7 Advantages of Relying on Hazmat Freight Brokers for Bulk Transport

Posted on November 30, 2023 by Scott Wilson

All types of freight transportation are best left to true professionals, but that’s especially true with hazardous freight, where driver and public safety can be at risk along with your wallet. And while you may be content to work directly with carriers across the country, there are distinct advantages related to working with a hazmat freight broker for your bulk shipments.

7 advantages for shipping hazmat freight with a 3PL

hazmat-freight-brokers1. A bulk freight 3PL has a national network. When you partner with a carrier, you’re limited to that carrier’s lanes, equipment, drivers, and rates. However, when you partner with a bulk freight broker (aka ‘bulk freight 3PL’) that utilizes a large national network, it can match your loads with (typically) hundreds of carefully vetted bulk freight carriers .

Such a network can expand your shipping lane options and drive carriers to offer competitive rates for your business. This network can also be an invaluable resource during times of tight capacity when your regular carrier may be unable to offer the service levels you require. And, unlike load boards, your 3PL will work with you to manage shipment details.

2. A bulk freight 3PL can quote multiple modes at once. When shipping chemical and hazmat freight, you may be looking for liquid bulk or dry bulk rates. You may also have temperature-controlled, drayage, or rail-to-truck intermodal requirements. Instead of contacting multiple carriers for various rates, you can contact one freight 3PL that provides all these services. The 3PL can then provide you with all the quotes you need – or better yet, one quote for everything – quickly.

Of course, both dry and liquid bulk shipping are worlds unto themselves and require specialized knowledge related to the products being shipped and the drivers and equipment needed to ship them safely. They also require careful execution involving the vetting of carriers, the intake of shipper information, and the planning of project details – items that a trusted freight 3PL will excel at.

3. A bulk freight 3PL has product expertise. Freight 3PLs that specialize in chemical and hazmat freight often have equal or greater knowledge of your products than their carrier counterparts. At Bulk Connection, for instance, we’ve been handling chemicals since 1987 – and most of our sales agents have been in the industry for many years.

So, no matter what you’re shipping, a freight 3PL with this level of expertise has likely handled it before – and handled it often. Your 3PL then knows exactly what to look for in a carrier to ensure the job is handled safely and effectively. Even if you’re unsure of key details, your freight 3PL can work with you to identify them.
From review of product information and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to equipment selection and load/unload details, expert freight 3PLs can guide your shipments – while protecting your products – from start to finish.

4. A bulk freight 3PL can thoroughly vet carriers. The act of acquiring rates from multiple carriers can be a time-consuming process. And, even after you find the rates you like, it’s then time to vet those carriers. This involves acquiring information related to insurance, operating authority, driver certifications, hazmat information, and much more. This also takes a great deal of time.

As with rate quotes, however, 3PLs can minimize or even skip the entire process. At Bulk Connection, for example, we have an entire team solely dedicated to carrier compliance. We manage this information for all the carriers we work with. We ensure that the information is current, and we will never tender your product to a carrier that doesn’t meet our stringent requirements. So, when you call for a rate quote, you can be assured that any carrier we select has been carefully vetted.

5. A bulk freight 3PL is objective. When you work directly with a carrier, that carrier is compelled to handle your project using its own trucks and equipment – regardless of whether those trucks and equipment are optimal for the job. When you work with a freight 3PL, on the other hand, the 3PL has no such bias. The 3PL is free to match your load with the most qualified carrier without any other considerations getting in the way.

6. A bulk freight 3PL can handle blind shipments. Many chemical companies choose to ship products ‘blind.’ In such instances, the Bill of Lading may show the name of the distributor or be left blank – instead of showing the name of the actual shipper. In other cases, ‘double blind’ shipments may be requested. With these shipments, both the shipper and receiver are confidential. No matter what your specific needs are, freight 3PLs that specialize in chemical shipping can handle blind shipments for you just as expertly as your day-to-day carriers would.

7. A bulk freight 3PL will communicate with you. While shippers have more options than ever in booking loads, something important has gotten lost along the way: interpersonal communication. Bulk shipping, whether liquid or dry, is a complicated business. There is a pretty lengthy list of checkboxes that must be ticked in order for the job to be done right. The quickest – and most effective – way to check these boxes is also often the oldest way: two people communicating with each other.

This is the heart of what 3PLs do. It’s also not something you’ll find when working with mega-carriers or online load boards. And, if you don’t think that availability to communicate makes 3PLs important at the outset of a load, you may change your mind if there’s a hiccup that needs to be addressed quickly along the way.


Make Bulk Connection your trusted hazmat freight broker

Bulk Connection is a bulk freight 3PL that works extensively with chemical and hazmat companies – some who have relied on us for decades. That hard-earned trust is a rarity nowadays – but we’ve earned it by knowing our customers’ products, understanding the equipment needed to haul those products, and by being there every step of the way during a shipment. To learn more about how we can benefit your chemical and hazmat supply chain, contact us today.


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This entry was posted in Truckload freight, Bulk Transportation, chemical tranportation by Scott Wilson