How Do Freight Brokers Find Loads? What Ways Do They Use?

How do freight brokers find loads? This is considered a burning question in the transportation and logistics industry. In an industry as volatile as trucking, it is imperative to find lucrative loads that can help freight brokers make more profit margins. 

In case you did not know, freight brokers connect shippers with loads to carriers who will haul them. That’s how brokers make money—by connecting shippers with carriers. The more connections they build, the better profit margins they make. 

In fact, the transportation and logistics market is enormous. In 2022, the market size of the freight brokerage industry stood at $98.8 billion. Also, in 2023, the brokerage business is expected to close the year with a 6.6 percent growth. 

Undoubtedly, it is a highly competitive business, and it continues to grow with each passing moment. In an increasingly competitive industry with more than 17,000 licensed freight brokers vying for business in the US, it's crucial to have any advantage possible. Also, with several freight challenges, it becomes difficult for brokers to find high-quality loads. 

The ability to instantly find high-quality loads translates into greater profits. As a result, the only relevant question that pops into the mind is: how do freight brokers find loads? 

This article will answer the question, “How do freight brokers find loads?” by highlighting some effective ways for freight brokers to find loads. 

How Do Freight Brokers Find Loads? 

You may be surprised to know that the answer to the question “How do freight brokers find loads?” is not that complicated. There are several ways freight brokers can find loads—one is industry based whereas others are more old-fashioned marketing techniques. 

Below, we have mentioned some of the ways freight brokers can find loads. Let’s discuss them briefly. 

Actively Look for New Shippers 

How do freight brokers find loads?

Well, one of the most effective ways freight brokers can find loads is by actively looking for new shippers. To get started, they can seek help from industry sources such as the shippers list. These lists can be highly beneficial for brokers as they can help them find shipping, manufacturing, and distribution companies in closeby areas, cities, and states. 

Using a shippers list, brokers can filter shippers based on type and location, find out their contact details, and even obtain more information about their products. One of the advantages of using a shipper list is that brokers can sort their potential shippers according to their business needs. 

Freight brokers can find several shipper lists online to get started with. Some of the popular ones include MacRae’s Blue Book, USDA Business Listings, and The Industry Week 500. Apart from these, brokers can also find several other types of shipper lists online. 

Conduct Market Research

It is extremely vital for freight brokers to conduct market research since it enables them to gain insight into their customers and competitors. This allows brokers to comprehend the factors behind potential clients selecting one broker over another, as well as conduct a thorough analysis of their competitors to determine the positioning of their business.

Some of the most common and effective methods to carry out market research include surveys, observations, and meetings with prospects. Market research can provide brokers with several benefits. 

It can keep them ahead of other brokers and enable them to increase their load-hauling capacity within the same industry. This can help brokers establish themselves as industry experts by working with multiple clients in similar industries. 

On the other hand, if a particular market segment becomes oversaturated, market research may guide brokers to explore less competitive areas.

Ask for Referrals 

Using referrals to find more loads in the freight brokerage industry is highly effective when done correctly. Referrals are highly regarded in almost every business, and the same holds true for brokers. 

When brokers deliver exceptional service to a shipper, it's important that they reach out to them and proactively request referrals if they're seeking loads. 

The contacts at the shipper's company may have links with other firms, who may be more receptive to the broker's offerings if they receive positive feedback from within the industry, indicating that their services are highly valued.

Cold Calling 

Cold calling is a popular sales technique used to reach out to potential clients. To find shippers, you can utilize satellite maps, shipper lists, and search engines to obtain their contact information. 

Once you have identified a few shippers who may have suitable loads, it's time to reach out to them. Although the process can be challenging at first, if you remain dedicated and patient, cold calling can yield excellent results.

To achieve success with cold calling, you need to be able to handle rejection and reach out to a large number of shippers for better results. It's not uncommon for new freight brokerages to experience a higher rejection rate before securing their first contract successfully. 

Since cold calling is an unsolicited form of communication, it's essential to remain friendly and avoid being too pushy. If a lead is not interested, it's best to move on to another prospect.

Warm Calling 

Warm calling is the act of contacting potential clients by making reference to a shared connection or referral. This technique is preferred by companies because they have already established some level of trust with mutual connections, making it more effective than cold calling.

For freight brokers, warm calling involves reaching out to current or past clients for referrals or finding potential business opportunities that require their services. Additionally, they can contact their client's suppliers or customers to inquire if they have any loads that need to be moved.

Reach Out to Previous Customers

Your previous customers have the potential to become your clients again. To accomplish this, freight brokers must analyze what caused issues in their past business relationships and assure them that the situation has been resolved. 

Brokers may also encounter situations where their primary point of contact at the client's company has changed roles or the business has undergone a change in ownership, resulting in a need to re-evaluate their freight brokerages.

In these circumstances, it is critical to regularly reach out to them and demonstrate your sincere interest in providing your services once again. By using previous connections, brokers may be able to obtain a favorable recommendation at their new company, increasing their chances of winning a contract.

Create & Expand Your Network 

Establishing a robust network is a top-notch strategy for identifying new and quality loads for a brokerage. This method emphasizes creating long-term relationships with shippers, which is less tedious and generates considerable profits over time.

Furthermore, it presents your company as friendlier and less pushy while pitching to new clients. Freight brokerages can participate in industry-specific events to meet potential customers.

Attending trade shows and becoming members of freight associations are excellent ways to make connections with new shippers. While constructing a network within your field is crucial, it is equally vital to sustain and expand it frequently.

Final Thoughts on How to Get Loads as a Broker?

Freight brokers play a crucial role in the modern logistics industry by connecting key players and ensuring seamless operation. So how do freight brokers find loads? Or how to get loads as a broker? 

To source loads and shippers, brokers utilize both traditional and innovative methods to expand their clientele and provide a reliable flow of orders to organizations requiring delivery services. 

Implementing transportation management systems such as LoadStop can also enhance transportation efficiency and streamline efforts towards continuous, hassle-free delivery of loads to end consumers. 

LoadStop broker TMS is offering a robust brokerage and carrier platform, making your business more organized, profitable, and relevant to your customers

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Sara Naveed is a creative and digital content writer who uses her creative skills to develop and edit professional web content. Being a writer has always been her dream. She earnestly hopes people appreciate her writing—an asset she deeply covets. Using her 8+ years of working experience, she writes for trucking industry experts who are always looking for better technological solutions to their problems.

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