As Major League Baseball’s opening day is upon us, it can be a helpful analogy to our careers in freight. While MLB can say the run-up to opening day happened in Spring Training, it really happened on all those Little League fields and open lots.

It’s no different for Freight Agents and Brokers. It all began as we considered our careers, developed our expertise and education, and built the necessary experience to be successful. We networked, formed relationships, and took swings that resulted in a few hits and multiple misses.

The MLB regular season is long and challenging, with 162 games. It’s a grind. Success for a hitter is primarily measured in hits and home runs. A hitter achieving a .300 batting average over their career is considered excellent. In fact, only 117 players have achieved this feat in their career since 1920. The last hitter to achieve a .400 average in a season was Ted Williams in 1921. In translation, the player regarded as the greatest hitter in history failed nearly 60% of the time at the plate.

So, how does that compare to a typical Freight Agent? It’s a surprisingly apt comparison.

Baseball and Transportation: Competitive Challenges

Any aspiring baseball player must be infused with ambition and instilled with a highly competitive nature. From their first swing at a baseball on a vacant lot somewhere, they know exactly what they want to do — hit the ball.

Of course, they may only successfully hit the ball every once in a while. But the vision is there, and their will to make it happen exceeds the memory of all their failures. Plus, they know that many aspects of their game, from hitting to running and throwing to catching, can be improved with some sound coaching. They then eagerly seek out that coaching, all so that they can improve.

At some point, they also realize they are not the only player on the field. Of course, there’s the competition, both in the game and the competition for their position on the team. But there’s also the rest of the players on the team. From that early glimmer of understanding, they work hard to find the best team and to earn their place on that team.

There are many parallels in the transportation industry. The first time you make a sale and deliver the load, you want that feeling and success to continue. Plus, you realize there’s much more to learn about selling and shipping freight. That is also when you realize that you need to join the best team in the shipping world to grow and develop.

Baseball and Transportation: Grinding It Out

As you know, baseball is a slow, grinding experience built on failure. It’s a game where failing 70% of the time as a hitter over a lifetime puts you on an elite level, often in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Not only that, but you must stick it out for the full nine innings, or more, often in the summer heat. You must also outlast the ups and downs of a grueling 162-game regular season.

This is not far from the experience of starting out as an Agent and growing your business. All too often, you’ll get a ‘no’ response at a far greater rate than a ‘yes.’ But, as with the baseball greats, you continue to step up to the plate and take your swings because there are few better feelings than hitting it out of the park and rounding the bases.

Plus, the law of averages is in your favor. The average batting avg. in MLB hovers around .250 in a given season. This means that 1 out of every 4 at-bats leads to a hit. Realistically, not every hit converts to a score, but 100% of swings NOT taken never convert and ultimately lead to a very short career.

Baseball and Transportation: Continuous Improvement

Baseball has all manner of coaches, all positioned to help players find the keys to improving every aspect of their game. They also work on uniting the players into a cohesive whole that wins games.

Just like in baseball, as a Freight Agent, you must constantly seek ways to improve your performance, or you’ll be left behind or moved further down your Shipper’s lineup. That’s the reason behind our D&L Transport blog. Every month, we bring you new ideas and thoughts on how to improve your operations.

Over the past few months, we’ve written on team building, working from home, prospecting new customers, managing conflict, growing your Freight Agency, customer check calls, and a two-part series on negotiation.

Not only that, but we’ve pulled together an extensive video library of interviews with successful freight agents who are living a BETTERLIFE™ with D&L. Our two seasons of interviews highlight how Agents just like you have grown their businesses.

We encourage you to spend time with these resources, even if you are already an expert, to refresh your understanding or to find nuances you may need to look into along the way. This is a great way to gain insight into the potential next steps for your Agency.

Baseball and Transportation: Find the Right Team

One big difference between an MLB player and a Freight Agent is that there is no lucrative contract that pays you no matter what. You have to put in the reps to build your book of business and find success. That’s why you need a partner in freight. A team that effectively supports you with an unmatched back office that removes obstacles blocking your productivity. The more time you have to swing the bat, the greater your chances are of getting hits and ultimately converting these hits to runs and wins.

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.