How freight brokers can help reduce empty trucking miles

Posted on February 04, 2021 by Jim Cordock

Carriers, in the current seller’s market you shouldn’t have to operate with empty trucking miles and unprofitable loads. Fortunately, you have a key ally that can help: the freight broker. In this article, we’ll examine the ways that a partnership with a quality 3PL freight broker can boost your operational efficiency – and profitability.

How freight brokers help carriers reduce empty trucking miles

empty-trucking-milesAs a carrier, when you work directly with shippers you’re likely going to have to take on whatever the shipper wants to give you in order to win the business. This often entails signing on for more loads than you may be comfortable with, which increases the odds of empty miles if you don’t have the relationships to secure additional loads. When you work with a freight broker, however, you get to pick and choose the loads you want to move with no obligation for anything more.

Working with a broker can be a little like grocery shopping. You can browse the aisles, putting things that you need into your cart and leaving the rest on the shelves. For example, let’s say that a freight broker has eight loads from a shipper each week that go from Dallas to Chicago. You may want to handle only two of those loads. No problem. You can haul the two and the freight broker will make other arrangements for the remaining six.

You simply take the loads in the lanes and time windows that work for you. You have no other obligation to the freight broker other than the fulfillment of those loads.

Importantly, many freight brokers operate nationally and may have loads wherever your trucks are going to be. You can reduce empty trucking miles by working with a freight broker to cover all the lanes you operate in, for both headhauls and backhauls. Again, you can do this on an ongoing basis (e.g., weekly, if the loads are available weekly) or on an as-needed basis.

Lean on broker-shipper relationships

Another advantage of working with a freight broker is that such a relationship largely eliminates your need to bring on new salespeople to find loads for you to haul. A freight broker already has the shipper relationships that can benefit your business. As such, they have insights into the supply chains of their shipping partners and can help match their needs with your capabilities, lanes and schedules – so you don’t need to foster these relationships from the ground up.

For instance, a shipper may produce a basic chemical product, which then needs to be shipped to a manufacturer to make a final product, which then needs to ship to a final destination. So, for this one shipper, the freight broker has insight into three different bulk shipments: product coming into the shipper, product moving from shipper to manufacturer, and final product moving out from manufacturer. One call to a freight broker can align your needs with these three opportunities.

Bulk Connection can be your go-to bulk freight broker

Bulk Connection is a 3PL freight broker that specializes in liquid and dry bulk freight. We have over 30 years of experience in the industry, a nationwide carrier network and relationships with shippers of an array of bulk products.

With one call to Bulk Connection, you can benefit from our close relationships with shippers and handle their loads within the lanes that work best for you. So, if you’re a bulk freight carrier looking to reduce empty miles, get exposed to new lanes, or increase profitability, chances are that we can work together. Contact us today to learn more about how to join our carrier network.


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This entry was posted in Bulk Transportation, Freight Brokerage by Jim Cordock