Case for Transparency

We asked logistics executives questions about how they perceive their relationships with their partnered brokers, intermediaries and 3PL’s. We share them here. Have you ever asked similar questions or had similar concerns? Then we interviewed carriers and asked them about their relationships with their partnered brokers. As you can see as you read through them, a case for transparency and ethics becomes apparent.


I wonder what percentage of my brokerage dollar spend is going to the carriers that haul my freight?
The truth is some of the largest most powerful publicly held corporate transportation brokers operating today are posting profit margins on brokerage activities of over 20%. This means that less than 80% of the spend by these shippers is going to the carriers that haul their freight.

I paid a premium for that last load because I wanted everything just right for our new customer. I wonder if that premium was passed proportionally to the carrier.
The fact is that most brokers are paid on a commission and when given the opportunity to source a “fat load” they will still bid the load down at the carrier level and most likely pocket the premium for themselves.

I paid extra for team service in order to expedite the load. The load did arrive on time but the customer said only one driver was in the truck.
Most brokers we talked to said they would always accept the premium on a load like this and simply give the driver a small bonus to hustle the load faster and fudge their log books. Most carriers we talked to said they would fudge a log book in order to deliver a load faster for a bonus or to get to an attractive good paying load.

I’m paying my brokers in ten days and I often wonder if he is paying the carriers of my freight that fast?
Many brokers, in this tough economic climate, are having a hard time adapting to decreasing load count and smaller margins. It’s very possible that weaker brokers are taking your checks and paying salaries and rents before the carrier. Robbing from Peter to pay Paul is becoming all too common.

My company doesn’t want the most expensive “A” carriers on our loads nor the cheapest “D” carriers. I’m paying good rates, but we wonder if we are getting “D” carriers sometimes.
The unfortunate facts are brokers are looking to maximize their profits through their operations. Large publicly held brokers are mandated by LAW to maximize their profits. You bet they are buying the cheapest truck they can find, and reselling that truck for as high a premium as they can get.

My broker couldn’t cover my last load without deadheading a truck into town. I wonder if he just needed more money on the load but didn’t want to ask.

The broker told me that his cheap truck broke down on the way to the pickup and in order to protect service he would need extra money to source a different carrier for the load. I gave him the extra money, but I wondered if he even had a truck on the load to begin with?

Carriers Asked:

I’m getting less and less money for the work I do. Are shippers really demanding such low rates?

My broker pays me in 30-45 days. I wonder when he got his money?

I’m working hard to outperform at ABC manufacturing because I need their freight and like how the product stacks and deliveries are clean and fast. I give great service but I’m not getting any additional lanes from the broker. I wish the shipper really knew how good we were so I could expand my business.

Every time I get load confirmations from my broker I don’t get all of the information I need. No phone numbers for setting appointments, no pickup numbers etc. I wish I could just get the same information that the broker gets, then I could do my job a lot easier.