Business dealings and negotiations are, for the large part, based on mutual trust between the parties, but this is generally established by reputations and referrals. When you’re entering an industry that you are not familiar with or a business that would require the help of service provider, it is important that you guarantee that they are legitimate. A great example would be hiring a reliable freight broker. How do you find one and how could a freight broker be beneficial to your business?
In Australia, freight brokers are greatly appreciated. This is because they have an in-depth knowledge of the shipping industry and the various complex factors associated with it. They utilise the latest in technology to provide their clients with the service that they deserve by working with reliable and reputable carriers
The Freight Broker Advantage
Your freight broker in Australia is capable of linking your company with the most suitable, cost-effective, and timesaving freight option. This is attained by bids being obtained from a variety of recognised companies, some of which you may not have considered basically because you are unaware of their services.
A qualified freight broker in Australia will give each client equal attention and diligence. The broker should also be able to provide his/her clients with the best possible deal from the carriers that could serve them best.
An experienced freight broker will be completely aware of the regulations regarding shipping of goods in Australia or overseas and of the required paperwork to smoothly execute every transaction.
There is a need for troubleshooting in any business environment and your freight broker should be able to help you resolve issues connected with freight management.
There are still organisations that manage their own freight shipments because they believe that this will cut the costs, but occasionally, they still have to enlist the services of a freight broker for certain complex and important freight deliveries.
Confidence and Trust
Once you have decided to hire a freight broker, you now have the task of deciding whether you have enough confidence and trust in him/her. The first item on your agenda should be to confirm that this broker is licensed and bonded, which is, in fact, required for their operation. As the Internet is easily available and convenient, you can check online the credentials of a particular freight broker in Australia.
All freight brokers are subject to regulation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Therefore, a visit to their website will provide you with the information that you need to confirm if your chosen freight broker has a valid license. Determine that it has been renewed on time and the required surety bond has not been cancelled. In addition, the broker’s website should be able to give you information if the license has ever been revoked or reinstated.
If your potential freight broker appears to have an established and satisfactory record online, still request a copy of the broker’s operating authority. Review the details and determine that the identity, motor carrier number, and all dates match the data that FMCSA have. If there are discrepancies, discover the reason and be extra cautious.
It is specified within the regulations that anyone who acts as a freight broker in Australia needs to register and obtain a broker or freight forwarder authority from FMCSA. It is further stated that brokers and freight forwarders will also now be subject to a minimum $75,000 financial security requirement.
Direct Broker Links
Insurance is closely linked to any type of business operation and is a critical factor. It is recognised that every freight broker in Australia must possess an insurance certificate, to show a greater degree of legitimacy. This is primarily due to the investment associated with risk mitigation for themselves and their clients. Be sure to obtain a copy of the relevant certificate and then have it verified prior sealing the deal.
Pay special care and attention as to whether the insurance company matches the one listed on the FMCSA website, with all other related information shown on this source. Thoroughly check and compare the identity, policy numbers, and effective dates of coverage. To be completely satisfied, contact the concerned insurance company and determine if the policies are currently in effect.
A freight broker in Australia is obliged to purchase a surety bond to enable them to legally conduct their business. The bond, also referred to as a BMC-84, is required by FMCSA and is designed to ensure fair practice. Should a carrier not be paid under agreed terms, they are given the option of claiming against the bond for the payments due.
Before the 1st October in 2013, the minimum bond requirement was $10,000, but it was subsequently raised to $75,000, with losses up to this sum being compensated in full. The FMCSA website can be used to confirm if the surety bond of a freight broker in Australia is active.
Refining the Details
It is necessary to keep record of the details of every service provider that you encounter, and this applies to the freight brokers who are in your list. Having a record will help you get to know each broker and come up with a well-thought of decision as to the service provider that could properly fill in the role. Include all contact details, which can be used in the referral process, such as, a physical address, phone and fax numbers, and current email address.
It can include particulars regarding the overall approach to your requirements and whether they have the capacity to meet your specified deadlines.
A fact of business is that trust must be earned and established, so both parties could benefit from the solid foundation that they have built together.
An example of an established, reputable company is National Freight Management (nationalfreightmanagement.com.au), an Australian freight broker that is associated with over 20 different freight companies. It provides an extensive range of shipping, transport, and freight forwarding services across Australia and overseas.