and carriers, facilitating the smooth movement of freight.

But what role do freight brokers play exactly—and when should you rely on one for your logistics needs? Let’s take a closer look.

What do freight brokers do?

Simply put, a freight broker is an individual or company that acts as a liaison between shippers and carriers. Their job is to help shippers find reliable, cost-effective carriers to move their freight. They also create lines of communication between both parties and oversee each shipment, ensuring that pickups and deliveries go off without a hitch.

Freight brokers should not be confused with freight forwarders, though some people use these terms interchangeably. While freight forwarders do arrange shipments, they also take possession of and store goods for shippers, which freight brokers do not.

Why work with a freight broker?

While most companies can handle their shipping needs without outside help, many choose to work with a freight broker anyway because of the myriad of benefits they bring—providing you choose one that’s reputable, of course.

For one thing, the best freight brokers work tirelessly to help shippers save money, leveraging their extensive networks, cutting-edge logistics technology, and deep relationships with carriers to get the best deals. Since they also help carriers to keep their trucks full, carriers are incentivized to offer competitive rates.

They can also save shippers a lot of time, ensuring staff never have to hunt for phone numbers or email addresses when they need to get in touch with carriers. Rather than the shipper spending an hour calling for quotes with no guarantee that they’ll get a good one, the freight broker can use their internal technology to rapidly source the best rate and broker a deal. And since top freight brokers are invested in building long-term relationships with shippers, rather than simply making a quick buck, they carefully vet carriers on performance and dependability—meaning your freight will always be in good hands.

Some companies even rely on freight brokers to coordinate all their shipping needs. This is especially true for companies with small logistics departments, though companies of all sizes can benefit from having more boots on the ground (physically or virtually).

Carrier management—and so much more

At CTSI-Global, we pride ourselves on our end-to-end logistics offerings. We leverage our wide-ranging expertise in the industry to help clients around the world plug the gaps in their operations, improving productivity, lowering costs, and making it easier to scale.

Our comprehensive slate of logistics management offerings includes carrier management and in-transit tracking, all supported by our best-in-class technology. And since our managed services bundles are entirely customizable, you only pay for what you need—whether it’s help coordinating outbound or inbound shipments, or someone to manage your entire supply chain.

Unwrap the total logistics package. Contact CTSI-Global today.

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