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06Jan 2016

Trangistics Lifestyles

Joey Hougham, CEO at Trangistics, Inc.

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Introduction

There are many reasons people decide to become freight brokers.  One of the most cited reasons is because of the flexibility one can have.  You don’t necessarily have to be in an office at a certain time, you can serve your family and other interests by using technology that allows you to work from anywhere in the world.  As long as you have an internet connection, you are at least plugged in.  We all know as agents that the story likely starts there.  You need sales, negotiation and problem solving skills to make it work successfully.  This article showcases one of our own agents.  This is Kevin’s own story of his transformation from a high school teacher to freight agent/broker.

Decision Point

It was May of 2013 when I sat down with my wife Mindy to discuss our plan to move forward into the next year.  I was a high school teacher working in an uncertain environment with constant strain on budgets and it wasn’t clear from year to year whether I would have a job.  The stress of supporting our family of six under those circumstances was significant.  We already had some flexibility because Mindy was homeschooling our four young children.  What we really wanted was a career that would allow us to raise our children in an accommodating, loving environment.  I happened to know people from Trangistics and during some discussions the friends described the flexibility that a freight agent had.  It was intriguing and ultimately, the beginning of our new journey.

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18Dec 2015

Setting expectations for your customers is paramount to developing solid, long lasting relationships. If an agent is providing advice and it somehow protects the customer, value is created. Today we’re sharing a real life story which highlights the importance of setting expectations – read on and discover what can go wrong when you don’t set realistic expectations.

An agent of ours had a customer that purchased 23 fracking water tanks from an auction. There were about 500 tanks in the auction yard. Customer bought 23 tanks, sight unseen, or at least hidden conditions of tanks. These tanks had wheels on the back, so that they could be pulled behind semi.

It’s important to note that there was no security at the auction – tanks were sitting in open field. They were all numbered uniquely so that customers knew specifically which ones they purchased. There was also no organizer monitoring tanks being picked up from the field.

Street sanding trucks in a row ready for use.

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01Dec 2015

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Even good brokerages still get burned once in a while especially when a carrier doesn’t respect your desire to provide the best possible service for your customer. As a brokerage operating with high integrity, it’s not uncommon to relax once in a while when things are going well and assume that carriers you work with also operate with integrity. Recently, we were reminded <** palm smack to the forehead **> that not all carriers are straight up.

One of our agents contracted a power only carrier to move a container from TX to OR. We had used this carrier several times before without any issues. After the first day of transport, the customer asked us to have the truck re-routed to CA to deliver the equipment needed to work the recent raging fires in Northern California area. Of course we got the reaction from the carrier that we were expecting, that the driver was already close to Denver and would have to be rerouted, adding miles and more $… of course… we would do the right thing and take care of additional miles and costs associated with the market constraints getting a load out from the new destination. Continue reading

02Nov 2015

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Earlier this week the article below on the shortage of truck drivers was published on the Huffington Post Business division site, and it addressed a very serious issue for everyone.  How, you may ask?

Lack of truckers:

  • Product doesn’t move, shelves get empty, prices go up: consumers are unhappy.
  • Perishables don’t move in a timely manner and producers lose money, and once again prices go up: consumers are unhappy.
  • Haulers can hold brokers hostage for more money per load which leads to the end cost of the product rising – and again: consumers are unhappy.

We could go on and on, but what it really means to us as freight brokers and agents is that we are going to face a more difficult time in booking loads, which mean our margins are going to potentially shrink if we don’t dot our “i’s” and cross our “t’s” in our relationships with both our clients and our freight companies.

On the positive side (if there is one…) for the people for whom we are booking loads, they will have less opportunity to bid out loads for a lower price. This in turn will give them the opportunity to realize the value of having an agent that works with them to make sure their product gets out when it needs to and arrives in the proper condition when it is supposed to.

What are your thoughts on this subject?  Comments are appreciated.

Original Article

Why There’s A Shortage Of Truck Drivers In America

Written by Business Reporter, The Huffington Post

Pay going up is an attempt to compensate, but maybe not for long.

There is a shortage of truck drivers in the United States.

Unsurprisingly, that’s leading to a bidding war for qualified truckers among the big companies. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the need for 48,000 truckers in an industry of 800,000.

It’s not shocking that the country faces a trucker shortage: Days on the job are long, it’s hard to have a family, and drivers are required to be in a seat and watch the road for hours at a time. In addition to that, pay bumps couldn’t even keep up with inflation between 2000 and 2014.     Continue reading

20Aug 2015

In part one we covered the basic role of the freight broker and as an agent, the basics of what makes up the process, and what it takes to be an agent.  In this installment we’ll be talking about financing, operations, expenses, and income.

Financing

Or, Did you know that a broker is also a banker?

As shocking as this may be, it’s not unusual for a broker to need a credit line somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000 to pay carriers before being paid by shippers. If you don’t pay trucks in a timely manner they will not haul any freight for you, and obviously if you have nobody to haul your freight, you don’t have a business. As an agent, the most important thing you can do is to make sure the broker you are working with has a solid financial foundation, sufficient insurance, and proper licensing.

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31Jul 2015

yellow truck with kalmar(2)

So what is a freight broker exactly? Simply put, it’s an individual or a company that brings together a shipper that needs to transport goods with an authorized carrier that wants to provide said service.

The freight broker falls into the category of transportation intermediary, which is a company that is not a shipper, nor is it an asset-owning carrier, but plays a pivotal role in the movement of freight.  Transportation intermediaries leverage their knowledge, technology and people to help both shipper and carrier succeed.

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14Jul 2015

Great business results concept with a silver person mascot on a red profit arrow

Your performance doesn’t just impact your reputation, it also affects your revenue. Even the best brokers often make simple mistakes that can result in lost revenue and long-term damage to your image.

The irony is these mistakes are driven from the best intentions. Brokers are often uber-focused on larger and later stage deals—as they should be—but this unfortunately often leads to neglect either at the early stages of the sales cycle or on deals that are in mid-stream, impeding your long term pipeline and hurting your reputation.

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09Jun 2015

Food safety and quality can no longer be taken for granted with food borne illness becoming such a widespread issue. The cold chain serves the function of keeping food fresh for extended periods and eliminating doubts over the quality of the food products. Breaches in the cold chain actually contribute to a 25% waste of all perishable food products in the U.S. each year. From a brokerage perspective it is vital that the booking agent is proactive. These types of activities include collecting temperature data from the truck when making check calls, and if the freight is extremely sensitive performing 2-3 status inquiries could be appropriate.

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