First lets understand what exactly a freight broker is. A freight broker is an individual or business that arranges transportation for products and materials. This may be local deliveries or global deliveries. These brokers may utilize many different types of transportation methods to deliver your goods. Here are some examples of the most popular.
For most domestic and intercontinental deliveries this mode of transport is very popular. In most cases a Shipper will contact a Broker and hire them to ship their goods from one location to somewhere else within their continental region. The broker may then subcontract the load to trucking companies both qualified and available to take on the work. Occasionally the broker may own and operate their own fleet. In this case all they would have to do is to assign the pick up and delivery to whom ever is available and set the load in motion. In other situations the broker would call on many trucking companies to find one that would be able to carry the load for them. This is usually decided by a “lowest bidder”. All trucking companies are different. Therefore they all have different operating costs. This allows them to run the loads awarded at different prices. The lowest price typically gets the load. Once the load is delivered the trucking company and broker get paid and all is right in the world.
SHIP / BY SEA
lowest bidder applies here as well). This method is a lot more complicated than trucking. For one, your going to be shipping globally. There are many rule and restrictions based on what your shipping. Each country has different export and entry requirements. Second, the goods need to be (in most ceases) loaded into overseas containers. Third, these containers are then transported to the shipping port to be loaded onto a waiting ship. The ship travels to the port located in the country nearest to the delivery and then off loaded. The container is then transported to the destination over land. This method tends to be the lowest cost option in most cases.
SHIP BY RAIL
Shipping by rail can be one of the lower cost domestic delivery methods. Rail shipments is much like the overseas mode of transport. The obvious difference is that rail is over the land. The pick up and delivery process is just like the ship. The difference here would be that rail doesn’t necessarily require the goods to be loaded into a shipping container. The goods can be loaded into a standard Trucking Trailer, or the goods can be loaded directly into a rail car. If loaded into a trailer, the trailer would be hoisted up onto the back of a flat rail car and secured to it for transit. Either way the goods will need to be transported and loaded onto the rail system. At the “end of the line” the reveres would take place.
SHIP BY AIR
This mode of transport is in most cases the highest cost option. So if it cost the most why would a business ship their goods in this way? Time. There’s a very good reason why the Mail and Package delivery companies use this mode of transport. Sometimes it’s not a matter of just getting something somewhere, but getting it there in the fastest way possible. This is where air freight comes into play. When you want to ship something from one side of the planet to the other and get it there in hours not weeks, air is the answer. The broker will use similar methods for this delivery as the shipping
goods overseas is similar to the truck. Similar in the fact that the broker would subcontract the load to companies that have access to ships
instead of trucks (previously mentioned. Due to the lack of competition and higher overhead costs the shipping prices will be more. Just remember that you won’t be necessarily be choosing this method on price alone. It’s greatly based on the time frame that you’ll have to work with.
No matter which mode of transportation is used a freight broker is a vital piece of the puzzle. When hiring a freight broker you’re getting a licensed and qualified representative to help streamline your goods to market. With all the rules,regulations, and red tape out there these representatives are well worth the investment. How to choose one is a whole different topic that we can cover at a later time, but for now understanding what they do and what their roles are is what the goal is today. I hope you find this post helpful. Please leave a comment below, and contact us with any questions.