Could Consolidating Logistics Brokers Streamline and Improve Your Freight Processes?

The more complex a company’s transportation network is, the less effective it can become.

Many shippers turn to a broad base of 3PL providers as a solution, but this can result in poor communication, disorganized data, and increased costs. When capacity is an issue, you may decide to reach out to a broad network of brokers to quote your load in hopes that they all have access to different resources. But many brokers have the same resources and this can just create artificial demand.  While using many freight brokers may seem like a way to keep rates low, this disorganized approach could be costing shippers in the long run.


Using a lot of different partners can often mean a lot of different systems. Spreading your data across multiple systems inhibits your holistic view of your transportation spend, trends, and opportunities. Without a clear view of all of your data, it becomes impossible to see all the opportunities to match inbound and outbound freight. Missed opportunities means you are spending more time and money than needed. Coordination between multiple 3PLs can be time consuming and often doesn’t garner the results desired. There are ways to aggregate data from multiple brokers, but this can take a lot of time and manpower to implement.  


What are the potential benefits of consolidating 3PLs?
Who doesn’t want lower costs, higher transparency, and better visibility and communication? By simplifying your trusted partner line-up, the increased visibility to what is happening with your loads can ultimately generate a more efficient supply chain. Careful evaluation of each 3PL should focus on what value and special services they can provide, not only on price. While price is important, if you are only evaluating the lowest-priced companies, you could likely get poor service full of mistakes. These mistakes can be much more costly to your company in the long run as well as causing you a considerable amount of unnecessary stress. You need partners who are competitive but also trustworthy and able to handle any issues that may arise.


Each company is unique, but sometimes consolidation of 3PL providers can prove itself to be the best strategy. Sometimes an interconnected network of brokers will work just as well. Either way, if you can end up with greater visibility into your business and more savings opportunities, it may be worth the culling process. Matching the best teams and technology with your company doesn’t have to be a cumbersome process.

Contact us to see how Trek Freight Services can provide you with the efficient functionality you need.

Logistics Industry News In 2 Minutes: Q1 2019

Only have a few minutes to gain insight into the latest news? Our quick logistics update is perfect for you. 



Momentum and support are building for an infrastructure bill to finally pass. President Trump addressed the need in his State of the Union speech and lobbyists and lawmakers are eager to support this initiative. According to Logistics Management, The U.S. freight system moves 55 million tons of goods daily, worth more than $49 billion and is expected to grow nearly 42 percent by 2040. We can’t delay investing in our infrastructure any more and hopefully this momentum leads to real action.



Manufacturers created a record-breaking 284,000 jobs in 2018, the biggest job growth in the industry since 1997! This growth trend in U.S. manufacturing is encouraging and will hopefully continue in 2019 as well.



Imports of all goods and services dropped 2.9%, while exports declined 0.6% in November of 2018, according to Transport Topics. This was more than was forecast and was a five-month low. Tariffs are weighing on businesses and affecting pricing as well.



The Global Risk Report published by the World Economic Forum identifies trends shaping the global economy. Their recent publication indicated the top 5 risks are extreme weather events, failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation, natural disasters, data fraud or theft, and cyber-attacks. Supply chains could use this report’s information when assessing and planning for risks that could affect them. 






What you need to know about the FMCSA’s proposed HOS regulation…

Read our summary of the 4 areas that are being proposed, how it could affect you, and the TIA’s response.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Their proposal covers four key areas: short-haul exemption, adverse driving conditions, mandatory 30-minute rest break, and the split sleeper berth rules. The agency says, “The introduction of electronic logging devices for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) have prompted numerous requests from Congress and the public for FMCSA to consider revising certain HOS provisions.”


The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers

  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions

  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving

  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment


What does this mean?

The goal of the proposal is to alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers. Many organizations and drivers support these changes and believe the increased flexibility will help with driver shortage issues. Allowing drivers more flexibility to do their job well and avoid driver fatigue will enable carriers to attract the additional drivers our industry desperately needs. More drivers means more capacity and better rates. Hopefully we will have some clarity by mid-2019 on the proposal’s viability and implementation. Until then, drivers continue to report reduced driving hours due to the current regulations which means we will continue to experience tight capacity issues.

The TIA has responded with support to this proposal of revising the split sleeper berth rule and the short haul HOS rule. The TIA said, “This gives the agency the chance to reexamine the impact of the HOS regulations and what regulations could be improved. Combine this with the amount of real-time data being collected from the motor carriers ELDs, the agency has more than enough data to update the regulatory changes that would benefit the motor carrier industry.”


Trek will continue to monitor industry changes in order to best serve our customers and our carrier partners. Call us to talk about your freight needs.



>> READ the full FMCSA proposal document


>> READ the 5,000 responses to the proposal


>> READ the TIA’s response

Broker or Load Board?

Truckers can grow their business by putting others to work for them.

All carriers want to book profitable loads and have a good network of connections. If you don’t have a lot of direct shipper contacts, you may think your only option is combing through the load boards. However, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket.

Some people are suspicious of brokers and prefer to peruse load boards for jobs. Using load boards can be helpful if you are just getting started and need some revenue, contacts, and experience. There are a LOT of load boards out there and not all of them are quality ones. Usually, it takes sorting through multiple load boards to find the best loads at the best prices. This can often take hours of searching and phone calls.


Could you be making better use of your time and be booked more regularly if you partner with a trustworthy broker?

Just as there are many load boards, there are many freight broker and 3PL options out there. You will want to be careful to avoid brokers who withhold shipper payments from drivers for weeks or months, or lack knowledge specific to your business.

There are plenty of reputable brokers who want to work with dependable carriers and can be a valuable asset. At the end of the day, if the broker is offering you the rate per mile that you want and a load and you like, take it and let the broker do the searching, negotiating, and back office work for you.

Brokers can typically help by...

  • Learning your specialty/preferences to get you the loads you want.

  • Handling the tedious negotiations.

  • Arranging loads with decent reload opportunity.

  • Preventing long wait times at either end, or if unavoidable, give you an honest head's up.

  • Providing you with greater detail about each load, avoiding surprises.

  • Paying you quicker than going direct with the shipper.

Find an honest, reliable broker to partner with to expand your opportunities. Contact us now to find out how we can help your business.


Partner with Trek for a dependable, experienced process.