You in good faith dispatch your truck to pick up a load in some far off the beaten path place only to find out the shipment was cancelled. This can happen whether you use a broker or not.
However, if your broker is not good in what they do, or legitimate, unprofessional and so on, they may fail to tell you that the order was cancelled.
Remember, they are planning and negotiating deals between numerous shippers and carriers so you are not their first concern, or priority.
4. They don’t issue ‘Truck Order Not Used’ if the order is cancelled
‘Truck Order Not Used’ (TONU) is basically, a truck was contracted/reserved but for whatever reason (on the customer’s side) it was not needed or used.
There are a variety of reasons why this can happen. However, the driver should still be paid for his/her time. It is estimated that 80% of the time freight brokers won’t make sure that you are reimbursed.
My advice here will be: If possible, make sure all your agreements with the broker are in the written agreement.
If there is not a specified TONU clause in the contract you- if you acting like an owner operator, and / or your driver are left without anything.
In many cases you will still be required to pay your driver (depending on your driver agreements).
5. They don’t provide accurate/detailed info regarding the load
Something that is essential for both the carrier and the trucker is all the available information regarding the load.
When setting up cargo transportation there are many key bits that must be known, such as the size/weight, special requirements/classifications, and destination.
But unfortunately the less experienced brokers will fail to provide everything that is need regarding the load.
Sometimes, you can work around it. If the destination is different than what you first thought, usually a load can be found (you never want a driver running empty). But what if the driver doesn’t have the proper endorsements?
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What if they arrive with the wrong trailer type (say they need refrigeration)? Mistakes like this are not only embarrassing; they can be costly in both money and reputation. And you very well know what reputation means in our world. Don’t you?!
6. Sometimes there is an impression they are deceiving trucking companies
This is another something you have to watch out for. Legitimate companies won’t do this on purpose. But double booking can happen.
They might arrange for more than one carrier to make the pickup. This way they are paid for setting up the service twice.
Mistakes can happen, brokers are only humans too. And they will do what it takes to fix or compensate for their mistakes. But there are shady companies out there, who actually do this on purpose, or really don’t care.
All they are concerned with is the sale. Proving this was intentional can be hard and court costs can get expensive.
7. False Damage Claims
Everyone knows that filing a false claim is fraud. It is not legal nor is it ethical. That doesn’t stop it from happening.
Basically what happens is; the broker will file a claim reporting damage had occurred to the cargo in transit. It is then the carrier’s responsibility to cover the broker’s cost.
There are times that a broker might file the claim 7 or even 10 days after delivery was made. Then, depending on the contract, they will make a claim against your company to cover the cost of damages.
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The worst part is they can charge you (over $150.00) even without detail reports. It would then either be up to you to spend your time and resources looking into the matter, or just settle out.
Keep in mind; I am not saying all freight brokers are bad. Neither is taking advantage of their services. But, as with anything, if you choose to use a freight broker, research them first. Ask around, check out the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and look for reviews and credibility. Make sure everything is spelled out clearly in the contract agreements.
Whatever you do, always be prepared and know what you getting into, better to be safe than sorry.
As stated earlier, freight brokers must be licensed. The best ones actually gained their experience by working in the industry, either as a shipper or a carrier. Another advantage to first working in the field is the building of a reputation and a network of potential clients, something you can’t get from a training course.
Many others have gone to school and taken courses, however, those courses can be expensive and after completing the course they should be only agents (someone who works under a freight broker), long before they can become freight brokers. That is not always the case do.
Because broker companies cut the edges and promote agents in brokers in a week or two is one of the main reasons why we have all this problems in our industry and have this not that shiny picture for the freight brokers. They have no real experience, no live show, they are just thrown in the deep water to see what they can do if they come out! But we are the one that feel the consequences from that test.
Have you worked with a freight broker? What kind of experiences have you had? Have you had good experiences? Bad experiences? Please share these in the comments below.