What this industry does not want you to know.
by Maria Suzettis
(Locust Grove, GA)
What the freight brokerage business doesn't want disclosed.
By: ShippersCarriers.com LLC
First of all, I wish to point out something to any readers who are new to or unfamiliar with the trucking industry. Everything we eat, drink, wear and use comes to us on a truck.
These men and women who’ve made driving their profession make a lot of personal sacrifices to supply us with products we use and take for granted on a daily basis.
At the same time, they miss out on a lot while their children are growing up, and a lot of their marriages eventually end in divorce, due in no small measure to the fact that they spend way too much time away from their homes and families.
Now for you drivers and other individuals out there who have been asking how to get into the freight brokerage business, and everyone would beat around the bush or tell you, “You don’t want to get into this business”. We’ll have you every turned around and ask them why are you in it? I have some important information to share with you. This is one of the best-kept secrets in this industry. You may have been thinking that the only way to get into this is as a broker, or that you need to know someone in the business or have the right password.
Well, you are partially right; knowing someone will help you get in, but there is another way.
You can start off as an “agent” for a broker and still make plenty of money. Who better to take care of our nation’s drivers than another driver, one such as yourself?
You do not have to be a licensed broker to be in this business. You just need to understand how it works and to sign on with a well-established brokerage firm with excellent credit.
As a “broker-agent,” you do not have to carry the $10,000 bond (which will soon be going up to $75,000) and insurance and you don’t have to worry about accounts payables and receivables or collections. The broker does this for his or her cut. Most brokers pay between 50 percent and 65 percent of the load you sell. Anyone who pays more than this is usually new to the business and hasn’t yet established credit, or their credit is not good enough. If you go work for one of these companies it is harder to get freight from the shipper, so beware.
If you really want to get into the business, educate yourself as much you can about the industry as a whole. If you decide you want to learn about this industry you will need to call a broker agent training program or a brokerage school and make sure no one gives you the runaround in answering your questions. If they do this, what else are they going to try and keep from you and why?
Think things through! Ask yourself: why would I go to a school that is going to teach me to be a broker and then offer me placement with their brokerage company? Why would they want to teach me everything they know if I’m going to go compete against them in this industry?
Let’s say you start working for a brokerage company and discover a few months down the road you don’t like doing business with them. How do you find another brokerage firm to work for? Did they explain how you should go about this? I’m not saying that you’re not going to learn anything from a school such as this. I’m just saying you should ask yourself these questions before making a decision.
In your quest, you will be continually increasing your knowledge about the industry. And if you already have shippers never give up your list all at once.
Another question you will want to ask is why they got into the business of educating others in the first place. I got into it for several reasons. One of
the main reasons was because I’ve seen what these large brokering/trucking firms are trying to do. They’re trying to monopolize this industry and if they do, we as consumers are in for it. Why should we be concerned? Because, as they expression goes, “everything runs downhill.” The large firms are moving freight at low fees and under-cutting other firms to get all the accounts they can muster.
There is nothing wrong with that except that once they accomplish their goal, they will raise the rates on the shipper and the shipper will transfer them on to us as consumers. I suppose you could say that I got into the business of education in order to give the big dogs a run for their money and just maybe help in a small way to keep what we buy in the stores a lower price. We’ll at least I’m trying to do my part.
Please understand that we are not hired by any one broker to bring agents to their particular company. We teach individuals to make their decisions as to where to work and who to work for. We educate drivers, dispatchers, warehouse employees and individuals in the industry about everything that’s available to them, what to watch out for, what kind of questions to ask, what to do before signing on with a brokerage company, and where to go to continue the learning process.
We tell them right-up-front that this business is not an over-the-night-get-rich-quick scheme. We tell them that they have to work at it by building up their customer base, which consists of the shippers, and that with a lot of determination, it will pay off in the long run. If you are timid person and do not like talking on the telephone, this type of work isn’t for you.
All a person needs to get started is a good computer, a fast internet provider, a couple of telephone lines, a dedicated fax line, a file cabinet, file folders and Microsoft Excel. Do not let anyone talk you into spending too much of your hard-earned money to learn this. You’re getting into this business to make money, not to spend it.
When I used to work for a brokerage company as a dispatcher I saw with my own eyes how much my broker made on each load that was moved. I remember thinking how much I would have loved to be in the freight industry at that time. But as you know it costs a ton of money to get started. But one day I saw an article about being a freight broker agent. I asked myself, what’s this?
I started inquiring and found out real quick that no one wants to share their information. But I kept plugging along and finally got into it. I’ll tell you what: I’m so glad I did.
Other individuals started asking me questions about the business and for me to take the time to teach them about the industry. I readily agreed.
The fact is, everyone in this industry seems afraid of losing their shippers or drivers to someone else. My thinking is that if you take good care of your drivers and shippers, the chances of losing either are very slim. So to me, teaching others is not an issue. Personally, I love to watching our students light up like Christmas trees when they finally understand what’s going on and how to broker loads. That I personally had something to do with opening up their minds and watching the light switches go on… tickles me every time.
To read what others have to say about our training go online to www.shipperscarriers.com. If there are any brokers out there looking for quality agents, we would love to hear from them. We have around 100 brokers looking for agents, but we would love to add you to our list.
ShippersCarriers.com LLC is an independent educational facility offering the “Freight Broker Agent Training Program.” Their main office is located in Georgia. Office: 319-930-3080