RFX Blog

Six Important Considerations When Choosing Your Transportation Intermediary

August 13th, 2013

Choosing a quality Transportation intermediary can, and often is, a daunting proposition. The market seems flooded with logistics providers vying for your business. Recent changes in regulation, along with a shortage of service providers, have made a partnership with a quality intermediary more crucial than ever. An experienced logistics firm can assist you in all aspects of supplychain management and streamline your transportation operation. Below are six important considerations when choosing your Intermediary.


Take time To Investigate Your Provider

Due diligence is key in picking a provider. A simple check on the (SAFER) website http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ is a great place to start to make sure all licensing, insurance and bonds are current and offer adequate coverage. There are many companies that broker freight on the side so insuring your intermediary has adequate contingency cargo and contingency liability is crucial. Verify your provider is associated with trade groups that promote integrity in the workplace and make sure they are in good standing with said agencies. Confirming your intermediary has been in business for a considerable amount of time is another way to add stability to your supplychain management.
Adequate Bond Coverage


As most in the transportation industry are aware the reauthorization bill known as the Moving Ahead for Progress Act (MAP 21) was signed into law on July 6th, 2012. Several provisions within the law, including the increased broker bond requirement become effective on October 1st, 2013. Since deregulation in the 80’s the bond requirement has remained at $10,000. In an effort to modernize and provide more fraud protection from unscrupulous brokers and scam artists the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will now require brokers to file a $75,000 surety bond or trust fund agreement, over 7 times the current bond requirement. Verifying compliance of new regulations is essential and will offer greater protection against non-payment from unethical logistics providers.
Make Sure You’re Intermediary Has a Consistent Risk Assessment Policy


Choosing an intermediary that has your best interests in mind is critical. You wouldn’t give your business to anyone and should expect your intermediary to practice due diligence when selecting carriers and service providers to transport your freight. Don’t be afraid to ask what safeguards and tools your intermediary is choosing to implement when selecting providers. Safety scores, length of operating authority, insurance coverage are only a few of the basic safeguards a reputable intermediary must confirm. Ask your intermediary how they communicate their available shipments to service providers and assure they have all adequate information to offer the best possible service. Intermediaries with a large database of providers can often offer more competitive prices and options than intermediaries with limited connections.


Confirm Your Provider Offers Multiple Solutions

There are several ways to get your product from point A to point B and an intermediary who offers multiple shipping options will provide solutions that facilitate your needs and cost structure. Make sure your provider offers multiple modes such as intermodal, warehousing, LTL, overall logistics management. Communicating timelines/urgency can and often does, save valuable time and expense.


Communication is King

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has already taken place” –George Bernard Shaw. Setting clear and concise expectations will prevent future issues and will limit overall liability on all sides of the supplychain. There are countless programs, Transportation Management Software, (TMS) and a myriad of tracking options that can assist in streamlining communication, however having a point person or key contact that you can always get in touch with is vital. Make sure to have a contract with your intermediary clarifying communication expectations and terms as this will dramatically reduce any issues that may arise.


Ask For References

Creating a balanced and efficient supplychain is crucial to the success of any business. Don’t take an intermediary’s word at face value. Check with service providers and inquire about treatment and payment times. Communicate with shippers who  currently do business with your intermediary to confirm service dedication. An exceptional intermediary can save time, hassle and will greatly reduce overhead if utilized correctly.

Please check out our website  https://www.rfxinc.com/ to see how we can streamline your process and simplify your supplychain.

Posted on August 13th, 2013 in Freight Agent Broker, Freight Logistics, Inc. News, Intermodal Logistics, LTL Freight Shipping, Refrigerated Trucking, RFX, RFX News, Trucking Industry, Trucking Tips, Uncategorized