4 Ways Freight Brokers Can Unlock Their Earning Potential with Improved Carrier Relations
Any successful logistics operation hinges on great carrier relationships. Taking the time to cultivate strong relationships with your carriers is the easiest way to ensure that you’re getting the best they have to offer.
The logistics sector is subject to the unpredictability of supply chains and distribution demands, so it’s vital to minimize the stress of the job in as many other areas as possible. A solid partnership between brokers and carriers is the perfect way to do that.
There are a number of other benefits that can come from putting in the time and effort to build strong broker relationships. Keep reading for an overview of four additional ways that you can level up your earning potential simply by improving carrier relations. You can also read our full white paper for a more in-depth look at the subject.
1. Understand how to negotiate more effectively
One of the biggest pitfalls that brokers can succumb to is sacrificing the long-term quality of a relationship in favour of a short-term focus on pricing. This is a fast track to high levels of carrier turnover and tense, potentially unreliable negotiations.
It’s understandable to be concerned about your bottom line, but it’s also important to realize that an aggressive focus on getting the best deal can actually cost you money in the long run.
Instead, think of your carrier relationships as an investment that will ultimately increase your profits. This is especially true for new carrier partnerships. Be transparent, provide as much data as possible, and be willing to bid fairly without haggling excessively. Be sure to outline how you will be able to save time and headache for your carriers because this is an area that many brokers neglect.
Showing a certain level of integrity and professionalism will strengthen any carrier relationship, and so you will be more likely to get better pricing, increased capacity and a reciprocal willingness to compromise for the sake of a quality interaction.
2. Remember that hard data and honesty are best
Carriers need accurate data in order to give you correct prices. If you are dishonest, sloppy or inaccurate with the data that you provide, it hurts the carrier, and it hurts your overall relationship. Brokers who don’t meet the tonnages and lanes that they’ve committed to will often find their carrier relationships tense and soured.
Good data collection practices help every aspect of your business, including carrier relations. When you have specific numbers and percentages that help you objectively measure a carrier’s performance and your own cargo flow, you can more easily provide incentives, benchmarks and clear expectations.
All of these things go a long way toward building a lasting, trusting relationship with reliable carriers.
3. Respect and value your carriers
Carriers are running a business, too, so they’re looking for companies that will add to their value and respect their efforts. Keep open lines of communication with your carriers so that you can work together to find services and lanes that will benefit both sides. Whenever possible, offer new opportunities to your carriers first in order to show that you trust and value them.
Take the time to ask questions and find out as much as possible about your carriers’ operations. This knowledge lets you maximize their strengths and help them shore up any weaknesses so that they can operate more effectively.
Remember that carriers have a difficult job. Most drivers are the ones who endure the anger and frustration of customers on top of managing tight schedules and long hours. Find out how you can make their lives easier, and you’ll reap the benefits of carriers who will go the extra mile for you whenever necessary.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of de-escalation
When things go wrong and deliveries are late or missing, it’s normal to feel like you should escalate the situation so that the carrier knows you won’t tolerate low-quality work.
However, you should remember that your top priority is to get your freight delivered to the customer, even if it’s late. This means that it’s more important to de-escalate a tense situation so that you minimize any risk of loss or damage to the cargo.
First, do your best to smooth the situation over with the client, and make sure that you’re receiving consistent updates about the delivery’s whereabouts.
Next, remember to be calm and professional when speaking to the carrier. Now is not the time for anger, threats or disciplinary action. Get the details of the situation, and do your best to help the carrier get to the client as quickly as possible.
Once the freight has been safely delivered to the client, you can take the appropriate actions with the carrier to rectify the situation. In some cases, you may need to escalate the situation significantly. However, remember that mistakes can happen, and be sure that your reaction is appropriate to the problem.
Take time to cool down and review the situation from a calm and logical point of view before you speak with the carrier. Carriers play an essential role in the success of your business, so you should always do your best to salvage a good relationship when possible.
Read the Full White Paper For More Information
The four points discussed above are a great starting point for freight brokers who want to maximize their earning potential. In order to get the most out of the advice above, we strongly encourage brokers to read the white paper in its entirety. Not only does it contain additional information on each recommendation, but it also has more in-depth breakdowns of each of the four elements of improving carrier relations so that you can unlock your true earning potential.