Five Important Reasons You Should be Using a Freight Broker

April 11, 2017 at 11:11 AMJerry Spelic

It is a very common question for shippers: "Should I use a freight broker?" Before we list five important reasons why you should use a freight broker, we answer the question, “What is a freight broker?” A broker arranges freight shipping between a carrier and a shipper. In exchange, the broker receives a small commission for facilitating the transaction. That’s how freight brokers make money.

So, why use a freight broker? Efficiency. A freight broker adds value and flexibility to your supply chain and that becomes your competitive advantage. Focusing all of your energy on what you do best gives you an edge and helps you stay competitive.  Unless what you do best is shipping, you should consider using a freight broker to manage your shipping and logistics functions.

Big companies got big because they focused on what they did best. In fact, 85% of Fortune 500 companies use third-party logistics providers like freight brokers. That’s not a coincidence; it’s a cause-and-effect relationship. Every dollar saved on shipping goes right to the bottom line.

Consider these five important advantages of using a freight broker:

Save time, save resources, save money. With a freight broker as a strategic partner, you have the benefit of your own dedicated shipping department without the expense your own dedicated shipping department. You also don’t need to spend time on invoices, audits and training, Using a freight broker lets you focus on your business.

We could end the list right here. But wait, there are more benefits of using a freight broker!

More flexibility, more scalability. A freight broker partner is able to provide you more, or less, capacity as your business goes through its natural cycles. So there’s no need to stress over seasonality, irregular spikes or sudden troughs in your business.

Shipping expertise. What freight brokers do best is shipping, and working with one allows you access to their knowledge of best practices and real-world experience. It also allows you to access the latest technology for shipping reporting and visibility into your logistics.

It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. Freight broker partners have expansive carrier networks that provide many advantages over an in-house shipping department. They have buying power and can provide volume discounts, lowering your shipping expenses. They also can provide access to capacity that otherwise would be unavailable, or very costly, to an internal shipping department.

It’s a partnership. Your freight broker works for you and will put your interests first, because when you succeed, they succeed and when your business grows, so does theirs. That’s the definition of a partnership: benefits for both parties.

Need more convincing about the benefits of using a freight broker? Call PartnerShip at 800-599-2902 or contact us and see how we can help you ship smarter so you can stay competitive. You might also want to subscribe to our freight broker blog, The PartnerShip Connection, to learn more about how to use freight brokers. Just type your email address in the box in the upper right part of this page and hit "subscribe!"

Did You Know These Everyday Phrases Originated from Trucker Slang?

April 4, 2017 at 12:42 PMJerry Spelic

We depend on truckers to keep our freight and economy moving. Over time, they have developed a language all their own. Did you know that many words and phrases you use every day originated as trucker slang? Transportation is so important and vital to the US economy that we thought we’d put together a blog post about trucker slang and lingo.

First, a short history lesson. In 1958, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) allocated a new block of frequencies for a citizens band (CB) service. During the 1960s, it became popular among small businesses that were frequently on the road, like electricians, plumbers, carpenters and truck drivers. As CB radios became smaller and less expensive, CB radio usage exploded and a CB slang language evolved.

Some common, everyday phrases that started as trucker slang include calling your spouse your “better half.” Or watching the “idiot box.” If you still have a home phone, you probably call it a “landline.” So did truckers, decades ago! Ever meet someone for a “barley pop?” Or shop at “Wally World?” Yes, these slang words for beer and Walmart owe their creation to truckers.

Truckers have also created some great nicknames for American cities. Los Angeles is commonly known as “Shaky Town.” In fact, most city slang names refer to what the city is known for. Like “Beer Town” (Milwaukee), “Guitar” (Nashville), “Derby” (Louisville), and “Gateway” (St. Louis). Others are just fun to say, like “Choo-choo” (Chattanooga), “The Big D” (Dallas) and “The Nickel” (Buffalo).

During the 1970s oil crisis, the U.S. government imposed a 55 mph speed limit, and fuel shortages and rationing were common. CB radios were crucial for truckers to locate service stations with fuel and to warn of speed traps. Truckers paid by the mile were negatively impacted by driving slow so lots of slang was created to alert other truckers of law enforcement. If you’ve seen Smokey and the Bandit, you know an officer of the law is a “bear.” But did you know that a rookie cop is a “baby bear,” a police helicopter is a “bear in the air,” or that a speed trap is known as a “bear trap?” A sheriff is known as a “county mounty” and “city kitties” are the local police.

Finally, you’ve probably used “10-4” to acknowledge that you heard or understood something that someone said. Same with “what’s your 20?” which is short for 10-20, meaning location. These everyday terms originated from CB radio slang.

Next time you have a load you need to keep between the ditches, whether it is "Badger Bound" or headed to "Mile High," contact PartnerShip. You can reach us at 800-599-2902 or get a quote now! Until then, keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down.

Eco-Friendly Shipping is Possible with a SmartWay Partner

March 20, 2017 at 2:30 PMJerry Spelic

If you are concerned with the environmental impact throughout your freight shipping supply chain, there are options for eco-friendly shipping.  

The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the freight industry and is designed to improve and streamline shipping operations so they use less fuel and generate less pollution.