It seems like with every passing day, the freight industry becomes more and more competitive, and more cutthroat. Many freight shipping customers say they get three or more calls every week from brokers hoping to earn their book of business.
But there’s a lot you might not know about the broker side of the business – because they’d rather you not know. The next time you get a call from a broker, here are three questions to ask to give you a clear sense and challenge their consider challenging them with the questions below to see what they’re really up to.
- Question 1: What’s your profit margin?
Historically, this margin figure — which can be anywhere from 20-30 percent — has been a black box. You’re entitled to know how much they stand to make on each one of your shipments, but if they can’t give you a clear answer on this, it’s a good sign they’re hiding more.
- Question 2: How did they quote your shipment?
Does the quote include service charges or other unnecessary extra costs that you do not require? Are they rating at one freight class, then getting the carrier to invoice at a lower class so they make more money? Are they proactively checking location types to ensure you won’t be charged an amount higher than quoted?
- Question 3: What’s the actual invoice amount?
Often, brokers won’t tell you if the actual cost of the shipment was less than you paid for upfront. In other words, you’ve got a refund coming. If a broker owes you money, you deserve to know about it. So, if that liftgate you paid for was not used and invoiced from the carrier, you’d better believe they owe you a refund.
Good freight brokers will be able to accurately and honestly answer these questions. Transparency is key in broker relationships, and finding one you know you can trust can be challenging. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together, and maintaining trust in our transactions is beneficial to all parties.