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The Business of Freight Brokers and Carriers

Transportation of goods and raw materials is a massive industry in the United States and Canada today, and both nations have vast fleets of trucks that can deliver goods on their shipper clients’ behalf. Automobiles, groceries, natural gas, textiles, and much more can be delivered in these trucks, and many thousands of carrier companies big and small may be contacted and hired for the job. In particular, a lot of land-based trade between the United States and Canada is done by truck along these nations’ extensive land border. All of this work has to be coordinated, however, and freight load boards are often a fine way for freight brokers to help carriers and shippers work out all the details. Broker systems make use of computer and software management, including updating load boards, to make this business possible. With load boards available for all relevant parties, freight broker companies can make sure that shippers get their merchandise delivered and carriers always have lucrative work to do.

Freight and Delivery Methods

One may first consider the freight delivery business itself. Back in 2013, for a fairly recent example, trucks in the United States delivered nearly 15 billion tons of cargo altogether, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that this total may reach 18.79 by the year 2040. The total value of all freight is due to also increase from its already-impressive totals. The U.S. Department of Transportation says that the value of all freight may rise from $882 per ton in 2007 to $1,477 by the year 2040. Specialist and general trucks alike are carrying cargo of all sorts, such as retail goods all the way to dry ice and even oil canisters that require safety regulations to handle. These trucks are often handling e-commerce goods as well, or anything bought by a consumer over the Internet. Already, American e-commerce revenue stands at $423.3 billion and is steadily growing from there. How can all of this get delivered on time?

Freight Brokers and Load Boards

Carriers and their shipper clients often work out deals with one another when asset-based freight broker companies act as the middle man. Some shippers may have trouble finding a logistically sound carrier company to deliver their items to warehouses or retailers on time, and carriers may have financial trouble if they can’t find shipper clients quickly. Therefore, freight brokers are responsible for using management software online such as load boards to allow carriers and shippers to coordinate their efforts for a timely and safe delivery. These online load boards are accessible for freight brokers and shippers alike, and here, these parties may post comprehensive lists of all items to be delivered in a shipment. At the same time, these load boards allow truck carrier companies to post their free equipment as well. In this manner, freight brokers allow carriers and shippers to negotiate a delivery.

Carriers may search for loads based on whatever criteria is necessary, and carriers may make use of advanced search software to find loads that they can most easily handle and for the best price. Messaging boards may also be used here, along with credit information and even mobile access for convenience. Carriers will look for loads that their trucks can logistically handle, since some freight such as natural gas canisters or cold groceries call for specialized trucks or crew certifications. What is more, a carrier may not accept very small loads from shippers, but neither will they completely ignore these shippers either. Instead, LTL (less than truckload) freight methods are used.

A number of shippers with small cargo loads will all have their cargo loaded together into a single truck, filling the truck trailer’s cargo bay. In this manner, shippers save money by only paying for the cargo space that their cargo is actually using, and the truck carrier doesn’t lose a lot of money by shipping only one small load. Freight brokers and these load boards online can allow a number of smaller shippers to coordinate such an arrangement, and a truck carrier company may decide to take on all of these small loads and deliver them to their respective destinations. The trucks may provide regular updates on progress and expected delivery time as they go.

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