How Freight Brokers Can Help Ease the Effects of the Capacity Crunch

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Economic growth, paired with other factors like driver retention, continues to cause tight transportation capacity and impact supply chains across North America. Today’s strong economy, resulting in greater construction projects and consumer shopping, has led to an increase in freight volume and in turn, a shortage of drivers.1 By the end of 2017, there were approximately 50,000 unfilled driver positions in the U.S., which could reach 174,000 by 2026 if the trend continues.2

The driver shortage continues to impact shippers, leading to a hike in freight rates as drivers seek higher salaries and greater benefits.3 The American Trucking Association (ATA) recently reported that the annual turnover rate for large truckload carriers or fleets has increased 6 percent to 94 percent in the first quarter of 2018, marking a 20 percent annual increase.4 In light of the driver shortage, many shippers are turning to brokers to help ease the effects of the capacity crunch, to transport freight in the most efficient way in regards to time and cost. Here are further benefits of working with a freight broker:

Connectivity to Networks for Quick Capacity and Reliable Carriers

With access to large networks of carriers and the ability to negotiate transportation for uncommon routes or loads, freight brokers can offer flexibility to shippers to find quick transportation options. This is ideal for those with seasonal peaks who may need transportation solutions at a moment’s notice. Brokers also offer deep knowledge, as well as a unique perspective of the industry and are able to understand drivers’ priorities and help them optimize their workload – therefore, developing long-standing relationships with reliable carriers.5

Understanding of the Current Market to Identify Efficiencies

Freight brokers are engrained and privy to the ever-changing rates and trends, and are experienced in meeting specific needs of shippers in a variety of industries. In addition to capacity rates, they have insight the transportation process, costs, and seasonal trends to best identify efficiencies such as the best avenue to ship, as well as cost-saving opportunities for shippers.6

Expertise in Regulations to Ensure Compliance

Ensuring electronic logging device (ELD) compliance and other regulations, brokers help provide experienced, reliable carriers that meet regulations set by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). By regularly auditing their carriers’ performance and credentials to receive information including insurance coverage, customer satisfaction, and safety ratings, freight brokers can ensure shippers are compliant and can better guarantee a seamless transportation process.7

Working with a freight broker offers a network of reliable carriers, which helps ensure capacity at a moment’s notice, even during the current capacity crunch. Additionally, freight brokers have a deep understanding of the current market and industry regulations so they can make the process of moving freight as efficient and seamless as possible.