If you’ve made the smart decision to hire a transportation broker to help you complete your shipping project, you should be aware that not all brokers are created equal. Sometimes there can be huge gaps in the levels of service you receive if your broker is not well qualified. Fortunately, there are some common denominators among the nation’s best transportation brokers.
Licensed and bonded
First of all, they’re licensed and bonded. This is an extremely important qualification to look for in your broker. Some individual brokers, most notably those who work under the umbrella of a large firm, are not required to be licensed and bonded. However, all independently employed transportation brokers are required to obtain a license to operate from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the US Department of Transportation.
They must also file for insurance or a surety bond in the amount of $10,000. This surety bond is extremely important to you as the client because it represents the broker’s guarantee that should the principal (the party responsible for performing the service) fail to uphold its end of the contract, the broker can still pay you- the obligee (the party receiving the service from the principal). It is vitally important that you research your transportation broker to ensure that they are properly licensed and bonded, as this protects you in the event that one party defaults.
Level of experience
You should also consider your broker’s level of experience. Like any professional position, experience is an enormous asset to transportation brokers, and it comes in many forms. For example, your broker may have been involved in formal training, such as structured classes. These classes are offered in the form of online training, traditional classroom sessions, and even one-day-only seminars. Depending on your needs and personal beliefs, you may value one form of education over another.
Your broker might also have more practical knowledge about the transportation industry gained by actually working in it. Many current transportation brokers are former truck drivers who worked in the shipping industry for years before making the switch. Even if these brokers did not receive formal training, the real life industry experience they have could be just as valuable as what they could receive in a classroom.
So before deciding on a broker to help you secure shipping for your product, make sure that they are qualified. It is extremely important that you check on the status of their FMCSA license and surety bond, because, if something were to go wrong and your broker did not have the proper backing, you could be held responsible. Also, consider what type of experience you value the most. Is a formal education important to you, or do you believe real life experience is just as beneficial?
Whatever you value in a broker, chances are, you can find it in the Tenney Group.