Home > Forum > Just What Do Trucks Need/Want From Brokers

Just What Do Trucks Need/Want From Brokers

Feb 14, 2017 at 10:07 AM CST
+ 4 - 2
Sounds like a crazy and maybe obvious question but part of why we have been doing ok in our business is because we think of our truckers we work with but we contact so many daily and some contact us off loadboards for loads and they have a bitter taste in their months from bad experiences with brokers and not all brokers are bad but I have come to learn trying to convince people of that doesn't go far so I stopped engaging in that battle.

What I desire to know is what do brokers who are decent do to win over those who have had bad experiences or is there nothing that can be done to convince them to give us a try? How do we deal with trucks understanding that when a rate is low we may be barely getting $25 of some of those loads because Shipper has a low rate and that we aren't cheating the truck? Now I know some brokers will tell me that is that is all we profit off some loads we are crazy and perhaps we are but when 20 loads are running a day for low rate and profit, we do better than 2 loads for 100-200 profit that day and these days shippers make it hard to get that profit and some, not all of the brokers who are, are deceiving and cheating the truck just because truck needs to stay on the road.

I think at times as Brokers we need to ask trucks, hey what do you wish was improved to make relationships with Brokers betters so you will work with them more often? Honestly for some of us, steady shippers are easy to come by and lanes, too but without the truck, there is nothing so I just for my business desire to keep trucks in mind.


Replied on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 10:29 AM CST
+ 1
As someone who's been down this road, don't even bother. Some guys just hate the thought of a broker, but they want to get paid same day (which we don't) but they forget that if they were going direct they wouldn't be getting paid same day. I can go on and on. I've used companies who complain about every little thing getting paid $2/mile running for me and yet never complain to my customer (they run certain lanes direct) and they get paid $1.50/mile from them on their direct lanes.

Now don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful guys to work with, that treat me well and I genuinely enjoy speaking with them often. Those are the guys who get first dibs at everything and I'm willing to work with them for better rates, etc.
If you're not paying the truck $5/mile and losing money, there are some guys out here who will still not be happy. Those guys have a special place in hell, the no load list.
Replied on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 11:07 AM CST
+ 1
Yes, I would have to agree with you on that and is why I was asking truckers opinions. There have been times we cut our profit to be fair to trucks and no one is happy so not sure what else to do and there are always alot of the I need $4.00-$5.00 per mile that I hear when average rate for the day or week based off DAT and other sources who tracks that info daily, the rate is way less than 50% of what they claim to get. Funny thing is I simply say stay with the higher rate you got for that load and days later they call me back...smh so I don't understand. They say we (all of us Brokers) cheat them but they cheat us and themselves losing loads that pay decent even if we can't get the $5 per mile. My husband drives and he has been for almost 20 years and $5 per mile doesn't come every day. Now if you have TWIC and other special credentials and move for a Broker with government contracts, then maybe you get close but when getting paid that kind of money the truck doesn't really get alot of requests they like to give like mileage standards they will go, being home every night, etc. We do not get the profits most do even with government freight so when we quote low some think we have marked up 50%. Some Brokers do but not all of us. I am like you, I am very loyal to trucks who are loyal to us and always fair no matter what.

Perhaps nothing can be done so asking here to get feedback from trucks. We have to rely on them so trying to see what I can improve in our company.

Thanks for your reply :)


Replied on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 11:55 AM CST
+ 5 - 2
This is a discussion that needs to happen. Thank you for launching this thread.
Disclosure is the key to ironing out the wrinkles of this problem. The freight broker has to be willing to disclose the total revenue of each load. Then the broker tells the carrier how much they are going to keep for there services. If the carrier thinks the broker doesn't deserve that much then they can negotiate for more or leave the load for someone else. This will end the blame game.
Replied on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 10:19 PM CST
+ 1 - 1
I think brokers and truckers alike need to say no to the cheap freight. In the end most of us are not "megas " and will need each other to be in business. In a capitalistic society it is hard to tell anyone how to operate their business, so I apologize
Replied on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 07:11 AM CST
Good morning everyone, This is a great topic and it does need to be discussed. I think we all know there will be a certian percentage of carrier that just do not like the idea of brokers and may never change there mind. Thats OK and I think for the most part we understand. I am all for full disclosure if that will make a carrier happy.
I do that with the shippers that request it. It sounds like most of us in this discussion would be willing to do that. Most of us brokers are all trying to accomplish the same thing. Keep the carrier and shippers happy while making a living. We can't do without happy carrier who do all the hard work and we can't do it without the shippers either.
Replied on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 07:13 AM CST
+ 2
Shippers can put low rates out there but the transaction isn't complete until someone, broker or carrier, accepts the loads.
Replied on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 07:30 AM CST
Originally Posted by: DEAN HUGHSON
Quote: "Shippers can put low rates out there but the transaction isn't complete until someone, broker or carrier, accepts the loads."

This is absolutely true. Maybe my views are different and while I walk away from some loads that seem outrageously low, other times I keep in mind some days low rates are all I run into and question then becomes do I walk away from each low shipper and take a no revenue day at all and knowing how bad the economy is I do know some truckers will take a low rate to keep food on the table so by walking away I am not looking out for my fellow man either. Sure I want my carriers to have steak and potatoes but are they like me and enjoy the steak and potatoes days but also will eat ham and cheese sandwiches other days rather than starve? I hear everyone say and suggest we all stop taking the low rates but in business this really does nothing because someone out there will honor those rates so then here we are with no jobs and nothing in the end. I was at a truckstop recently and a group of truckers were talking about rates and 2 said they are going to start keeping their trucks parked if the rate is no good but once the other truckers chimed in, their tunes changed. Trucks costs money and time lost having it parked and not running at all doesn't pay any bills. Maybe some truckers would really not drive at all vs drive alot for lower rates when shippers are stiff but how many truly would stay parked when there are bills to pay? How many brokers are going to just stop taking low loads and end the day with nothing at all? It is a hard choice and I guess I just keep the truck in mind who may take the load and get by for them and their family and I keep myself and my own family in mind as well. What one passes up, another Broker or Trucker will gladly take and make due with and unless everyone gets on board with not taking loads of a certain rate, Shippers will keep moving with the rates they offer. That is just my view and opinion however. Other than not taking the low Shipper rates what more can be done? I would love to see a solution to force Shippers to pay better but wonder if that is realistic. Seems like it has always been the case for many, many years. Alot of progress to still be made I guess. Ugh :( Only time Shipper seems to increase rate is when on a good lane, when in a remote area no Carriers are in or when they have sat on a load to long. I would almost be willing to boycott low shippers but afraid I will be out of business pretty quickly. I am definitely open to seeing how others see this or opinions on what we all can do.

Replied on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 08:05 AM CST
+ 1
Originally Posted by: JEFF WINCHESTER
Quote: "Good morning everyone, This is a great topic and it does need to be discussed. I think we all know there will be a certian percentage of carrier that just do not like the idea of brokers and may never change there mind. Thats OK and I think for the most part we understand. I am all for full disclosure if that will make a carrier happy. I do that with the shippers that request it. It sounds like most of us in this discussion would be willing to do that. Most of us brokers are all trying to accomplish the same thing. Keep the carrier and shippers happy while making a living. We can't do without happy carrier who do all the hard work and we can't do it without the shippers either."

Definitely agree. I thought a discussion would be beneficial as it is always good to see one another's perspectives with hopes to some resolutions from it. We are all in this together quite honestly to make transportation work.
Replied on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 11:31 AM CST
I like your thoughts. A question how do you find a broker that helps the trucks i would like to find one. Everyone i try send you crap loads that ofer cheep rates or long waits. Thanks
Replied on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 11:31 AM CST
I like your thoughts. A question how do you find a broker that helps the trucks i would like to find one. Everyone i try send you crap loads that ofer cheep rates or long waits. Thanks
Replied on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 01:02 PM CST
+ 3

Only broker I use is mennonite&,pays with a copy of invoice&still pays 95%......Loyalty&honesty go a long way.

Replied on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 06:17 PM CST
I am an O/O that uses brokers most of the time. I have some horror stories but have dealt with some good people too. When you have a few minutes to discuss possible loads in area i prefer running please call Tonya @ 318-374-0345. Thanks
Replied on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 06:31 PM CST
i haven't heard of journeys logistic in houston. I live south of houston, and have a hard time getting out . call me 979 299 823six. thanks
Replied on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 06:34 PM CST
Originally Posted by: CHARLES SHANKS
Quote: "i haven't heard of journeys logistic in houston. I live south of houston, and have a hard time getting out . call me 979 299 823six. thanks"

Well now you have! :) We are a small family brokerage and new but been doing it awhile just not as our own broker until recently. We are NW near Vintage Park area off 249 :)

Replied on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 06:37 PM CST
Originally Posted by: JOE MATA
Quote: " Only broker I use is mennonite&,pays with a copy of invoice&still pays 95%......Loyalty&honesty go a long way."

I agree and once we are a bit older and bigger I want us in the position to be able to pay that same way when possible. You are correct, loyalty and honesty does go far and guess that is why I am kinda picky about good carriers and even my shippers. Dishonest shippers hurt carriers who deserve so much better so even for the sake of a dollar, I don't jeopardize my integrity and loyalty to others. I need to see how memmonite does it. Studying others is wise to learn to be good like them :)

Replied on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 01:55 PM CST
Congratulation on your new move Sarah! What commoddities do you move?

Replied on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 03:49 PM CST
Looking for a fair shake that's all but either the shipper or brokers who bid for these load
does not have a clue what it takes to make a living running a truck and breaking even is NOT
making a living I see you are in Texas so am I you have freight for a hopper give a me a call

Replied on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 08:26 PM CST
It would be nice if you would just take 5/10 percent
Replied on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 05:42 AM CST
+ 1
Originally Posted by: EDSEL SMITH
Quote: "It would be nice if you would just take 5/10 percent "

I actually show my dedicated carriers the original rate confirmation sheet and honestly that is about what I am taking. I believe alot of Brokers are doing the same because really Shippers are not coming off money much and those taking 25% and greater is not because what the Shipper provides but because they are finding carriers desperate or starting off and giving the carriers lousy rates...shame on those kind of brokers. I just never have been controlled by money so no need to be greedy so taking advantage of a trucker is something I can not do. My husband is a driver plus my heart would not let me sleep good if I was greedy. What I am finding interesting is that after a few lousy rates you have with a Shipper negotiating is actually a bit easier and they will increase rates for you. :)

I had a goal to take 15% but your response gives me perspective and as I said I want the input so I can make good decisions not just for me but for my carriers. I generally like to use carriers again and again and build a relationship with. Thanks
Replied on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 05:50 AM CST
Originally Posted by: JEFF WINCHESTER
Quote: "Congratulation on your new move Sarah! What commoddities do you move? "

Thanks Jeff. Right now I am doing whatever lands in my lap until I feel which one I prefer the most. Majority has been lumber,(lots of it...yikes), cement, produce and one liquid move. It looks like I am going to be doing a few tanker deals in the next two weeks which entails liquid food (milk and cream for 4 loads) and another of chemicals in 2 weeks. I find the tankers area intriguing for some reason. Perhaps because I love a challenge and that area is the one I know very little of so have been studying, getting tankers on board to work with, etc. My logic which may be wrong says liquid bulk, oil, gas, etc. is more specialized but better pay and less competitive since not every Broker is working those commodities. Do you know how correct or incorrect that logic may be? Just wondering. Right now however, just finding my place and almost scary because things are going way better than I thought and didn't think I would have so many loads per day until I had been in business 6 months or so. I already hit my personal daily goal and feeling good about it.
Replied on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 05:58 AM CST
Originally Posted by: JAMES THOMAS
Quote: "Looking for a fair shake that's all but either the shipper or brokers who bid for these load does not have a clue what it takes to make a living running a truck and breaking even is NOT making a living I see you are in Texas so am I you have freight for a hopper give a me a call "

I agree with you and my hubby who is a driver helps me understand more about the end of a trucker and other truckers I meet I always listen to them on their issues of cost and maintenance and such so I can keep that in mind when bidding. I don't want to be clueless. I have a few truckers who work with me and say business sometimes is so bad they can't find loads even if cheap ones and have to stay parked and out of work so when a crappy load lands in my lap, yes dang it I hate the hell out of taking it but if I know my trucker friend "Bob" is always ready to roll because he is having a hard time, well I keep him and his family in mind and grab the load after he says yes. Most times I am lucky if I get 5% from a crappy load but in the end I see it like this, help my truckers out, get a bit of change for myself for my efforts and all is well. Not every load rate is bad but if a truck says he needs work of any rate, I will negotiate higher of course but won't pass a bad rate because someone will take it. I commend all truckers because it is tough. A Broker and Shipper has limited worries but you all have trucks to maintain, fuel costs, physical things to endure as well that come with the job. Where in Texas are you located?
Replied on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 10:34 AM CST
Between Houston and San Antonio
[email protected]
Replied on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 09:21 PM CST
I think most of it come's from one bad broker. People today think everyone is the same Shoot even back in the 80's some brokers were good. While others were out to rip off everyone that hauled one of there loads..In the winter of 1986, I picked up a load of Gun power. 24 100 lb barrels of gun power. This was being Hauled to Fort Chiswell VA.. This load paid the truck, $5.39 cents per mile. Was told when I started out to not put placards on the load. I made the shipper sign the bills they were making me not placard the load. And if anything happend they were the ones being hit with the flying bull.
Next am there was 0 of us in line to unload. Took us until 9am to just get in the gate. While sitting around drinking coffee. The price of the loads came up. One guy was proud he had gotten $1,35 cents for his load. One of the company guys was bragging that his company was getting 1.44 per mile. Rest agreed they were getting that price also. First guy was mad. He has hauled his load cheaper. I did not open my mouth. It was mine and mine only to know they were all hauling it way to cheap. I had sat in Buffalo waiting on a load. And would have been happy to have gotten it at there price back then. But a guy that I had used before. Got me the good deal, as they had one more load coming out of the Lockport dock. And a snow storme was hitting. So they offered the high price to get the load delived.
I had hauled a couple of loads for that broker. That almost made me show a loss on the loads. But he always came through for me when he found a good load. But I might call him 3 or 4 days in advance. When I had any ideal I would be within 75 miles of where he could get me a load.

Brokers that try there best to work with you. And thow a good load your way when they have it. Makes for a better releationship. But so many try to get trucks to haul it at a price that will cover fuel only. And that hurts..

Replied on Thu, Mar 02, 2017 at 10:29 PM CST
+ 1
So this is one of my favorite things from drivers/operators (which I am)- " brokers should only make x amount". ???? Do we take only a rate that is satisfactory and refuse to get more when possible? I don't, I make as much as I can whenever I can. I will haul for less for people I like who are consistent and loyal, and I will take what I can get when it's rough. To me it seems like patience is important. In my part of the country, we have been deluged with Midwest trucks hauling fertilizer that used to pay around $3 for sub $2. I don't haul much fertilizer anymore. When the vendors lose enough customers from not having product because their cheap trucks don't deliver, the rates will come back around. Because there's not much loyalty and it's a free market with relatively cheap entry, cheap freight is a fact of life. I just try to find folks that will pay a little more for better service.
Replied on Sat, Mar 04, 2017 at 10:07 AM CST
Originally Posted by: SARAH SMITH
Quote: "This is absolutely true. Maybe my views are different and while I walk away from some loads that seem outrageously low, other times I keep in mind some days low rates are all I run into and question then becomes do I walk away from each low shipper and take a no revenue day at all and knowing how bad the economy is I do know some truckers will take a low rate to keep food on the table so by walking away I am not looking out for my fellow man either. Sure I want my carriers to have steak and potatoes but are they like me and enjoy the steak and potatoes days but also will eat ham and cheese sandwiches other days rather than starve? I hear everyone say and suggest we all stop taking the low rates but in business this really does nothing because someone out there will honor those rates so then here we are with no jobs and nothing in the end. I was at a truckstop recently and a group of truckers were talking about rates and 2 said they are going to start keeping their trucks parked if the rate is no good but once the other truckers chimed in, their tunes changed. Trucks costs money and time lost having it parked and not running at all doesn't pay any bills. Maybe some truckers would really not drive at all vs drive alot for lower rates when shippers are stiff but how many truly would stay parked when there are bills to pay? How many brokers are going to just stop taking low loads and end the day with nothing at all? It is a hard choice and I guess I just keep the truck in mind who may take the load and get by for them and their family and I keep myself and my own family in mind as well. What one passes up, another Broker or Trucker will gladly take and make due with and unless everyone gets on board with not taking loads of a certain rate, Shippers will keep moving with the rates they offer. That is just my view and opinion however. Other than not taking the low Shipper rates what more can be done? I would love to see a solution to force Shippers to pay better but wonder if that is realistic. Seems like it has always been the case for many, many years. Alot of progress to still be made I guess. Ugh :( Only time Shipper seems to increase rate is when on a good lane, when in a remote area no Carriers are in or when they have sat on a load to long. I would almost be willing to boycott low shippers but afraid I will be out of business pretty quickly. I am definitely open to seeing how others see this or opinions on what we all can do. "

Truckers need to quit running to just put food on the table. If they have their home base overhead so out of control that they can not work at Wal-Mart or McDonalds to just put food on the table then they have a problem. We are in business, and business runs on profit margins not just to break even or put food on ones table. The trucker would be better off to work for a Mega-Carrier if all they wanted to do was put food on the table. This concept is part of the problem, truckers not treating their business as a business but as a job to put food on the table.

Business is not about whether you are eating ham and chees or steak and potatoes. It is simply about profit margins. If you as a broker accept a cheap load from a shipper and then take your margin from that cheap load, and then in return offer it to a starving trucker. You have now become as big a part of the problem as the starving undisciplined trucker. You in effect are becoming the drug dealer for the junkie.

We all know that shippers believe that they have the magic golden goose that we are all looking for. I believe that I am the golden goose and thereby refuse to be leveraged by a shipper or broker for anything less than my margins. Let the shipper and broker get their own assets and manage them. Here is what will happen, the quality of the widget that they are moving will suffer. There is a reason they are outsourcing and it is not always about the price. Undervaluing ones service and worth is an ongoing event in our industry. A trucker should get his margin, a broker should get theirs, and the shipper should get the service they desire. Then all parties are in a winning situation. I am working with a broker that takes my rates and then marks them up with his margin and if the shipper decides to go with it, then we are all winners. Shippers need to stick to concentrating on making money on their widgets instead of worrying about driving the price of my widget down.

I have sat across the table from the shipper that is asking me to take a loss on my services and then in return asked them to sell me their widgets at cost -10%. I told them I would take all the widgets off of their hands that they could give me at that rate. You would be shocked at how many shippers today don't even realize that they are asking brokers and truckers to in effect do the same. That is not a win,win,win situation. You as a broker need to steer away from losing situations or you will gain the reputation that you are trying to stay away from.

Just remember this that not all money is good money. Good luck with your venture and hopefully you do it the honorable way.

Most everybody out here knows what is coming next from me.

Freedom with Integrity.