Building Strong Relationships with Your Brokers
This article was written by Jack Holmes, the Operations Manager at Global Transport. Although this is about building strong relationships with brokers, the themes that Jack uses can be applied to any business relationship.
This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series written by Jack Holmes. You can find the second part of this article on our website, www.globaltransportinc.com in our Blog section.
I am often asked how we choose which carriers are going to take the freight we have and I find it interesting that people are surprised to find out that my answer is never “whoever has the cheapest price”. Instead my answer is almost always “whoever I have the strongest relationship with”. While price does play a factor, I am almost always more concerned that I will be able to trust the person taking the load over who has the cheapest price. While this isn’t true for all brokers I feel like this is a good guideline on how to build that relationship. Here are a couple of ways you can stand out from other carriers and build a relationship that develops into regular shipments.
1. BE HONEST ABOUT AVAILABILITY.
This is one of the most important things that any broker will require. Do not take the freight if you can’t move it or deliver it in the requested time frame. Does that mean you might miss out on a couple of shipments? Maybe. But if you are honest about what your capability is, then perhaps they can get the delivery pushed out a day instead of having a company be mad at you for being late. Yeah, you might miss out on a load but that is better than not getting another load from that broker because you missed their delivery.
2. GIVE ACCURATE UPDATES.
Make sure that your drivers understand that they need to give the Brokers accurate location and updates. We understand that things happen like you are running late because of traffic, a breakdown, another delivery look a long time, or even if the driver overslept. Giving us an update that is honest and accurate will pay dividends in the end. Remember, anything you tell them, they are telling to their customer. If you don’t give them accurate information you are making them look bad to their customer. One of our mottos here is “UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER”. If you know your driver is 2 days behind, don’t tell the broker he isn’t only one day behind. It would be better to say he is 2 to 3 days out so that if he arrives on time then there aren’t any issues.
3. REPORT BREAKDOWNS IMMEDIATELY.
This is the most common mistake that makes me not want to use a carrier a 2nd time. Breakdowns happen; it’s part of the industry and no one should be surprised by it. If the broker calls you for an update at Noon and you knew that the truck was broke down at 8am, the first thing they are going to want to know is why you didn’t tell them as soon as you found out. Waiting for road service or for a tow is not a good answer. Some people are going to be upset regardless, so don’t compile their frustrations by withholding that information.
Jack Holmes is the Operations Manager at Global Transport. He has been in the freight industry for over 15 years, covering all aspects of transportation from importing to freight brokerage.