Friday, October 28, 2016

"Real Life Experience"

We had another great group of freight broker/agent students.  Our graduates agreed that our expert instructor, Susie Moore, did an outstanding job of delivering valuable and informative training. These graduates are now prepared and excited to start their new careers! Read through their entire testimonials:

"I really enjoyed the course!! The instructor was awesome! Real life experience, personality, and very knowledgeable. I found the course very informative. It provided me with all the tools to start my broker business. I would highly recommend this course to anyone that would like to join the freight broker business. P.S. The course is worth the money I have paid."
Wafaa Laroui

"I had an excellent experience! Susie Moore is an excellent instructor. Her knowledge and background (in this line of experience) makes the training incredibly informative and well worth my time and money! I am leaving this class informed, prepared and excited!" 
Prabhdeep K. Chahal

Are you interested in a career that’s fast-paced, fulfilling, and has great earnings potential? 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 

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