Josh Christie is the VP of Marketing & Recruiting at D&L Transport
Any time is a great time to consider transitioning to the best Family in Freight – D&L Transport. Yet, as with many things in business and life, there are critical times when moving to a new Freight Broker makes even more sense.
A big part of that timing is what’s happening in the broader market. We all realize that the freight market is cyclical, with many underlying causes, from fuel costs to the overall business climate to seasonal challenges, not to mention inflation and even a pandemic thrown into the mix. So what are the current conditions, and why is it a great time to transition to a new Freight Broker?
Freight Market Economic Trends
FreightWaves, the global freight market price reporting agency, has warned since June 2022 of drastically dropping import demand. Their warnings have played out, with November 2022 showing a decline of 25% in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). This import decline hits everyone as that freight comes off ships and moves in the broader freight network.
Further, the general economic trends into 2023 suggest a coming recession. Inflation remains high, and interest rates continue to climb. For the freight market, diesel prices rose 42% in the first 11 months of 2022, dry van spot rates dropped 30% since January 2022, and contract rates dropped roughly 5% since their peak in April 2022.
At this same time, the production of new trucks hit 60,000 in 2022, up from 24,300 in 2021. Putting it all together shows that demand is dropping while capacity is increasing. All this means that shipping margins are being squeezed from every direction.
Challenges = Opportunity
Those few numbers can be a bit discouraging. But Freight Brokers are in a great position first to guide their customers to the right shipping solutions and second to generate larger profit margins. That happens when the gap between spot rates and contract rates allows larger profit margins, which is precisely what’s happening now. Plus, Freight Agents should be in a superb position as shippers came to rely on them during the pandemic to provide cost-effective shipping services when few others were available.
Problems surface if your current Freight Broker isn’t supporting your efforts to take advantage of these challenges. The reasons behind this limited support could be among the recession factors outlined above, plus these examples:
- Reduction in Resources for Agent Support — If the Freight Broker is cutting staff, they cannot provide the timely support you need to meet customer demands.
- Restrictions on Customer Credit — If the Freight Broker is already challenged financially, they won’t be able to extend credit when your customers need it.
- Strained Carrier Relationships — If the Freight Broker can’t meet pay schedules due to financial constraints, the carriers will not be happy.
All three of these issues strain every aspect of your key relationships, whether that’s customers or carriers. You don’t need anything holding you back at this critical time.
Find a Freight Broker That Meets Your Needs
If all or even a part of this is happening to you, it may be time to find a Freight Broker that better meets your needs. We’ve written extensively about this in our articles What to Look for in a Freight Agency Program and Does Your Freight Agent Program Meet Your Current Needs?
We boil it down to six key factors:
- Support — Eliminate the drudgery of paperwork by moving it to experts.
- Technology — Use the best software tools possible to streamline your work.
- Commission — Maximize your earnings without jeopardizing a steady, reliable income.
- Strength — Strong financial ratings, stable organization, focus on growth while managing risk.
- Culture — Are they honest and transparent? Are they fun to work with? Do they do what they say?
- Benefits — Options for healthcare, dental care, and more to save money and protect your family.
Within that mix, there are critical keys to examine closely to see how your current Freight Broker rates against the best in the business.
Freight Agent Support
D&L Transport has no other business interests than supporting successful Freight Agents. To accomplish that mission, we provide the following: 24/7 support, a response in 60 seconds, a dedicated team responsible for resolving all claims disputes, the Freight Agent is NOT responsible for bad debt, and dedicated Support Teams for Back Office, Claims Disputes, LTL shipments, and Carrier onboarding and compliance.
We work hard to find a “yes” answer to every challenge. However, regarding our business relationships with Freight Agents, we say “no” to long-term contracts, non-compete and non-solicit clauses, red tape, games, and gimmicks.
Investment in Technology
Logistics technology is constantly evolving with every innovation and challenge. While Agents should never be operating at the ‘bleeding edge,’ there’s every expectation that they should be at the ‘leading edge’ to meet client requirements. D&L Transport deploys the best technology to meet client and Agent needs. That all starts with Agent Input in the development, constant dialogue with our Agents, backed up by quick training and lightning response support.
Freight Agent Commissions
Market-level compensation is essential for any Freight Agency program. That touches on the commission level, structure, payment timing, and the written contract. It must also consider fees and charges for load boards and TMS subscriptions. D&L Transport pays 70% Commission on all FTL and LTL. Plus, commissions are paid weekly at the time of invoice.
Financial Strength to Support Your Business
Many Freight Brokers lack the financial strength needed to help you succeed. They need a top credit rating, solid payment history with carriers, long-term history and reputation, and the capital required to boost your business. D&L ranks at the top in all these areas: top 1% credit rating, long-term history, stellar reputation, and instant customer credit.
Culture + Incentives + Benefits
Many Freight Agent programs don’t offer benefits; you’re on your own. Several offer attractive incentive programs — if you qualify. D&L Transport has everything built to support a growing and successful Freight Agency. That includes the D&L President’s Club, a viable vacation plan, and an option to participate in a group health offering. Plus, our culture is based on dealing with everyone openly and honestly, having fun, and doing what we say we’ll do every time.
Experts in Making Transition Painless
D&L Transport is selective when bringing on new Freight Agents. But that doesn’t mean we take that transition lightly or ill-advisedly. Instead, we bring all hands-on-deck to make the transition as effective as possible and seamless for the Freight Agent’s customers. We have new agents up and running in 24 hours. We conduct an immediate review of existing customer contracts and credit requirements. Plus, we provide quick training and access to TMS and load boards. We discuss our 5 Steps to Transition in a recent video.
Ready to Move Your Freight Agency?
We hope that’s been enough insight to help you take the next steps toward moving your Freight Agency to D&L Transport.
For further insight into our Freight Agent program, check out our BETTERLIFE™ with D&L video series. We talk to our Agents and select subject matter experts to help you navigate the challenging world of the Freight Agent.
Of course, we feel that our Freight Agency program is the best in the business. To see for yourself, look at our Agent Opportunities page. You can also hear directly from our successful Agents. Then, get in touch, and we can get started.
Call toll-free: 866.559.0203. Or complete the form at D&L Agent Requirements.
D&L Transport. Your Family in Freight.