It’s a goal that many people have – from decluttering living spaces to performing more efficiently at work.
If your work involves reducing bulk freight costs for your transportation operations, you may find yourself complicating matters instead of simplifying them. Whether you’re sending out an endless stream of RFQs or relying exclusively on load boards, you’re likely making your job more complex, not simpler.
In this article, we’ll examine the ways that bulk freight brokers can simplify your bulk shipping operations and reduce your costs in the process.
Freight brokers provide necessary shipping information
If you’re like many shippers of bulk products, you’re likely sending out waves of quote requests (RFQs) to carriers far and wide. Once the quotes come in, you may request better rates until the pool narrows. Ultimately, you settle on the carrier with the best mix of rate, capabilities and reputation.
But here’s a secret: these carriers are not giving you their best rates.
Why? Because, they can’t.
If you’re like most shippers, you’re not giving them enough information about your products, equipment requirements, loading details, unloading details, tank wash requirements and myriad other details. When carriers don’t have this information, they must account for uncertainty in their quoted rates – especially if they’ve never worked with you before. So, even your best quote may be 10% higher than it would be if all this information was accounted for.
Freight brokers understand the value of this information and can extract it from you. Even if you don’t know the answers to key carrier questions, brokers have the experience to help you find them.
As brokers, we work closely with hundreds of carriers, understand their business and know exactly what they need from shippers. Many freight agents even started their careers on the carrier side. At Bulk Connection, for instance, several of our freight agents were once dispatchers – the company was even founded by a former dispatcher.
So, instead of sending out RFQs to multiple carriers and then whittling down the pool through multiple waves of adjusted quoting, one call to a freight broker can be all you need. After obtaining the necessary information about your loads, the broker finds the most appropriate carrier on your behalf and manages the load from A-to-Z.
Freight brokers simplify freight billing
In addition to simplifying the carrier sourcing process, freight brokers can drastically simplify your billing as well.
Have you ever received a bill from a carrier that looks more like a novel? Carrier bills will often include pages of itemized costs including tolls, scale visits, driver wait charges, tank wash charges, and many additional bulk freight costs. This complicated approach can be overwhelming to shippers.
As freight brokers, we’re happy to deal with (and negotiate) all those itemized costs so that you don’t have to. In fact, when you work with most brokers, you’re simply presented with the cost of the freight, the cost of the fuel, and the cost of the tank wash (if applicable).
End of story.
Freight brokers will pick up the phone
As efficient as automated freight management is, there are times when you also need a dose of old-fashioned interpersonal communication. Bulk shipping, in particular, has so many variables related to load booking, loading, and unloading that one computer system talking to another system can’t possibly account for it all.
There are times, then, where you’ll need to talk to the carrier to iron out a detail or two – often in real time as a situation unfolds. And, more often than not, you’re going to have little success in reaching someone who can help you – especially if you’re a smaller fish in the carrier’s pond.
As freight brokers, communication is paramount in our business. We are always available to answer the call, and we have the clout to ensure that carriers answer ours. Your urgent problem becomes our urgent problem, and we’ll work with you every step of the way until it’s resolved to your satisfaction.
This interpersonal communication can also play a key role in reducing bulk freight costs, as real people can spot mistakes or inefficiencies in real time, and then adjust as needed. Conversely, when entire loads are left only to software systems, these mistakes can largely go unnoticed. That is, of course, until a $600 inefficiency grows into a $30,000 problem over time and is finally flagged by an actual person.
Lean on Bulk Connection to reduce bulk freight costs
With one of the largest bulk carrier networks in North America and an expert staff that understands your products and their requirements, Bulk Connection is the freight broker of choice among bulk shipping professionals. To learn more about the benefits of working with a bulk freight broker, contact Bulk Connection today.