By Mark Montague Industry Rate Analyst DAT Solutions
Every call you make about a load is a potential negotiation. Knowing what brokers love and hate goes a long way in determining how successful those negotiations will be. I’ve worked in transportation and logistics for more than 30 years as a broker a dispatcher and a pricing analyst and I’ve been on both sides of those phone calls more times than I can count. Here are some observations that may help you to be even more successful in your dealings with freight brokers:
What Brokers Love
Drivers and dispatchers who inspire confidence – You’re a professional who can be trusted with the broker’s business reputation and their customers’ freight so let them know that.
Good communication – Share your needs with the broker and learn theirs.
Be direct but respectful – You aren’t just negotiating for one load but potential future business as well.
The Hot Market Map in DAT Load Boards offer a snapshot of freight demand across the country with the darker colors showing where there’s higher demand for trucks.
What Brokers Hate
Is that all you have in the rate? – If you know your lanes you won’t need to ask this. Rates are set to a great degree by market conditions. With DAT Load Boards you can research the market rates for the lanes you’re searching. You also get Hot Market Maps like the one above which shows you where demand for trucks is highest. If there are a lot of trucks available in that lane right now the rate may not meet your expectations. But if you know the range of market rates in that lane you might be able to negotiate for the high end of that range.
Long-winded explanations – Time is money for both you and the broker so keep it brief. For brokers they’re usually in a rush in the mornings to assign the entire day’s loads in a short period of time.
Indecisiveness – If your goals are clear you’ll know immediately whether or not you can cover the load. Plus being decisive inspires confidence. Worst case: just say Thank but no thanks and move on. You can do business with that broker another time.
In a future blog post I’ll go over what to research before you call on a load.
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Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on www.DAT.com. It was first published in May 2015