11 Things Brokers Are Doing to Improve Relationships with Carriers


One thing we keep hearing from brokers, is the need to make quality carriers stickier and improve relationships with these carriers. In a sea of brokerages, how can brokers and 3PLs stand out?

The answers might surprise you. Check out our list below to learn ways to build trust and stickiness between your brokerage and the quality carriers you need.

We gathered 11 tips from freight industry experts.

Let’s go!

  1. Reduce the Friction.

    Reducing friction of the supply chain by providing adequate information upfront, followed by giving immediate responses, goes a long way. This plays into “communication” which we’ll touch on again in a bit.


  2. Dare to be Different.

    Determine what differentiated value you offer. What makes YOU different from other brokers/3PL?

  • Do you offer better freight?
  • Do you offer more money per mile?
  • Do you offer the benefit of newer technology?
  • Do you offer QuickPay?

    These are things carriers are asking. And they’re determining factors that keep quality carriers around. So, what makes YOU different?


  1. Keep Loads Consistent.

    Deliveries take some drivers far from home. This can mean a good paycheck, but it isn’t quite as sweet when drivers have to “dead-head” it on the ride back home. Want to make a lasting impression…?

    Make sure you have a load for their journey home. It’s one of the quickest ways to build a lasting relationship and create stickiness between you and quality carriers/drivers. A broker who considers drivers’ time and distance won’t soon be forgotten.


  2. Be Fair with Rates.

    When brokers offer fair rates, they’re treated fairly in return. Think of it like this…would you turn down $1500 to make $500? Of course you wouldn’t! Giving select carriers a little more for a load will keep them coming back to you for future hauls. That’s potentially more money in your pocket.

    Sometimes offering a more generous rate at the right times creates a long-lasting relationship that will make you more money in the long run. So, know when to remain firm on price, and when to be a little more flexible too.


  3. Pay Carriers Faster.

    It takes some brokers 10 to 20 days to receive paperwork from carriers. Plus, depending on the broker it can take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks for that paperwork to get approved… Then, it can be an additional 30 days on top of that before the carrier is finally paid. So, in some cases, we’re talking about 2 months of wait time to get money for a delivery. One solution to this is encouraging and promoting digital scanning.

    Many brokers are already cutting down payment times after delivery to as little as 24-48 hours. You can read more on this here.


  4. Approve Paperwork Faster.

    Of course things can get backed up and not every broker can have a turnaround of 72 hours. By utilizing new technology to automate your back office, you can free up man hours to focus more time on improving your relationships with your carriers. Getting paperwork approved as soon as possible means carriers get paid as soon as possible, and this makes you a broker of choice in carriers’ eyes. For more on back office automation, check this out.


  5. Make it Super Easy.

    Carriers and drivers want simple and easy (I mean, who doesn’t, right?). Lengthy complicated processes are still abundant in the freight industry for simple things like assigning loads and scanning paperwork. By using automation and modern technology, brokers can simplify not only their back-office tasks, but the entire supply chain.

    The latest freight broker software, called Velocity+, matched with the Transflo Mobile+ app, offer the ideal automation solution providing: instant load tendering, unmatched freight visibility, digital document scanning, and back-office automation. Isn’t time you made doing business easier and became a modern freight broker with more money in your pocket and man-hours to repurpose?


  6. Communication. Communication.

    We’ve all heard it time and time again, “communication is key” whether in regards to our relationships with our employers, clients, spouses, and everyone else in between. Drivers and dispatchers are no different. The bottom line is…everyone wants clear communication – and nobody wants to be left in the dark.

    The important thing to acknowledge today is that communication is no longer just picking up the phone…it’s offering visibility and information with modern tech. In today’s world you can communicate clearly and concisely without speaking or typing to someone. That’s the power of automation. And when done right it will up your communication game tenfold.


  7. Ask and Listen.

    Take a little extra time with carriers the first time you work with them. Set the foundation of the relationship for months and years to come by asking simple questions like:

  • What routes do you prefer?
  • What types of loads can your truck/s haul?
  • What’s been your experience with other brokers you’ve recently worked with?

    Also, following up with carriers after a load is delivered makes you stand out as a broker who promptly addresses issues so that future deliveries go smoother.


  1. Say “Thank You” and “I’m Sorry.”

    It’s amazing how far these two simple phrases can go when doing business. Anyone in any position wants to feel respected and appreciated so if something goes well with a carrier, send out a “thanks!” If paperwork processing or payment is taking a little longer than expected on your end, offer a simple apology and explanation. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.


  2. You Tell Us.

    What is something YOU’VE done or are currently doing to improve relationships with your carriers? Share your tip HERE and we’ll send you some sweet Transflo swag.


Now, some of you may be wondering how to achieve some of the above tips without hiring additional help or working overtime. Some brokers don’t have a way to easily make time for additional tasks like following up with carriers, listening to their preferences, or getting paperwork approved sooner…but here at Transflo we have the solution for you. It’s called Velocity+.

Velocity+ automates your back office and implements modern technology that creates unmatchable visibility between your carriers and shippers. Tasks normally performed by an employee are now done by the Velocity+ software, freeing them up to work on other projects.

We’ve aimed to streamline the entire supply chain and put time and money back in everyone’s pockets: brokers/3PLs, carriers, drivers, and shippers.

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