How to enter the freight service business
Freight tonnage keeps growing year by year while the proportion between different types of cargo transport is changing according to both the situation in the global economy and various random events. For example, air freight has been tremendously impacted since the beginning of the global COVID pandemic. Trucking vendors seem to get another business opportunity, therefore.
There is a certain number of stages to be passed through to enter the freight service sector. The stages may vary with regard to local legislation, road conditions, and some other particular factors. Nonetheless, the general picture may look like the following:
Register your broker company. The relevant insurance, sufficient share capital, and corresponding training in the trucking business all are needed to establish your freight service company. The company allows you to grow in the sector while a freelance-based position will limit your ambitions most probably.
Create a business plan. Any business can hardly thrive without a clear vision of the market. You should understand how to occupy a particular niche in the freight service sector. Investigate your local conditions: which type of carrier is in the greatest demand, what loads are going through your region most frequently, what shippers can constitute your target audience, etc.
- Build databases of both carriers and shippers. Freight broker business is all about communication with relevant clients. You must collect as much data about your potential counterparts as possible to promote your company. Start by building a list of the trucking vendors that seem to be not against cooperating with you. Do the same for the shippers who look for freight service. And then, do your best to make both databases bring a full circle to your company.
- Find backing coverage. Both random shippers and systemic ones appreciate those freight brokers who are capable of backing up losses and damages of loads. Insurance coverage is crucial for a respectable freight service company, therefore. Besides, you should apply for a freight broker bond (BMC-84, when in the US) that covers payouts of shippers’ claims to represent your contractual obligations before customers as bullet-proof reliable.
- Arrange your office essentials. A reliable 24/7 internet connection, computers, printers, smartphones, and other office appliances are the must-have tools allowing you to do your freight business. The contemporary market offers a lot of software products that facilitate broker activity very much. Various software solutions beginning from popular messengers and up to special load borders (Trucker Path Truckloads and the like) should be installed on your gadgets. Make necessary efforts to masterly possess the software to be always aware of what is happening in your business field.
- Keep running marketing campaigns. Build your broker reputation with continuous marketing of your freight company. Do your best to expand your brand awareness. Freight service is a specific field where word of mouth brings success to those who deserve it. Make your name known among players of the freight market as widely as possible.
Freight service specs: personal qualities and necessary skills
Freight brokers become successful when they acquire a special skill set. Their personal qualities can be drafted in very general terms, however. Anyone can run a freight service business potentially: where there is a will, there is a way. But the following skills are worth having, nonetheless:
- a keen interest in the transportation industry in general and actual tariffs of carriers in particular;
- continuous reconsidering freight service costs according to possible innovations occurring across the sector;
- creating alternative routes for every delivery to be fully prepared for any force majeure;
- meticulous control of all possible nuances in each freight deal;
- cultivating capabilities of a positively minded negotiator;
- self-training in the ability to ascertain each delivery status at a glance;
- advanced computer literacy;
- speaking foreign languages.
Even though the scope of a freight service may seem very simple (delivering goods from point A to point B), brokers and agents have to possess specific skills to run their business in quite a peculiar niche. Their workflows are intensive and communication-centric. At the same time, freight service specialists have numerous profit opportunities when the market situation is favorable.
Both freight brokers and transport vendors seem to have good long-lasting prospects for development nowadays. Any market turbulence can unlikely alter the fact that goods keep moving around the world. And those who can arrange transportation of goods will always be in demand.
Contact us to know more about a professional freight service if deep expertise in such a sector is what you are looking for in your business.