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Discussion in 'Freight Broker Forum' started by Bob2365, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. Bob2365

    Bob2365 Bobtail Member

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    Apr 4, 2020
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    Thank You
     
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  3. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    Aug 27, 2017
    Appalachia
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    Hey Bob, I'm an owner operator. I need $3 per mile. Actually, make it 3.50 I've got some catching up to do. Oh, I don't work weekends or haul food. If you can put it together you can be my broker. Call me when you've got my loads lined up!

    Get ready to hear a lot of this, and good luck.

    I was serious, btw. :D
     
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  4. PPDCT

    PPDCT Road Train Member

    1,525
    4,332
    Jun 15, 2017
    St. Paul, MN
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    So - this is probably the wrong time to jump off into anything transportation related. One thing I'll tell you is to be mindful of the freight cycles. No matter what rates you charge, percentages you want to get, etc, etc - you have to be mindful of where the market is at, what capacity versus available freight looks like, and how that's going to impact you, as the individual.

    Something else to keep in mind: There's a reason my icon is a telephone. Hasn't been one in a while, but generally the first thing that comes out of the 'I'm a new broker' crowd's mouth is, 'How do I get customers with good paying freight'? I got tired of repeating myself, so I just eventually put a telephone in the icon. Be ready to put in hundreds of calls per a locked up customer, and even then you have to keep hammering that line down to keep them happy. 90% of what I do is all relational from the broker to customer perspective. And even then, I still lose bids on price. I have a gal I deal with doing specialized stuff- we'll talk for 20 minutes about my wife and kid and her grandkids, whose names I know (all ten of them), and I haven't moved anything for her in about six months because of price.

    So, that all said: we were in a downswing in the market, and COVID-19 isn't helping matters. The better time, from a broker's perspective, to get in is at the beginning to middle end of an uptick, since that's going to give your best opportunity to be competitive. How are you fixed for operating capital, and can you afford to wait a couple months to start netting customers, and so on?
     
  5. FoolsErrand

    FoolsErrand Road Train Member

    2,879
    12,158
    Sep 15, 2017
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    I skipped the middle of the thread so forgive me if this has been mentioned.

    No matter where the price is at, the broker is in the middle of communication. Im a flatbedder. I cannot call the shipper to ask detailed questions about the load until i book it. But i shouldnt book it until im sure ive got the gear for the load. Theres a huge difference in gear between hauling coils vs hauling 5x10 wire mesh bails even though both are steel.

    If i need to come in with full tanks and a scale ticket, DONT just put that in CYA fine print, speak it before we pull the trigger on this deal. Find out from the shipper what the load looks like, what their hours and policies are, what gear you need and so forth. You do this for your truckers. And for your shippers, verify where the truck is, that he has hauled this commodity before and does have all the gear, which will take some knowledge on your part to know whats required.

    It looks bad on you to sell me a load that ive asked all the questions on and i still show up to a surprise, or to send your shipper a truck that is unprepared and incompetent. Im an adult. I cant really be mad at you about the rates that you dont really control. But when i get a surprise request for macropoint and an empty weight slip im gonna be pissed.

    There is no excuse for surprises among professionals. If you want to succeed you need be a pro. No surprises. Dilligence and competence required from all of us. I will put in the detailed efforts to haul it right so you can put in the effort to sell it right.
     
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  6. FoolsErrand

    FoolsErrand Road Train Member

    2,879
    12,158
    Sep 15, 2017
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    And another basic thought. Too many truckers think the broker is their adversary. They are a partner.

    If i dont have freight then i need it and a broker has what i need. A broker has freight but cant get paid until its hauled so they need what i have, a competent truck. They cant get paid until i do my part and i cant get paid until they do so we are in a symbiotic relationship, there is no need to be rotten. Yeah its a chess game but i play chess with my friends not enemies.

    All of the problems that come from brokers, a trucker can eliminate by simply refusing to haul cheap. The scum usually hangs up on a high priced truck. A routine question of mine with a new broker that i try to throw in while theyre off guard is "your bond is good and you are the originating broker, correct? im not gonna have to come to your office over this load?" If they arent youll get some sort of nervous response. Make up an emergency and slide out from under it if it smells fishy. I check google maps for a satelite view of the office, then call alexander winton and baxter bailey with their numbers before taking anything i have a bad feeling about.

    Only one broker so far has pulled money stunts after delivery and i just beat her this week without filing on bond.
     
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  7. Mr.Lampshade

    Mr.Lampshade Bobtail Member

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    Feb 22, 2020
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    I recommend finding a broker that will hire you as an agent earning commission only. ( understand that most will want you to have customers, thus proving you know what you are doing and are doing it well.) But at that point you can focus on sales and let back office support handle everything else. Do not sign any non compete because it really is a career killer. Do some serious broker research and call them about hiring you.
     
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