Choosing the right freight broker to manage your shipping can help your business grow or sometimes can break it. You need to be sure they are up to standards and will be able to fullfil your businedd needs. The relationship between you and your freight broker needs to be built on trust and communication – not unlike personal relationships. And just like when you’re dating someone new, you want to make sure they check all the right boxes. Here are the top factors shippers should consider when selecting a freight broker.

1. Licensed through the FMCSA

First of all, Ensure that the freight broker you have selected is reliable. It is the law that anyone who arranges for compensation for transport must have a broker license issued  You can check here for proper insurance of your selected freight broker.

Licensing includes a number of strict criteria, including provisions for bonding and insurance. Insurance requirements differ, which include such issues as loss or injury and damage to property. The bonding protects you from fraud or other illegal actions that may be performed by the broker by offering payment incentives.

2. Specializations that match your needs

Most freight brokers are going to provide a number of services and work across a variety of industries, but that doesn’t mean they’re all equal. Ask what kind of experience they have in shipping your goods when choosing a freight broker and if they are working in the style that you usually use. If they are familiar with your industry or have shipping experience with your service, they will know exactly what to look out for and understand how to manage some of your specific challenges.

3. Insurance options and claims assistance

It can be a nightmare to deal with lost or damaged freight. When selecting a quality freight broker, they not only provide the option to purchase additional insurance, but also provide assistance in case you need to file a claim. It’s a full time job understanding everything you need to know about filing claims and a lot can go wrong. Selecting a freight broker that offers protection and can help get you a fair resolution is invaluable.

4. Strict vetting process for carriers

Only the most reputable carriers should work with the freight broker you select. Ask about their vetting process prior to working with a broker. Should they test the operating authority and safety rating of the carrier? What would a carrier disqualify? They should use trusted sources to check the history and safety ratings of the carrier.

5. Recognized and certified in the industry

The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is the largest association representing transportation professionals from third parties and sets high ethical standards for its members. A quality freight broker will be a TIA member and will have staff members certified through the CTB program. A handful of other affiliations can also tell you a broker’s reputation. Choose a freight broker with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in good standing and is recognized by business affiliations such as the NASTC Best Broker Program and the Diamond Broker Program of Truckstop.com.

6. Tracking options

When choosing a freight broker, visibility of freight is important. Having tracking systems helps your broker to keep an eye on your deliveries before they become major issues and manage any hiccups. Monitoring also helps protect you from theft of goods, providing you with peace of mind.

7. Long history in the business

Freight transportation is complicated and can be difficult, so you need a master, not a beginner. In addition to having more experience, a more developed freight broker will also likely have stronger carrier relationships. Freight brokers who are newer to the scene will probably not have a proven track record or the same type of buying power a broker will have.

8. Overall value

A lot of difference can be made by partnering with an accomplished freight broker who can meet your specific needs. Finding a broker in your corner that can successfully maneuver through a power crunch is more important than ever with the current state of the industry. Sailor Shipping helps you ship more smart with competitive pricing and quality service as an experienced broker. Get today’s quote.