RFX Blog

Niche Marketing for New Freight Broker Agents

October 9th, 2014

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk  |  Flickr Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk | Flickr Creative Commons

One of the biggest challenges that new freight broker agents come across in our industry is simply getting started. Where do you begin to find your freight? Where is your customer-base? Many freight agents go off on their own and start their own business after already having the answers to these questions, while others struggle to find their place in the transportation industry. The best way to get started is to carve a personality or a niche for yourself; and the best way to do that is to use your history and your connections as your compass.

Previous Experience – Many freight agents start their own business after working for a logistics provider, like a motor carrier or a shipping department. If you already understand the ins and outs of the freight business, you’ll have more confidence to go off on your own and take on challenges as an independent freight agent. They key is to market yourself using your past experience and knowledge. Perhaps you have previous experience in LTL or temperature controlled freight. Maybe your last employer shipped building materials for houses. Use these elements to your advantage and reach out to prospective customers who ship this type of freight. Let them know that you understand their business. Set yourself apart from the rest of the industry any way you can, using your previous experience and knowledge.

Relationships & Connections – Just like any other business, the relationships you develop and maintain are so important to your success. Freight agents who are just starting off should begin by thinking about the relationships they currently have, whether they are personal or professional, and then assess the transportation or logistical needs for those contacts. As an example, if your former employer is a construction contractor, perhaps you can reach out to that employer to see what they need transported. If you know where that contractor sources their materials, reach out to those sources to see if they need assistance moving their freight. Remind those contacts that you understand their business and the materials that you will be transporting.

Start Small – While it is always great to set high standards for yourself, if you are just beginning your freight brokerage business, it is important to remember to start small. You don’t need to promise your customers the world, especially when you haven’t developed a transportation network that can service those needs yet. Start off with one load. Then one lane twice per week. Then two lanes. Then four. Earn your customers’ confidence over time. Starting small and growing with your customers is another key to developing deeply engrained relationships that are hard to replace.

Posted on October 9th, 2014 in business strategy, freight agent, Freight Agent Broker