As well as the efficiency gains mentioned above, there are a number of other advantages to using a freight broker.
Expertise Despite steps to try and simplify things using technology, international shipping is still complicated. Rates change daily, knowing which providers to even talk to in the first place isn’t clear. A freight broker is dealing with these challenges daily and has a deep insight into the market.
Network A brokers key strength is in their network of providers. This offers advantages over an in house shipping department, as buying power can be leveraged to provide volume discounts, as well as access to capacity that might not be available to an in house team.
Independent This is one of the key advantages of choosing a true freight broker over a freight forwarder. A broker does not claim to offer or run their own services, they are simply representing your interested to choose and negotiate the best transport option on your behalf. Freight forwarders are usually tied into their own network and services, so do not have the freedom to utilise the best options all of the time.
Technology is already starting to play a more significant role in logistics and freight management. At some stage i’m sure one of the new tech entrants or someone like Amazon will have much more of an influence than they have now on traditional freight forwarding and freight brokerage.
But until then and even when that day comes I believe a freight brokerage type service, with a human touch and the right model can add enormous value to most shippers without any cost or risk to their business.