Finding the Right Broker

The most important thing I always share with other truck owners is that Brokers are NOT the enemy (Trucking Customers - Vital for Truck Owners)!  They are and should be treated as valued customers.  While I strongly encourage all truck owners to locate and solidify your own direct customers, we all need and use brokers from time to time.  Finding the right broker(s) to do business with is vital to your financial success.  After 20'ish years of successfully operating my own trucking company, I have learned a few things that have helped me identify the right brokers to do business with.

 

  1. Find out how long they have been in business.  Don't take their word for it! Always look at their “Company Snapshot” on the FMCSA's SAFER System website.

     

    Company Snapshot

    1. The first step in knowing how long a broker has been in business is to look at their DOT number.  Numbers that are in the 2,000,000 and up are newer (2012 and newer) companies.  Be extra cautious with these companies.  While they should not be overlooked as a potential new broker, go the extra mile.  In some cases they have restructured their business and have a new DOT number as such in the case of CH Robinson.  After you have determined if they are a restructured company or not, make certain they have not operated other broker companies that have failed and went out of business.

       Insurance History

    2. Next look at their “Licensing & Insurance” (link is located in the upper right corner of the “Company Snapshot” page).  Here you will be able to see their Insurance history which will identify how many times they have gone out of business and then re-opened.  I NEVER do business with a broker who has a history of going out of business.  Those brokers also have a history of not paying their bills!

       

  2. If you use a “Factoring Service” such as Commercial Capital LLC, contact them.  In most cases a quality factoring company will pre-qualify any new broker you are considering doing business with.

     

  3. Ask the potential new broker for references.  While this is the least reliable and unlikely to produce honest results you can get an idea of what other carriers think of the broker in general.  Just the way they answer your questions and the tone of their voice will give you an indication of the relationship they have with the broker.

     

While there are no guarantees as to how well any new broker or direct customer will pay their bills, by doing a little homework you can mitigate the potential of late or no payment from any new customer.

Posted by Joel on Jul 02, 2018