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Brokers, Rates, and Greed, Boycott one broker at a time

meonthenet

New Member
Most brokers are the same, but we have to start the conversation somewhere, so TQL.

I don't know what they're teaching their new kid brokers, but it's a problem. I called on a load that the DAT 15 day average was $1100. The TQL broker offered $800. It was like pulling teeth getting him to budge from $800. I told him I wouldn't do it for less than $1000. We ended the call without making a deal. He called me back twice, then agreed to $1000. He said, he never paid so much for this load.

I went to the shipper for pickup. The owner came out and asked me how much I was getting paid, and told me TQL charges him $1300. At $800 the broker was trying to get more than a third. I worked as a leased O/O for years. Companies supplying trailers, insurance, authority, discount fuel......, got 25%. TQL is supplying phone calls and greed.

Of course TQL is not the only offender. The boards/loads prices today are controlled by the brokers. They're deciding what we'll make, what a deal they can get for the shippers business, and how they will slice the pie.

If we could start a forum (oh you already did) where WE boycott one broker at a time, for one month at a time. WE should get better rates, and closer to the 90% of the pie we should be getting! Who's first? Let's decide. Start March,1st. Lets vote on a calendar. Hit the big brokers in the busy season. WE can only send a big message together! Or who has a better idea?
 

Agent_Z

Well-Known Member
A broker is bonded, the chimpanzees that work below them (me) are just agents / salesmen, and in my office we work on commission (1099 contractors). The goal is usually 15%, but some guys will try to sucker you out of more money if possible. Asking anything more than %17 is pure greed. However, when a load is booked with an agent, he will probably spend at least an hour of his time monitoring that load throughout the week, whether it's paperwork, phone calls, or emails. Monitoring loads means less time for sales, so there is give and take in this industry. There are only so many hours in the day. An agent booking 8 or 10 loads per day, in my office, will be working nonstop since he not only has to monitor his bookings but he still has to find time to make new sales to keep a steady income. So ask yourself what an hour of your time is worth? Mine is $30 / hr at the end of the week.

A customer knows brokers expect 10 to 20% profit margins when they post a load. And if it weren't for the broker the load would never get connected with a carrier. There's a difference between cheap freight, a greedy broker, and a shipper that isn't willing to offer enough money to pay the brokerage and the carrier the $$ that both parties expect to make.

You may find one agent within a brokerage that you enjoy work, and another that's a douche bag and won't work with you. It's not always the brokerage, sometimes it's the agent you're doing business with. --- Just don't be that guy that calls into the office 10 times to try to talk to 10 agents to shop around and get a better deal on the same load. You'll eventually get figured out and blackballed.
 

Tazz

Infidel
I always kind of figured the simple solution is to not haul below what you want. I do not understand all of these calls for boycotts, strikes, embargo's......

It is on the shipper to get the best rate they can.

It is on the broker to get the best rate they can.

It is on the carrier to get the rate they need to operate a successful business.
 

Electric Chicken

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I always kind of figured the simple solution is to not haul below what you want. I do not understand all of these calls for boycotts, strikes, embargo's......

It is on the shipper to get the best rate they can.

It is on the broker to get the best rate they can.

It is on the carrier to get the rate they need to operate a successful business.
Yeah OP got his rate so I don't know why he's *****ing.
 

Agent_Z

Well-Known Member
that's a fallacy. But if it helps you feel good about your job....More power to you.
It's not fallacy if the company trying to move product doesn't want to add more staff to handle booking and shipping, or isn't willing sign a contract with a carrier because they're unwilling to compromise and negotiate a flat rate, which usually includes fuel surcharges. Companies that do this will post X load to several hundred brokers load boards every day to keep their freight moving. But yes, if a company is in a position like the one I mentioned, with minimal shipping staff & support, they probably won't move their freight without a broker. At least they won't move it on time. If a company has a department that can effectively handle the booking and shipping of their freight, and contracts carriers, then they probably don't need a broker in the first place unless there's an emergency. Emergencies do come up.

Brokerages started up originally for back haul loads so trucks didn't dead head. I guess you could eliminate the brokerages that exist now and your company can pay their drivers & truck's expenses to dead head home 1000 miles because they're under contract for Y company and have to be back on Z date to pick up and deliver another contract load. Smaller companies took advantage of this situation to help get their freight moved, and here we are in the world of brokers. We're middle men, but we are also experts in networking.
 
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Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
It's not fallacy if the company trying to move product doesn't want to add more staff to handle booking and shipping, or isn't willing sign a contract with a carrier because they're unwilling to compromise and negotiate a flat rate, which usually includes fuel surcharges. Companies that do this will post X load to several hundred brokers load boards every day to keep their freight moving. But yes, if a company is in a position like the one I mentioned, with minimal shipping staff & support, they probably won't move their freight without a broker. At least they won't move it on time. If a company has a department that can effectively handle the booking and shipping of their freight, and contracts carriers, then they probably don't need a broker in the first place unless there's an emergency. Emergencies do come up.

Brokerages started up originally for back haul loads so trucks didn't dead head. I guess you could eliminate the brokerages that exist now and your company can pay their drivers & truck's expenses to dead head home 1000 miles because they're under contract for Y company and have to be back on Z date to pick up and deliver another contract load. Smaller companies took advantage of this situation to help get their freight moved, and here we are in the world of brokers. We're middle men, but we are also experts in networking.
I dislike the term "back haul". It implies it's ok for the load to be cheap. Nothing personal meant, just an observation. The load heading home should pay the same as outbound freight, in my opinion.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Brokerages started up originally for back haul loads so trucks didn't dead head
Brokerages started because a bean counter convinced management it's better for the bottom line to farm the task of shipping out instead of having it in house.


No, you're not middle men. You're salesman. But whatever it takes.
 

Agent_Z

Well-Known Member
Brokerages started because a bean counter convinced management it's better for the bottom line to farm the task of shipping out instead of having it in house.


No, you're not middle men. You're salesman. But whatever it takes.
 

Tazz

Infidel
Brokerages started because a bean counter convinced management it's better for the bottom line to farm the task of shipping out instead of having it in house.


No, you're not middle men. You're salesman. But whatever it takes.


Or instead of having to track multiple carriers, multiple loads, and multiple accounts payable they decided to rely on someone with a network they could access.
 
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Agent_Z

Well-Known Member
If companies had to pay your dead head miles on every load prices for products in stores would go up, and you would just be paying more for the products you buy on a daily basis, which would negate all of that profit you thought you earned.

Brokers are professionals at networking businesses together, and while there is sales, I've said it before, that there is an expectation of 10-20% profit for every load that a broker connects. If the post office charged a shipping & handling fee on every piece of mail ... --- Wait, they do, it's called a stamp. It's how the postal service stays in business. --- So if you can think of broker profits like that, as a "fee" instead of a sale, because there is only a 10% profit margin to work with, in most cases, then it makes more sense. It's a "networking fee." There's only a small margin for potential profit on every load a broker handles. And brokers help smaller to medium sized businesses more so than they do large ones since they are allowed to take advantage of empty trucks in a large network of carriers, which most brokers have access too.

The cost of shipping products is a factor in determining the price of goods and commodities. I expect a truck driver to know this. And whether that networking / sales fee (whatever you want to call it) goes to a broker, or another agency, there will always be money going to someone. You can't simply expect a business to just make 5 phone calls and have their goods shipped. --- Well, they can, if they do business with a broker.

I apologize that I'm bad with economics ; I have a very basic understanding. Some people don't understand at all. --- I don't understand why 25% of my income is taxed every year by the federal government, but I'm sure there's a reason. *Sarcasm*

Also, blame the value of the 'Murican dollar ... Inflation sucks.
 
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Agent_Z

Well-Known Member
People want the chance to make as much money as possible. That's how capitalism works. If a broker's "networking fee" (sale) was a flat 5% or something silly, the business model would be a turn off for potential investors. Everyone wants the chance to make MORE MONEY. Without that 10% window there would be no incentive for anyone. Blah, blah, blah. Tie a carrot on a stick and the horse will run with it. The potential to make more money is incentive in any business. (Dur?) Profits will always plateau based on the state of the economy, the value of the dollar that fuels it, supply and demand and all of the other contributing factors that the average Joe, like you and me, know nothing about. The average pay for a freight agent is around $50k. And the average pay for a truck driver? About the same, a little less, a little more. And both of us want to get as close to that average at the end of the year as possible, and make more if we can.

I'm ranting, and I apologize.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Or instead of having to track multiple carriers, multiple loads, and multiple accounts payable they decided to rely on someone with a network they could access.
That's what I said.


A bean counter (accountant) made a decision that it is more beneficial and profitable to pay someone else to handle the resources to ship product.

Instead of having all of the assets in-house, they have have cut staff to the bare minimum needed to farm it all out to another person. Essentially a "make vs buy" decision.

That broker now manages the Transport services for several companies instead of just one. Making them more efficient at the task.


It also makes it impossible for a person with a small fleet to go in and try to work direct with a shipper. Because that bean counter through a management decision has forced the companies hand to work solely with one entity.

A small independent with one truck is highly inefficient at handling a large customer who has several hundred/thousand loads a year to move. They simply don't have the overhead capital investment in equipment to manage that movement.

But you network several hundred or thousand of those less than 10 truck operations in one entity, the. You have much greater abilities.


But what do I know. I'm just a dumb truck driver.
 

Agent_Z

Well-Known Member
Instead of having all of the assets in-house, they have have cut staff to the bare minimum needed to farm it all out to another person.

That broker now manages the Transport services for several companies instead of just one. Making them more efficient at the task.
Agreed. But tell me why would a major corporation or business in general should or would care to do business with your podunk little trucking company that has 10 trucks rather than a mega carrier that's well established with enough trucks in their fleet to supply a small country? A mega carrier that was probably originally funded by some major holdings company or an investor with billions of dollars of capital? Unless you're down here in podunk Texas where the "good ole boy" system still sometimes works, they probably wouldn't. (Would they?) So instead you and your podunk, Billy Bob trucking company make a relationship with a freight agent like me working for a brokerage that has a huge network of customers that need freight to move, and we keep your trucks moving. And some of us hate the big carriers as much as the little guy, which is why we make long spiels about preferring to work with O/O's or small carriers instead. You scratch my back, I scratch yours, and I get Billy Bob Trucking the load before Mega Carrier X has a chance to snatch it.
 

Rigjockey

In Gord we trust!
Supporter
Agreed. But tell me why would a major corporation or business in general should or would care to do business with your podunk little trucking company that has 10 trucks rather than a mega carrier that's well established with enough trucks in their fleet to supply a small country? Unless you're down here in podunk Texas where the "good ole boy" system still sometimes works, they probably wouldn't. (Would they?) So instead you and your podunk, Billy Bob trucking company make a relationship with a freight agent like me working for a brokerage that has a huge network of customers that need freight to move, and we keep your trucks moving. And some of us hate the big carriers as much as the little guy, which is why we make long spiels about preferring to work with O/O's or small carriers instead. You scratch my back, I scratch yours, and I get Billy Bob Trucking the load before Mega Carrier X has a chance to snatch it.
I clicked the like button 5 times!
 

Tazz

Infidel
That's what I said.


A bean counter (accountant) made a decision that it is more beneficial and profitable to pay someone else to handle the resources to ship product.

Instead of having all of the assets in-house, they have have cut staff to the bare minimum needed to farm it all out to another person. Essentially a "make vs buy" decision.

That broker now manages the Transport services for several companies instead of just one. Making them more efficient at the task.


It also makes it impossible for a person with a small fleet to go in and try to work direct with a shipper. Because that bean counter through a management decision has forced the companies hand to work solely with one entity.

A small independent with one truck is highly inefficient at handling a large customer who has several hundred/thousand loads a year to move. They simply don't have the overhead capital investment in equipment to manage that movement.

But you network several hundred or thousand of those less than 10 truck operations in one entity, the. You have much greater abilities.


But what do I know. I'm just a dumb truck driver.
So not just a salesman then?

Seems to me that sums up why the industry uses brokers which apparently you dislike.
 

Agent_Z

Well-Known Member
So not just a salesman then?

Seems to me that sums up why the industry uses brokers which apparently you dislike.
There is minimal incentive for a major manufacturer or business to work with a small guy. That's the bottom line. If you want big money, you want to haul for big clients. They have the money to shell out on the high-paying loads, and they do frequently pay more per load.

A broker allows you to effectively do that ; you CAN work for the big guys, under the guise of a broker. Then you can prove that your Billy Bob company knows what it's doing, and effectively stat pad your reputation in this industry. If your Billy Bob trucking company can establish a reputation with a broker, then maybe down the line your company can land a contract with a large corporation and you don't have to deal with us greedy thieves anymore. Good for you. That's progress.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
If companies had to pay your dead head miles on every load prices for products in stores would go up, and you would just be paying more for the products you buy on a daily basis, which would negate all of that profit you thought you earned.

Brokers are professionals at networking businesses together, and while there is sales, I've said it before, that there is an expectation of 10-20% profit for every load that a broker connects. If the post office charged a shipping & handling fee on every piece of mail ... --- Wait, they do, it's called a stamp. It's how the postal service stays in business. --- So if you can think of broker profits like that, as a "fee" instead of a sale, because there is only a 10% profit margin to work with, in most cases, then it makes more sense. It's a "networking fee." There's only a small margin for potential profit on every load a broker handles. And brokers help smaller to medium sized businesses more so than they do large ones since they are allowed to take advantage of empty trucks in a large network of carriers, which most brokers have access too.

The cost of shipping products is a factor in determining the price of goods and commodities. I expect a truck driver to know this. And whether that networking / sales fee (whatever you want to call it) goes to a broker, or another agency, there will always be money going to someone. You can't simply expect a business to just make 5 phone calls and have their goods shipped. --- Well, they can, if they do business with a broker.

I apologize that I'm bad with economics ; I have a very basic understanding. Some people don't understand at all. --- I don't understand why 25% of my income is taxed every year by the federal government, but I'm sure there's a reason. *Sarcasm*

Also, blame the value of the 'Murican dollar ... Inflation sucks.
Kind of what we've been saying. I don't care what you feel you want to make.

Just like it's irrelevant what I have to make.


The payor of the freight charge doesn't care either. Just that they feel like they didn't get raked over the coals getting the product to where it needs to go.

All that matters is each party feels they got the best rate to do their job.

$2/ mile or $4/ mile is irrelevant. What matters at the end of the month/quarter/ year is your made your profit goal. Nothing else.

If Billy Jo Jim Bob Truckin' has figured out how to do it cheaper that Joe shmedlap freight emporium, then more power to him for being able to under bid Joe whatever he can.

If that means Bradly broker can book the freight cheaper for Charlie consignee, then you just made a better future for you all.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
So not just a salesman then?

Seems to me that sums up why the industry uses brokers which apparently you dislike.
I dislike people who try to sell it for something it's not.

I never said their isn't a place for brokers or that brokers are evil.

I couldn't give a rats ass what a broker makes for a load.

I have my formula for being profitable and it's worked for me from day 1. And it sure isn't demanding $2/ mile or more for freight.
 

Agent_Z

Well-Known Member
I have my formula for being profitable and it's worked for me from day 1. And it sure isn't demanding $2/ mile or more for freight.
So your formula is to not drive between the months of November through March? Rates are garbage right now.

None of us here came up with the way the system works. You and I didn't invent brokerages. And they're not going away...

MND, we book freight. The only time we make another call is if we can't agree on terms. I don't call 5 carriers shopping for prices like carriers call brokerages. I book freight, and I shoot for the % that I'm taught at my job to go for. If I don't make X% sale, I make less commission. Less commission means I don't pay my bills. But I'm not turning down a sale over a few %. Then I'm cherry picking and not doing my job. And I'm wasting time.

When I cold call, it damn sure better be a good paying load that I can make my target % AND offer the driver something that's profitable to him. I cherry pick the loads I try to sell, not the carriers that I try to sell them to. Unless we're going back to my O/O argument. (Okay, I kind of cherry pick.)

"Hot" loads are loads that the customer didn't ship on time, became desperate, and increased the price. They sometimes learn the hard way. If there's no profit to be made, don't accept it, and agents shouldn't try to sell it. That's how we stick it to them so we all get the rates we want. But we all have to be reasonable, else we'd all be out of business.
 
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