The US freight brokering industry is expanding at an impressive rate. In 2020, the market size was around $1.1 billion, but the market is on pace to reach $13.78 billion in 2028, an annual growth rate of 36.2%.
Whether you're wondering how to become a freight broker or are an established veteran, you know this rapid growth means opportunity. But you need to prepare now to capitalize on it.
One critical step is abandoning any cobbled-together technologies you use to run your operations. Specific freight broker technology designed with the needs of the industry in mind wasn't available for years, and many brokers still struggle with outdated solutions.
The lack of industry-specific freight broker technology has been a barrier to efficiency, but that's not the only challenge. Instead of devoting time to building close bonds with carriers, brokers were all too often mired in paperwork.
Fortunately, you can now access digital freight broker technology, streamline your business, and focus on fostering trust-based relationships with your carriers.
The Benefits of Building Trust With Your Carriers
Building strong relationships with their shipping customers is important. But it's essential to extend that customer service mindset to your carriers as well. When you do, you can gain significant benefits for your brokerage, such as:
- Increased loyalty. When carriers feel heard and valued by a broker, they'll likely want to work with that broker as much as possible.
- Enhanced communication, visibility, and service. Honest, transparent communication is the cornerstone of good relationships and a necessity to get the job done. Strong bonds with your carriers can motivate them to go the extra mile for you, which means delivering more proactive service to your shippers.
- Stronger trust between you and your shippers. When you have carriers ready to work for you, you can deliver the service your shippers need when they need it. That means they'll look to you as a trusted freight broker and give you more loads—and that means more revenue.
How to Build Trust with Carriers Through Freight Broker Technology
The good news is that the technology you use to manage day-to-day activities can also help you forge strong ties with your carriers. By streamlining routine tasks and offering value-adds like factoring and prompt payments, you can rely on freight broker technology to keep you and your carriers connected.
To build trusting relationships with carriers, you must be honest about jobs, payments, and expectations. You won't win any points by conducting hard-ball negotiations and undercutting rates. Also, if you can't pay as much as other brokerages, it's best to be upfront about that. When you're open and honest, carriers who enjoy working with you will return time after time, even if you aren't always at the top of the pay scale.
You should also try to get to know your carrier's preferences. Do they value certain routes or work schedules? Although you may not always be able to accommodate them, you'll earn appreciation by making a good-faith effort to meet their needs sometimes. Giving some consideration to your carriers can make them more willing to step up if you need help covering an extra load or an unplanned cancellation.
More Payment Options
As non-salaried workers, carriers depend on prompt payments to ensure a steady cash flow to keep their business running. No one likes chasing down receivables, and slow payments will inevitably cause your carriers to lose trust. Even the net-30 of the standard of the past is obsolete in today's digitized environment.
With Denim Factoring and QuickPay, you can overcome this common challenge. You can use our freight broker technology to simplify the invoicing process for your carriers and get money into their hands faster. They spend less time handling billing and payments and more time transporting loads, meaning they can earn more.
A Higher Level of Service
Smaller and mid-size freight brokerages have an advantage over larger competitors—a human touch. When carriers work with a larger firm, they often are one of many independent service providers. That can lead to a feeling of being treated like a number, not a person.
Also, more digital freight brokerage firms are popping up. While they offer efficiency, they can't provide that all-important personal connection. Traditional firms that have top-quality freight broker technology can deliver the same speed while building personal relationships with carriers.
You can give your freight brokerage a competitive advantage. A service mindset and freight broker technology that makes the administrative side of the business easy for your carriers can help you stand out.
Powerful Data at Your Fingertips
Freight brokering is an innately complex business. You need to juggle multiple shipper accounts and stay on top of their payment patterns. At the same time, you need to engage with various carriers and ensure you are utilizing and paying them effectively.
With state-of-the-art freight broker technology, you can keep a close watch on all the critical metrics that drive your business. Denim's Business Performance Dashboard gives you at-a-glance insight into key data, including jobs over time and average days sales outstanding (DSO), along with fastest paying, slowest paying, and most profitable customers. You can always be in the know about the health of the business and make targeted adjustments to optimize your broker operations.
Having this information readily available saves hours of time that you would normally devote to administrative work. You can redirect those energies to building better carrier relationships.
Improved Carrier Experiences
We all prefer to work with people who respect us and treat us well. For carriers, brokers who keep the lines of communication open and show appreciation will win trust and loyalty. It's also imperative to be transparent about payments so that carriers can know exactly when they'll receive funds for their work.
Denim freight broker technology makes it easy to achieve those goals. Our freight factoring pays you out for loads promptly and allows you to offer factoring to carriers at whatever rate you prefer. With QuickPay, you can deliver payments within 24 to 48 hours for each factored invoice. Carriers will learn that you're an honest and reliable broker and be more willing to work with you.
Trust-Based Carrier Relationships Are Critical for Success
As you're learning how to be a successful freight broker, you'll set profitability and customer acquisition goals. You should also make fostering close ties with carriers a key business objective.
When carriers recognize you as a transparent broker who always pays on time, they'll be happy to work with you. That gives you more stability and predictability since you'll know you have carriers you can rely on to transport loads. You'll develop a reputation as a reliable broker to your shippers, opening the door to more business.
Without question, embracing technology as a freight broker is critical for success. Today, freight brokers can access intuitive solutions that make the administrative side of the business easier.
Features like robust data dashboards, automated invoicing, and quick payments mean less busy work and more opportunities to connect to carriers. With more than 90,000 freight brokerages in the US, this attention to relationship-building can make you stand out from the crowd and position your brokerage for long-term growth.
Contact us to learn more about how Denim can help set your freight brokerage apart and attract top shippers and carriers through technology.