Things to Ask a Freight Broker Before You Hire Them Part 1
Through our many years of experience, we’ve had the privilege of working with some the of the most talented logistics professionals around. We have also been exposed to some of the worst people in logistics. The ones you never want to bring home to meet your parents. The kind of people only out to make a dollar and that don’t really care about you. We put together a list of things to ask before deciding on a freight broker.
- Do they have broker authority?
We have come across many brokers that do not actually have authority to broker freight. A good way to know is ask the broker for a copy of their authority AND look it up yourself on the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website. The website can be found here. Select “Carrier Search” from the menu.
- Do they have a surety bond?
Freight brokers must maintain a bond of at least $75,000. Make sure to get proof they are properly bonded.
- How do they select carriers?
Brokers will not traditionally provide the list of carriers they use, but they should have some sort of criteria on how carriers are selected. Some of the criteria should include safe driving (CSA) scores. If the broker is only selecting carriers based on price, the old adage you get what you pay for comes up at some point. It has been our experience that carriers with higher CSA scores tend to provide better service.
- Do their carriers broker freight to other people
Believe it or not, some carriers broker freight they accept to other carriers. This is more common than people realize. This is especially true with LTL loads. We have made a point not to use carriers if we know they are brokering the load to someone else.
Of course we would like everyone to use our freight management services. Until then, we at least want to give you some resources to make good decisions.