If you’re just starting your freight brokerage, building momentum will take a lot of effort. Untested freight brokers don’t have the reputation yet to attract top shippers or carriers, no matter how much the two want to find each other so that a partnership can happen. You’ll need to go the extra mile when learning how to grow your freight brokerage.
Here are a few tips on how to convince top carriers to work with you as you build your carrier network.
No carrier wants to be chasing down their receivables, so make sure your carriers are paid on time with QuickPay options. Word will spread that you can be trusted to make fast payments and reduce your carrier's busy work. This also keeps pipelines flowing because you don’t stall, argue, or otherwise mistreat your carrier partners when it comes time to actually pay for services rendered.
Net-30 is an antiquated payment standard. Carriers need money now, and they work hard to complete jobs, so there’s no reason why they should be waiting on payments. By offering free and convenient QuickPay options for your carriers, you can pay your carriers faster, which is a huge benefit to them. Paying your carriers as quickly as possible will help you maintain these important relationships and grow your freight brokerage.
If you deliver value at every opportunity, you’re bound to get referrals. This is a slow, organic process, but you’d be surprised how many freight brokers don’t consistently pursue referrals. The freight industry is a tight knit industry and a lot of professionals work closely together. One satisfied carrier or shipper can connect you to another who needs to transport a load. Always put in consistent effort to cultivate a good reputation within your referral network.
Emphasize The Value of Your Freight Brokerage
There are thousands of brokers carriers can decide to work with, so it’s important to emphasize your value, especially as you are just starting your freight brokerage. By humanizing yourself, specializing in a niche market, and focusing on transparent communication, you can begin to convince carriers to work with you.
Humanize Your Brand
People like working with brands that they can relate to, so make sure to tone down the business talk and inject some personality into your brand, marketing materials, and website. An easy way to do this is to talk about your team. If you’re a small operation, highlight and emphasize the personal and efficient service that your carriers will receive over a large firm that moves slowly.
Also, don’t be afraid to cross the line between personal and professional relationships. Successful brokers go the extra mile and build relationships with their carriers by doing small but meaningful things, like sending holiday gifts, taking their carriers out to a nice dinner, or checking in on them and their family. We work with brokers who even send their drivers a DoorDash gift card if they are stuck in line at the shipper for hours!
Carriers want to work with nice brokers who care about them and their business.
Specialize in a Niche
As you’re starting your freight brokerage or growing your business, one key tip is to specialize in a niche because as they say, “a jack of all trades is a master of none.” This is especially important for brokers trying to convince carriers to work with them.
There is no “best” freight niche for brokers, but there are some ways you can determine what to specialize in. Here are some ways you can define your niche:
- By equipment: you could specialize in flat bed, van, or heavy haul loads
- By industry: you could specialize in a specific industry, such as building supplies, food, retail, steel, etc.
- By regional needs: if your area has a need for a specific type of load, that can help determine your niche
For example, Dennis Brown, CEO of Freight Broker Boot Camp, started his business by specializing in van freight that originated in the northeast because he was based in Buffalo, NY. This specific niche helped him grow his freight broker business. You can’t (and shouldn’t be) everything to everybody as a new or mid-sized broker.
Because there’s so much competition in the freight broker industry, transparent communication will pay off and help you grow your carrier network.
For example, be transparent on your rates and don’t low ball carriers in the negotiation process. You might not have the highest paying loads because there is always going to be a competitor that has their own relationships and can offer to pay more for the same exact lane. The key is to offer the best experience, treat your carriers with respect, and offer fair rates. If you do this, carriers will choose to work with you over and over again.
Another way you can improve the transparency between you and your carriers is to provide them with access to their Payee Dashboard, where carriers can view their historical and upcoming payments, respond to questions or requests, and make sure they are in-sync with you as their broker. This is just one example of the importance of digitalization in the freight broker industry.
Lastly, another way to improve transparency is to be available in directories or reports so carriers know your brokerage is legitimate.
All Denim clients are on our verified brokers page, so if a carrier needs to validate a broker's financial backing, they are able to check on their own. If a broker is verified by Denim that means they are backed financially and can guarantee payments to their carriers in as little as 24 hours.
Pass the link along to a carrier in the beginning of the relationship so they know how to find you.
Improve Your Freight Broker Risk Score
If you don’t have a reputable risk score for your freight brokerage, shippers and carriers will pass on your brokerage for a larger, more established one. They’ll be afraid to lose a load to a broker that’s too new to the logistics industry.
Use your risk score to your advantage and convince carriers to work with you by:
Paying Your Bills on Time
Whether you’re looking to get your first risk score, or simply raise your score, do what you should do with all credit rating agencies and pay all of your bills on time.
Offering ACH & eCheck
Delays in mail payment lead to a lower credit score and a higher average days to pay. Combat this by offering ACH and eChecks to pay your carriers faster and more consistently. At Denim, we offer free ACH transfers and same-day processing. No ACH fees means more money in your pocket and a better payment process for your business.
Conclusion: Grow Your Freight Brokerage by Attracting Top Carriers
As a growing freight broker, getting carriers to work with you over the competition is a huge obstacle in building your business. But, by setting yourself apart with 24-hour payments, specialized services and a human touch, you can begin to build your carrier network and stand out.
At Denim, we know how difficult it can be to find the time to find and nurture shipper and carrier relationships, while also handling all of your business operations. We help our brokers free up more of their time to grow their business by streamlining their broker operations and offering important services such as factoring, QuickPay, and time-saving integrations. Want to learn more about how we can help you streamline your operations while also paying your shippers and carriers faster and more efficiently? Contact us today!