If you haven’t worked with a broker before, doing so can be extremely rewarding. When it comes to owner-operator trucking, the relationships you form with brokers can make all the difference. The following best practices will help you get the most out of working with brokers.
Get off to the right start by choosing a broker you feel comfortable with. Talk to other owner-operators to see which brokers they prefer and why. Working with a broker that allows you independence yet also offers support can be an ideal situation.
Set Clear Goals
Brokers prefer to work with decisive truckers. Having a set goal makes it much easier to decide which loads you’re going to take. For instance, is your goal to earn as much as possible on a single load or is it more important to reposition your truck for the next load? Depending on the answer, you may want to discuss options with your broker.
Know Your Market and Lanes
Educating yourself about loads, the demand and availability of trucks, current rates at both the origin and destination of the load, as well as about the lanes will put you in a much better position to reach a win-win deal with your broker. There are plenty of rate tools and maps as well as industry publications that can help keep you up to date.
Know Your Freight
It’s important to know more than simply what your load “weighs and pays.” Finding out details about the load will let you know how long you can expect to be at the dock, whether or not you’ll need to help unload or whether or not weather will be an issue. Having this information will help avoid unpleasant surprises.
Following these tips plus keeping an open line of communication will help you form mutually beneficial relationships with your brokers.