Business owners regularly shipping items have two major options for how they're going to deal with their shipping needs: freight brokers and online freight shipping services.
A freight broker is an individual or company with whom you can communicate directly to find the right shipping options for the items you're shipping and for the destination to which you're sending product. On the other hand, using an online freight shipping service will require you to do a little more of the work and research yourself. With these services, you'll input some information online and your shipping options will automatically be generated by the website's search engine.
Business owners typically don't have an in-depth knowledge of the shipping industry, so dealing with a freight broker offers them the following advantages over using an online shipping service.
Finding custom solutions
When you use an online shipping service, you're going to be provided with a list of options that is generated by the shipping company's website algorithm. If you don't know a lot about the shipping industry, you could leave out some detail or term when you input information that can prevent you from being sent options that are more reliable or more affordable means of accommodating your needs.
By talking to a freight broker, you will get a human response. A freight broker will typically ask you numerous questions to understand the details that will help him or her determine the best possible custom shipping solution.
Speed and reliability
Freight brokers will know if there are any reliability issues that come up when you deal with a certain shipper. On the other hand, an automated response from an online shipping service's website won't factor in any negative word-of-mouth data regarding a shipper's reliability, punctuality, and service record.
It is sometimes assumed that dealing with a freight broker will always be more expensive than using an online service because the freight broker receives a commission on the shipping charges. However, online shipping services will also generally take a commission off of your shipping purchase.
Freight brokers know that finding low prices will keep customers returning for repeat service, so they scour the market for shippers that offer the most affordable and cost-effective options.
Many business owners like to build relationships by working with the same individual again and again. When you use a freight broker, you can deal with the same broker or agent repeatedly. Over time, this agent will gain a familiarity with you, your company, and your unique shipping needs.