In the second part of our riveting series we will discuss pricing and billing questions to ask a new prospective freight broker.
- Quotes (Pricing)
The old adage you get what you pay for sometimes holds true. Cheaper is not always better-even though many people treat carriers and brokers like a commodity. Regardless, be sure to get any quote in writing. This includes assessorial charges. International shipments may also be subject to additional taxes or duties. Make sure you understand the full cost of transporting your goods to its final destination.
- Perform a credit check
If a freight broker does not pay its carriers, you can be on the hook for charges to the carriers if the carriers do not get paid. It does not matter if you have paid the broker. You should probably read the previous two sentence a few times. I will write about this in detail in a future post.
If a broker is having financial problems, run as fast as possible. A good credit check can be completed asking for a Dun& Bradstreet report in addition to checking to see if there are any liens against their bond. Another option is to check for judgments.
- How is their billing?
This may seem benign, but it is important to ask. Do they provide a proof of delivery (POD)? Does the bill show up timely and provide enough detail? Are the weights accurate? We have seen issues with brokers and carriers who “fudge” the weights to make a little more. Also, if you are billing your customer for transportation, the last thing you want is to have supplemental invoices a few weeks later for accessorial charges or re-weighs.