This industry is one of the few industries that have a need for a broker. They are generally used to mediate between the customer and carrier. Typically, the carrier companies only own 1 or 2 haulers with dedicated weekly routes, and they don’t usually have websites available for review. They’re simply out working the field, not sitting at their computers. Additionally, many companies cannot accommodate every customer requesting a quote because one single company does not cover the entire United States. This is when the brokers come into play. They can have an office set up anywhere in the United States to gather customers from all over the country then dispatch them to the proper carriers. However, like many other industries, there are good brokers and bad brokers. Let’s have a look into what separates the two.
It’s Definitely Not a Cake Walk
Car shipping brokers have a ton on their plate in order to be successful. There are new brokers popping up every day in hopes of making it in this industry. Just like any other business, brokers have monthly expenses such as rent, phone lines, fax lines, account manager fees, fees for load board access, surety bond monthly charges, and employee salaries. They also have to stay competitive in the market by finding leads, marketing their services, and maintaining their own website. A small car shipping brokerage business costs thousands of dollars right off the bat.
Unethical companies take the volume approach to the business. In this model, they will buy the cheapest leads and charge a small broker fee, generally less than $75 per load. They work on the “1st call close method,” meaning if they can’t close you on their first call, you might never hear from them again. Additionally, they tend to overwhelm your email account with spam mail. These companies are typically horrible with customer service, and many customers struggle to get them on the phone once they have signed a contract. Most of all, these unethical companies will dispatch your car to any truck driver that requests the load, regardless of the driver’s rating, damage claims, and tardiness. These unethical business tactics create a bad taste in the customer’s mouth about the car shipping business as a whole, and as a result, they may never ship a vehicle again.
Other companies provide the quality customer service approach. In this model, they will purchase more exclusive leads at a higher premium for their service. With exclusive leads and a higher expense comes the assurance that these brokers make your shipment experience run as smooth as humanly possible. If they do not close you on the first call, they will follow up with you to see if you made a decision. If you do need to contact them, then you can reach them during regular business hours. Some brokers even give their cell phone numbers out for customers to reach them after business hours. These companies will dispatch to qualified shippers who have a good rating, no damage claims, and have a nearly flawless time record. This quality customer service approach will create an overall good morale about the industry, and the customers are more likely to have a car shipped in the future.
The Final Word
There are ways you can find out if a broker is good or bad. Check online review websites, Google the company name and see what pops up, or just call them once or twice with questions to see if they answer. These tips will help you find the right price by the right broker, for your specific needs. This industry is truly a good vs. evil struggle. People will tell you whatever you want to hear to get you hooked, but doing the proper research and educating yourself about the business can make all the difference.