Friday, October 14, 2016

Freight Industry Info

Truckload freight availability climbed 12 percent last month, compared to September 2015, as the number of loads on the spot market surpassed same-month levels from the previous year for the second consecutive month. In August, the spot market enjoyed the first year-over-year increase since December 2014, according to the DAT North American Freight Index.

Dry van and refrigerated ("reefer") van freight increased by 33 percent and 27 percent, respectively, but flatbed freight volume slipped 13 percent compared to September 2015. Flatbed volume has declined on a year-over-year basis for the past 15 months, due to a downturn in economic sectors, such as oil and gas, that produce flatbed freight.
Month-over-month, spot market freight volume edged up 0.6 percent to the second-highest level this year. This is an atypical seasonal pattern; September volume declined month over month in eight of the previous ten years. A 2.7 percent increase in van freight volume was responsible for the month-over-month growth, as reefer volume dipped 1.1 percent, and flatbeds lost 1.9 percent in September, compared to August.
Van Rates Rise from August to September
The increase in van freight volume boosted spot market rates by 1.4 percent, and reefer rates added 0.6 percent, month over month. September flatbed rates declined 1.2 percent compared to August, however, in a common seasonal pattern.
On a year-over-year basis, the average line haul rate fell 6.0 percent for vans,  4.5 percent for reefers, and 7.8 percent for flatbeds, compared to September 2015. The average fuel surcharge, a component of the total rate paid to carriers, fell 9.1 percent year over year, deepening the decline in carriers' total revenue per mile. The surcharge is pegged to the retail price of diesel fuel.
Established in 1978, DAT operates a network of load boards serving intermediaries and carriers across North America. For more than a decade DAT has published its Freight Index, which is representative of the dynamic spot market. 
Reference rates are the averages, by equipment type, based on $28 billion of actual transactions between freight brokers and carriers, as recorded in DAT RateView. Rates are cited for line haul only, except where noted. Beginning in January 2015, the DAT Freight Index was rebased so that 100 on the Index represents the average monthly volume in the year 2000. Additional trends and analysis are available at DAT Trendlines.
About DAT Solutions
DAT operates the largest spot freight marketplace in North America. Transportation brokers, carriers, news organizations and industry analysts rely on DAT for market trends and data insights derived from 100 million annual freight matches and a database of $28 billion of market transactions. Related services include a comprehensive directory of companies with business history, credit, safety, insurance and company reviews; broker transportation management software; authority, fuel tax, mileage, vehicle licensing, and registration services; and carrier onboarding.
Founded in 1978, DAT Solutions, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roper Technologies (NYSE: ROP), a diversified technology company and constituent of the S&P 500, Fortune 1000 and Russell 1000 indices.

Good report from DAT I thought I'd share.  Want to learn to be a freight broker?  It is a good time.  Give me a call.  214-206-1169.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Should a Trucker Be a Freight Broker?

Microsoft bundles products that complement each other. Similarly, a trucking company and a brokerage are complementary products easily bundled.  But the timing must be right.

Only when a trucking company has more freight than capacity should they open a brokerage. If a trucking company wants loads for their trucks they could simply use the Gold Book of brokers to get loads or go find some shippers.

The brokerage has to be set up as a separate business all together with a broker MC number. (MC-B will be at the top of the authority to indicate you’re a broker not a carrier). You will have economies of scale, however, brokers and carriers have completely different regulations and laws and liabilities. One is ops driven and the other is sales driven.

You can go to the FMCSA web site and do everything on your own or work through a company that specializes in getting a broker all set up.  Look up “property broker”.  You will pay a fee and need to take out a bond.

When you’re ready to either open a brokerage or be an agent for a broker you should get training.

Tell your shippers that you also have a brokerage.  Explain that you have an asset based transportation company and a non-asset based company to better serve them. In the old days a broker was a dirty word for carriers,  to shippers, now, it is no big deal. All the big trucking companies have brokerages - they call them 3pl’s, brokers. The legal term is property brokers.

I have been fortunate to meet drivers who attend my career school for freight brokers and agents.  I can honestly say the driver does most the work and gets the least amount of respect. I want every carrier out there considering this business to know the truth.

A brokerage is a service business where you put the carriers' and shippers' needs together.  Plan on working hard every day all day for  3-6 months before you start making real money.  It is not magic.  It is a strategic business process. The process takes pressure off the employee. The Freight broker business is not a get rich quick deal. It requires you to continue to prospect for both shippers and carriers and requires a great attitude and a sense of urgency.

Realize you will have your ups and downs. Focus on progress not perfection. Keep your fixed cost as low as possible and serve your shipper and carrier as an extension of their office. Keep doing that and you can build a real career that you can work anywhere you have Internet. Being a freight broker agent is just like being a Real Estate or Insurance agent with a different product.

If your cash flow is not working with your trucking company, then do not open a freight brokerage because it requires major cash flow. You have to pay the carrier first and on time and then bill the shipper. Turn around time on your money is at least 45 days.

If cash flow is an issue, then it makes more sense to be an agent for an established broker that has cash and the right infrastructure to help you get your business going..

Being a Freight Broker or Freight Broker agent is a great career. Our economy and the role of the broker are continually evolving. It is important to stay ahead of the curve. In this industry time is money. Again, do everything with a sense of urgency.  Have a plan. That is where the training comes in.

“The only thing worse than training your employees and they leave is not training them and they stay” ….Zig Ziglar.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Are You Listening?

I read that the average conversation in America is interrupted every 17 seconds.  Wow.  That means we listen for 17 seconds then think, it's our turn to talk. How many times a day does someone ask you are you listening?  or did you hear what I said?.  If you hear that often it is probably time to work on your listening skills.

Listening is one of the greatest gifts you can give to another person. By improving your listening skills, you will be a better friend, colleague, or supervisor. People will naturally gravitate towards you, and appreciate you. It is your responsibility to continuously work on improving your listening skills. It may take time and effort, but the rewards will be worth it.

As freight brokers, we can only provide what a customer needs after we truly understand what they need.  Understanding comes through listening intently.  After listening we need to verify that what we thought we heard is what they meant.  They get this at fast food restaurants.  They ask you what you want, then repeat what they thought they heard you say, then ask if there is anything else they can get you.

Our tendency is to half listen while we are thinking of what we will say next.  Or we stop listening when we assume we know the end their story.  We may choose to only pretend like we are listening because we are not interested in whatever they are talking about.

We have a lot of things competing for our listening in this major age of information overload.  I believe in trying to be interested in however is talking to me.  As we listen to others we gain some of their knowledge base.  And we gain respect from the speaker because of our courteous listening.

Today analyze your listening and purpose to improve.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Powerful Imagination

“ Let your imagination, the key to learning and memory, unleash that brain power and propel you along at ever-increasing speeds.”
~ Dominic O’Brien: World Memory Champion.

Do you feel like your imagination got lost somewhere along the way to becoming an adult?  I do sometimes.  My granddaughters are very imaginative in their play, their art and their creations.   When I need an imagination boost to unleash my brain power I spend sometime with children. 

In my childhood, I was definitely convinced that I had some major learning issues and so thought my path was limited. I had a “lazy eye” when I was a child so my school plunked me in special ed. My eye didn’t really affect my brain (well maybe) but the “professionals” must have thought it did thus the alternative learning group for me. I overcame, graduated college with help and continue to learn and teach others. Even still I need to be reminded of the incredible potential God put in my little brain. The brain is powerful.

Our brains are unique, so my learning interests may vary from yours but we all have a world of new lessons to learn.

I am challenged by all there is to learn in the virtual world as well as the real world. I love that so many books are available on tape so I can challenge my brain even while driving. I talked with a bank auditor friend who is learning a new language…for fun. I asked what language. She said Mandarin. I thought that was a fruit. Anyway, she chose a language that doesn’t even have the same characters as English – you go girl.

What new can you learn today? Who else can you take along with you on a new learning adventure?

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Best Experience

We had another great group of freight broker/agent students.  Our graduates thought the class was the best experience, had very knowledgeable instructors, and was very informative.  Read through their entire testimonials:

I had the best experience with Brooke Training ever.  The instructors are knowledgeable and practical. These were the best 5 days of my career history; I would recommend
everyone to Brooke.                       - Sam M

I loved the class. I learned alot and really got a full understanding of the materials. (The) instructors were very knowledgeable and took time to answer every question.
                                                        - Joshua W.

Brooke Training was very educational for me, providing the most informative measures of teaching for learning.  The staff was well educated within the field of brokering and eager to pass on the knowledge to us as students.
                                                       - Gwenlyn C.

Very informative. Instructors were great, and enjoyed the entire experience. Thanks!          - Rogel R.

This class was very informational....Looking forward toward future business.                           - Gus G.
Are you interested in a career where the sky is the limit?  Join us at one of our upcoming live classes or take our course online anytime.  Have any questions about what it is really like to be a freight broker or freight broker agent?  Give me a call 214-206-1169
Moving forward,

 Jeff Roach, president

Monday, September 12, 2016

Dream BIG

"Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings." – Unknown

Are you conjuring up some big dreams?  Have you ever dreamed of having a career that is fast paced, fulfilling and has great earning potential?  You may say, well who hasn’t?  We all hope to find a career or build up a career that gives us satisfaction and does more that just pays the bills.  I started working in the transportation industry after I completed my college degree.  I have worked in just about every sector of the industry for many different transportation companies.  I found my life work in the industry as a freight broker.  I enjoy bantering with truckers as much as I enjoy fishing with shippers so being a freight broker came very naturally to me.  I developed relationships with professionals on both sides of the aisle. 

After decades as a freight broker I had a new dream.  I had a dream to build a freight broker training school to teach others the process that helped me succeed.  I wanted to teach brokers to work with integrity and determination.  I know that those two elements will get a broker far in this industry.   I have had to clean up the mess left behind by shady broker deals.  That motivated me to teach new brokers to be successful and honest. 

After teaching our live training class for a while I had another dream.  I wanted to expand that training by developing an online course.  Now anyone can take the course in their pajamas with a laptop.  

All along the way I’ve had various dreams with my wife, with my daughters and with my clients.  I have found much fulfillment in my life by following by dreams and letting some dreams go.  But without a dream I wouldn’t move forward.

Freight Brokering is not a get rich quick proposition.  It is a true career that has practically unlimited potential for earning.  Landing the first client can be tough but once you get the first load successfully delivered, the road gets easier.  Successful brokers build a book of business and faithfully service those clients.  A well-served client becomes a repeat client and helps establish the credibility and reliability of the broker.  Why not make that your dream?

Call me and tell me about your dream.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Cash Calls

Wouldn’t it be great if we got paid for every prospect call made.  So you make a call to a potential client, they say they don’t need your services but at the end of the call your phone spits out a $10.00 bill.  That would certainly motivate me to stay on the phone making calls.  Well of course, you don’t actually get cash for all the calls you make, but every call is one step closer to finding a new customer, a source of potential income.

I recommend making 50 calls a day the goal for all new brokers.  You will be successful as a freight broker if you make 50 calls a day…to good prospects…with the right attitude. 

Before you make a call prepare your mind.  I believe if I am engaging and interested in the person on the other end of the line, my phone call is a success, a cash call.  What kind of phone calls do you like to get and what kind you dread?  Make your call a good one.  Are you pleasant?  Are you funny?  Are you encouraging?  Are you a problem solver?  Do you put the other persons needs in front of your own?

Look at each phone call as a chance to get to know someone’s story, or at least a piece of the story.  Be considerate of their time while learning a bit about their needs.  Tell them how you think you could be of value to them when they have a load they need covered.  Tell them of your success stories in humility.   Keep notes on your call so when you call them again you remember what you learned and address that need. 

I think our world is short of good listeners.  Everyone is just waiting for their turn to talk.  Be a good, attentive listener.  Have good genuine questions ready to keep your prospect talking.  Try different approaches to keep your phone calling fresh.  And notice which approaches get good results and which ones fall flat. 

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach