Truck load brokers are professionals who serve as intermediaries between a shipper and a freight service. This type of broker seeks to match shippers who have a minimum of a full truck load of freight to transport with a freight line that runs regular routes to the destination. At the same time, the broker seeks to secure the best rate possible for his or her client, earning either a flat fee or a commission for brokering the deal.
Small companies sometimes benefit from engaging the services of truck load brokers. While many transportation companies offer excellent discounted rate programs to large companies with substantial shipping needs, smaller companies that ship goods on a more sporadic basis often must pay standard retail rates. By working with a broker, who usually has volume discounted rates in place with various freight services, it is possible to actually cut shipping costs, even for the most casual of shippers.
Another benefit of using truck load brokers is that there is no need to invest time and resources in looking for better deals on shipping charges. Brokers are always on the lookout for more time- and cost-efficient ways to ship goods for their clients, which means the company can simply make sure the shipment is ready for pickup and focus on other elements of the business operation. When a better deal comes along, the broker normally advises the client of a lower rate through a new carrier and provides enough information for the client to decide if trying the new carrier is a good idea.
In many instances, truck load brokers will not require clients to sign long-term contracts. This means a smaller company that will need shipping services for only a few months each year will not be committed to paying for services that were never used. Even when a contract is required, most brokers tend to work with agreements that carry a shorter term, usually no more than one or two years. This is actually to the benefit of both the broker and the client, as changes in the shipping industry can and do occur that could impact the general expenses of shipping and adversely affect the client or the broker.
While most truck load brokers focus strictly on full truckloads of goods, others will accept what is known as LTL, or less than truckload, shipments. When this is the case, the broker will often seek to combine shipments from several clients that are headed in the same general direction, making it possible to still negotiate discounted shipping rates with a variety of freight carriers.