Home > Forum > How Do I Break Into The Bulk Freight Hauling Business As A Broker/Agent ?

How do I break into the Bulk Freight Hauling Business as a Broker/Agent ?

Jan 18, 2019 at 08:38 AM CST
+ 14 - 2

Thanks for your answers !!

Replied on Fri, Jan 18, 2019 at 03:59 PM CST
+ 1
stay with what your doing now
Replied on Sun, Jan 20, 2019 at 01:17 PM CST
+ 1
that broker market is saturated right like the hopper market. Too many people that want pay for nothing and not enough people to actually get the job done. but hey maybe I am missing something. I could sit at home and work 9 am to 2pm and never have to skip dinner plans and squeeze drivers to move stuff and wreck their own plans and make almost as much as the poor soul putting fuel in the tank and paying insurance and conversing with officer Buford t justice on the door step.
Replied on Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 08:25 AM CST
+ 8

Andrew, not all brokers work 9-2. I bust my butt to make sure I take care of the carrier doing any load for me. If there is wait time, I go to bat for them to get them detention as their time is just as important as mine. I do understand there are brokers out there like that but I am not one of them. When it comes down to it, we need you as much as you need us. I appreciate all you do!

Replied on Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 09:22 AM CST
+ 3
Originally Posted by: SEBASTIAN WEST
Quote: "Andrew, not all brokers work 9-2. I bust my butt to make sure I take care of the carrier doing any load for me. If there is wait time, I go to bat for them to get them detention as their time is just as important as mine. I do understand there are brokers out there like that but I am not one of them. When it comes down to it, we need you as much as you need us. I appreciate all you do!"

don't want to start an argument on here but after getting pulled for a level 2 dot twice in 2 months and everything else that goes on it just takes the fun out of the job. It just seems anymore that someone is around the next bend waiting to shaft you be it a politically correct broker that doesn't want to take advice when a place doesnt have room for your load for 2 days, or mister dot that has a quota to fill to keep his job, and then the lines at some of these places due to lunch time, safety meetings , breakdowns, oh yes i waited 30 min at a place because the operator needed to drop a swirly. thats what he told me. If everyone would be held accountable for every min of their shift life would be enjoyable. just saying its far from roses out here so pay the asking price or do it yourself.
Replied on Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 08:20 AM CST
+ 1
To break into the freight hauling business you need to purchase a truck. If all you have is a cell phone you are a broker, not a freight hauler.
Replied on Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 12:17 PM CST
Originally Posted by: ANDREW WENGER
Quote: "don't want to start an argument on here but after getting pulled for a level 2 dot twice in 2 months and everything else that goes on it just takes the fun out of the job. It just seems anymore that someone is around the next bend waiting to shaft you be it a politically correct broker that doesn't want to take advice when a place doesnt have room for your load for 2 days, or mister dot that has a quota to fill to keep his job, and then the lines at some of these places due to lunch time, safety meetings , breakdowns, oh yes i waited 30 min at a place because the operator needed to drop a swirly. thats what he told me. If everyone would be held accountable for every min of their shift life would be enjoyable. just saying its far from roses out here so pay the asking price or do it yourself."

I agree Andrew. I by no means want to argue either.

Replied on Wed, Jan 30, 2019 at 04:03 PM CST
+ 12
Originally Posted by: ANDREW WENGER
Quote: "don't want to start an argument on here but after getting pulled for a level 2 dot twice in 2 months and everything else that goes on it just takes the fun out of the job. It just seems anymore that someone is around the next bend waiting to shaft you be it a politically correct broker that doesn't want to take advice when a place doesnt have room for your load for 2 days, or mister dot that has a quota to fill to keep his job, and then the lines at some of these places due to lunch time, safety meetings , breakdowns, oh yes i waited 30 min at a place because the operator needed to drop a swirly. thats what he told me. If everyone would be held accountable for every min of their shift life would be enjoyable. just saying its far from roses out here so pay the asking price or do it yourself."

Goos afternoon Andrew, I've been quiet for a while now just watching posts, but every once in a while I have to speak up. First off let me say, you guys do a job not many are willing to do but all will bitch about. It's true your job is NOT easy, I know this because I spent many ywears on the other side of the steering wheel, and It's also true we need YOU more than you need US. I'm a broker/dispatcher now enjoying a warm office chair over frozen fingers & toes. I must say however, it seems as thoug the ONLY brokers that get mention on here are the bad ones, there are brokers such as myself who spend sleepless night trying to help my drivers get loaded/unloaded at facilities who could care less about them, I'm never truly "Off-Duty" because I' available to anyone under one of my laods 24/7. I know everyone wants to make $3/mi for every mile that truck runs, but I'm sure some of you that know me well will disagree but that is shooting for the moon to expect that 12 months a year, we all know in the spring & fall we go through a stretch where your trucks are even MORE needed than usual because we lose a percentage of the hoppers to farm duties. In these short times yes, you can almost name your own rates and about get them, just this past fall I found myself paying $3.30-$3.50/mi for short 350 mile runs. I knew to expect this and informed my customers it would happen and went off without a hitch, i needed them to move my freight. That being said, right now there are far more hoppers on the road than loads as happens every single year. We are a small company and are full aware we would NOT be here without drivers such as yourselves. We know what it costs to operate & run trucks like you do so we have a pretty good idea what it takes to make a buck. Most of my freight does NOT pay $3/mi, the vast majority is in the $2.25 - $2.60/mi range. It's kind of funny, of all the O/O's on here that complain most about the rates have NEVER called me, I know there are lots of laods on these boards going at barely over $1/mi and I understand why you wont haul them, I wont put them on my trucks either. The way i see it, they are posted to let us all know they are available, they ALL know they are cheap but figure if they can get someone to haul it who needs to get back home or closer to another load that pays way better, WHY NOT!!!. I'd bet NONE of these cheaper laods are emergent or time sensitive loads, they are simply posted to see if they can get a truck to do it for that because he needs to get home or whatever. In their shoes I'd bet you'd do the same, I'm not defending them but also realise the economics behind it. Even with the time sensitive loads I guarantee every single shipper/buyer out there will take truck willing to haul for $2.50/mi over the guy demanding $3/mi. Absolutely nothing personal behind, just common sense. For every dollar more they need to pay to get the product moved it costs the end user more. I know I'm going to catch hell for this but, let's slow down on the demanding more & more, determine what it costs to live comfortable and be happy with it. Remember, the more costs incurred getting the product to the shelves or the livestock the more it costs you to buy it. Hopefully the smoke coming out of your ears right now quits soon, but this was just my $.02 concerning the topic of SO MANY posts. If you take only 1 thing from this let it be this, the more you charge for the service you provide, the more the end user (YOU) has to pay for the product.
Replied on Thu, Jan 31, 2019 at 07:14 AM CST
+ 2
Jim, I think your post was great. You are correct. The good people dont get mentioned on this forum. I dont know the struggles of your job because ive never done it, but im aware of the struggles of the people I have worked with while being under their loads and they definitely deserve credit where its due. Ive worked with some rock stars in your industry the last few weeks and theyve been great about understanding terrible weather, and the fact that my wife may have our baby ANY MINUTE, and they have been more than accomodating about knowing my plans could change in a big way with zero notice. But i guess im a a bit selfish for not mentioning them publicly (im probably the most inexperienced person on the forum, and dont want some top notch hopper veteran to swoop in and steal my awesome contacts) but those people know who they are and i'm greatful for them. And our venting isnt directed to the good ones.

I also have to say that Andrews posts are great. It makes me feel a little better about myself to know that his complaints are pretty much the same as mine. Yes to some people it is just bitching, but to me, its just people in the industry communicating common struggles through venting. It makes me feel less CRAZY to know im not the only one dealing with a certain annoyance. I feel his frustrations are 100 percent justified. If youve been behind the wheel, and owned that wheel, you can understand. how does someone safely find out you have a busted park brake spring while doing your pre trip when its -34 with a 30 mph wind????? DOT will find it in their heated building, and have no problem making you replace it right there on the SIsseton SD tundra.......but i also feel jim that your venting is legitimate as well so dont take this as criticism because its not.

I also think the price in the store is going to go up regardless of what you pay someone to truck it. and thank god for capitalism, in your shoes, id also pick the person taking the load for 2.50 over the person wanting 3.00 again i love capitalism. but its hard to not vent on here a little when we get a 172.50 fine from DOT, a 390 dollar service call after being shut down, and the loss of 4 hours, and then be asked to back off on negotiating a higher rate. I look at it as a sign of confidence in your job by asking for better rates, being proud of your skill and ALWAYS looking for ways to better ourselves. being satisfied is boring and doesnt get anybody anywhere. like andrew said, satisfied, status quo type people that only want their doors open for loading and unloading from 9-5 are the reason trucks get stuck in traffic and the reason it takes half a day to unload. Again Jim, I loved your post, I thought highly of it, but I liked Andrews and hope he continues to vent, because it makes me feel a little more SANE.

have a good one
Replied on Wed, Feb 06, 2019 at 07:25 AM CST
+ 1
correct. my venting wasnt directed to anyone on here. It just made me feel better to find some other folks that like to listen to me venting about the issues in my corner of this big ball that we all call home. And venting on here probaly wont change anything but if a few good brokers get a glimspe of our trials out here, it could help others out. If i dont get shafted and someone else's life can be improved its a big win for all.
Replied on Mon, Jul 08, 2019 at 09:19 PM CST
From what I hear about you Jim your integrity is awesome
Replied on Tue, Jul 09, 2019 at 08:35 AM CST
Jim, you had a very good post. We have hauled loads for Jim before and hes great to work with and his phone and or email is always on. His rates are fair and his pay is good. I have found the smaller companies are usually on call 24/7. Its the same for our small business. I always tell our guys Im here when ever you need me just call or email. I feel if my drivers have to be up working then I should be too.
Replied on Tue, Jul 09, 2019 at 08:35 AM CST
+ 1 - 3
RUN! Don't pass go - just RUN!

Honestly - as an experienced freight broker - I had direct connection with certain billionaire owned company that is local to me - shall we say top ten richest people in the world size company - anyhow they have a lot of bulk loads - I got in... ran several then other brokers started playing games that I was taking business from. They called and used their "history with the company" (thought they were ripping them off for decades) as a means to force me to take my posts ON THIS WEBSITE down... then managers threatened our contract after another broker complained we were underbidding - though the truckers we were working with were more than happy with the rates we researched and posted based on other contracts we had with other farm and grain operations locally too.

I see so many peope come into this and then leave unhappy - its mostly, at least from my experience, to do with the competition playing games and not focusing on the customer who pays the bills.. If not for that grain buyer or comodity buyer - there would be no need for any of us. I work for the customer - not the carrier - but that said - I cannot keep good carriers if we pay crap. We research each and every lane - validate availability and market demands for those same trucks and drivers and then price accordingly. I back all my pricing up with statistics. You will NEVER get rich in this world - but you can certainly make a good living if you are ALWAYS fair with your drivers and only ask for a reasonable margin on your loads to your customer.

It's a lot of calling and asking for loads and lanes - much like traditional brokerage. The difference is how fast paced it can get at harvest and on special projects. If you're expecting 12-15% margin - get lost. It won't usually happen. Most farmers act like they are barely making it and will push you down to $50 per load - even less. But if they're running your truck 3-5 loads per day and paying the driver a decent per-mile and time rate then you can see where the economics come in and you stack on 3 or 5 drivers on each project doing the same loads over and over and - well it adds up for the commission/margin... so long as you have good carriers that keep clean trucks and hoppers and dont lose weight in transit or have other insurance claims all the time...

ASK FOR THE LANE INFO
Research
ASK WHAT THEY PAY
RESEARCH
PRICE FAIR
When given the lane - ALWAYS pay your drivers the same. Price it fair and inclue a reasonable but low margin for yourself - and PAY YOUR DRIVERS as best you can and as equally as you can for the same work.

Be ready to track a LOT of paperwork and scale tickets...

Be sure your drivers know WHERE to go and WHERE to DELIVER... ASK if they have gone there before..

A lot of places get very busy and have lines of trucks standing by to load or unload... don't be afraid to call and ask for updates on wait times at busy locations that do not have a formal scheduling system - for that matter, there are some places that do FCFS queue lines but also have special arrangements for scheduled loads for larger buyers and producers - go ask if there are any options for this... but you better be sure you make those appointment times if you do set them...

Inspections happen and you have to go with it... When bugs get in or moisture (rain) then you have an expensive wasted load and have to work with driver and insurance to quickly solve the cleanup and claim to get that truck moving again... no one makes money when there is a truck sitting there trying to figure out where to go with a fully loaded rejected load. Not that it is your fault - it could very well be the driver's fault - but he wont be making money on it and is learning a vaulable lesson on cargo care at his cost - don't be rude - help as best you can and think of your customer that just lost a load and profit too.. help as best you can, stay calm and be reasonable to all you talk with at all times...

Communicate, research, treat all fairly, keep good recods

You'll do great!

Replied on Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 07:26 AM CST
+ 3
2nd paragraph ( I work for the customer not the carrier) you better believe it I'm RUNNING.
Replied on Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 08:52 AM CST
Originally Posted by: PETE WENGER
Quote: "2nd paragraph ( I work for the customer not the carrier) you better believe it I'm RUNNING."

Another part that makes me want to run is when he says the farmer will want to pay $50 per load BUT you will get 3-5 loads per day! As a truck owner, you have just lost money for the day! 50/mile is a great rate if you go 50 miles but if it only goes one mile it is crap! Especially when it takes time to load and unload! There are things that a carrier with rolling stock knows that a broker with no rolling stock will never have a clue about. I have been in the transportation business for 35 years and still learn something every day! I honestly believe if the governement would have kept their noses out of the private sector we would have been fine! I have worked with brokers before the government stuck their noses in to the mix and can honestly say the 90% were great to work with, then comes the government and the market floods with new brokers that really don't know the business and go around underbidding the reputable brokers!
Replied on Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 07:35 PM CST
+ 1
King of freight with your attitude and loyalty to the customer and not the truck you're not going to use my trucks...ever.

Art Pfluger
Replied on Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 07:36 PM CST
Originally Posted by: ED MCCONNELL
Quote: "Another part that makes me want to run is when he says the farmer will want to pay $50 per load BUT you will get 3-5 loads per day! As a truck owner, you have just lost money for the day! 50/mile is a great rate if you go 50 miles but if it only goes one mile it is crap! Especially when it takes time to load and unload! There are things that a carrier with rolling stock knows that a broker with no rolling stock will never have a clue about. I have been in the transportation business for 35 years and still learn something every day! I honestly believe if the governement would have kept their noses out of the private sector we would have been fine! I have worked with brokers before the government stuck their noses in to the mix and can honestly say the 90% were great to work with, then comes the government and the market floods with new brokers that really don't know the business and go around underbidding the reputable brokers! "

Well said Ed. And unfortunately this situation puts us carriers in a situation of having to squeeze more money out of the honest reliable companies, in order to pick up the difference.
Replied on Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 03:20 PM CST
Well first you will need to get a cell phone,fax machine,and a laptop,then find out who your competitors are working for cut the rate by 15-25%,post it on a load board and wait for the phone to start ringing.If by chance you cant cut the rates enough to get their business then you can always surf the load board,just like a few other brokers already do on here,and just repost the loads they already have,take 10%of their rate and wait for the money to just start rolling in,soon you will be "riding in Cadillac cars,and smoking fine cigars".This all was meant to be humorous,but sadly now a days,its not so much,because really it reflects how its done by a lot of brokers.
Replied on Sat, Jul 13, 2019 at 09:43 AM CST
+ 1

Gentlemen, perhaps I am wrong however, the $50 or less per load was broker share not to the truck, as referenced by "and paying the driver a decent per-mile and time rate" text.

Replied on Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 06:48 AM CST
And what did (said) broker do for 50 bucks. Make1 phone call and send 1 email. No concern about dot makeing an odd interpretation of the law language, traffic jams, appointments, and BMW's and Cadillacs cutting us off, sitting in an air conditioned office and watching the clock for 5 to turn off there phone?
Replied on Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 06:48 AM CST
Exactly. You see, so many drivers are quick to hate brokers but we do fill a role and there is demand. The original post was not about being a driver. I answered. Drivers who feel compelled to hate and troll seem to be plentiful. My post was from the broker perspective, it's pretty clear. All the remarks about only making$50 for a load as a carrier is quite misplaced, as is the gate most of these forum trolls spew. My customers are the father's, the distributors, the Mills and mines. Our industry partners are many but one very key is the driver and carrier company partners, without whom no one gets anything done. If you think for a moment that I'm saying anything to demean or undermine the very important role of the driver, you're mistaken. Go take a breather and re-read what is being discharged before you come with all the furry and give other more professional drivers a bad name. If you are a driver and not getting business in this market, is suggest looking in the mirror. Rates are now fair now than ever before due to in large part the internet and connectivity. We brokers and data service providers monitor at much of the data out there as possible, take into account demand trends and your truck and driver availabilities. Many previous inefficiencies are being eliminated and good drivers are staying busy, and profitable. If you haven't been taking advantage of the great tech in this industry, much like any other industry, you're likely to start falling behind. Blaming others online when the discussion has nothing to do with your reply might be a way to get better but it's certainly not productive. Instead it is seen by others in the industry and it shows a very negative attitude. Quick name calling and disrespect without even reading or understanding what is being said... Jumpy to conclusion... Do you think shippers want drivers with bad attitudes dealing with their workers? Do you think brokers want to see that? The answer is no. Maybe take another look before making complaints and exposing how hateful you are. I have no issues with you, don't even know you. If you read what I said, I research all my lanes and discuss at length with the shipper rates that are fair. Fair to the DRIVER I even pointed out but yes, also fair to the broker who does indeed process and provide a service and which had to overhead to cover as well. The post is in the perspective of a broker as the question was directly asking how to get into the freight business AS A BROKER/AGENT.

Cheers!
Replied on Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 06:48 AM CST
Pete,

Typical selective vision for trolling purposes... If you worked for MSNBC the president would say your post was "fake news" yes we work for the customer, not the driver, but I also pointed out the valuable relationship we must have with our partner carriers and that we must be careful to price fairly to ALL. Maybe finish reading that paragraph before coming in here and showing your aggressive sarcasm and very distracting attitude.

This is part of the business, original poster. Be prepared for drivers that have nothing better to do than blame everyone in the brokerage business for their personal issues and life choices. Keep track of your good drivers, those that communicate well, are on time and reliable. Reward them. Ignore the bad ones. And might I suggest even keeping a blacklist of poor attitude and poor performance drivers. Pay fairly, always, and you'll do well.

Good luck Pete, please go back and read before accusing me of cheating anyone... I would never and I'm pretty much an open book and treat everyone with respect for their role. I find it very difficult to do my job if I'm trying to deal with with drivers that don't read instructions or otherwise miscommunicate and provide missed or unrealistic expectations. I'm not your enemy, don't even know you. Good luck in your business. I truly hope this had been a learning moment for the original poster.
Replied on Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 06:48 AM CST
Art, you're mistaken. I wish you well but thanks for pointing out your bias. It's been notated. Don't expect any calls from me offering loads. Might want to reread what I was saying and what the entire topic is about.
Replied on Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 10:01 AM CST
Originally Posted by: BILL HENDERSON
Quote: "Art, you're mistaken. I wish you well but thanks for pointing out your bias. It's been notated. Don't expect any calls from me offering loads. Might want to reread what I was saying and what the entire topic is about."

I didn't see where Pete accused anyone of cheating. I also dont know why us truckers providing our point of view is trolling. Disagreement is not trolling. A cornerstone of our great country is heated debate. I believe that there's a difference between discussing touchy subjects and being heated, and being rude and disrespectful.

Yeah, we truckers need brokers. But we need good ones. People that dont drive dont know what its like out here. People that used to truck, dont know what it's like out here currently. Its universally understood that truckers are unwanted, pest, inconvenient criminals. And throughout all of the industry, hopper, reefer, flatbed, rates are getting awful. So we aren't trolls for bringing that to a new broker's attention. If someone is offended by a trucker saying be fair to us, then that person has something to hide maybe. If you want a truckers respect, show him or her how much you made on the load they hauled....crazy right? We want you to be profitable too
Replied on Sun, Jul 14, 2019 at 10:01 AM CST
I'd also be willing to bet your best reliable drivers will end up being the smart alecs that have some pride, not the trucker that rolls over and plays dead during any disagreement. Just my opinion though
Replied on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 08:08 AM CST
Originally Posted by: DALE HERMANS
Quote: "I'd also be willing to bet your best reliable drivers will end up being the smart alecs that have some pride, not the trucker that rolls over and plays dead during any disagreement. Just my opinion though"

lol thats the beauty of this forum how everyone ends up hating each other and nobody probaly even deals with each other. This forum provides much entertainment as everyone adds their 2 cents and everyone thinks their answer is right. In a perfect world we all could be right but we live in an imperfect world so someone has to be wrong. No arguments i just find this fills my entertainment and informative categories
Replied on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 08:58 AM CST
Originally Posted by: ANDREW WENGER
Quote: "lol thats the beauty of this forum how everyone ends up hating each other and nobody probaly even deals with each other. This forum provides much entertainment as everyone adds their 2 cents and everyone thinks their answer is right. In a perfect world we all could be right but we live in an imperfect world so someone has to be wrong. No arguments i just find this fills my entertainment and informative categories"

I think we assume too much because we don't get someone's emotion from reading words. I personally dont hate anyone on these forums. I just enjoy the debates
Replied on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 04:01 PM CST
Bill I could go on and on and on. However I have more important matters to attend to My apologies to you if I got fingerprints on your crystal glass ego. What brokers need to remember is the carrier is the face of there brokerage that the customer sees. I have seen many carriers not giving a pretty description of the brokerage they where hauling for.