How do Brokers Find Shippers?

How do Brokers Find Shippers?

How do freight brokers find shippers?” The question is as old as the shipping industry itself. Freight broker software has evolved and has made it easier for freight brokers to run their business. There are still some tried-and-true methods for answering the question, “How do freight brokers find shippers?”.

You want to be adding customers who can provide you steady, reliable freight on lanes you are able to cover. Doing this with healthy margins is essential if you want to grow your freight broker business. But how do freight brokers find shippers? It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune or consume your entire day if you’re a small operation. Not if you’re smart and savvy about your approach.

Here we’ll look at 5 ways you can generate leads for your freight broker business to help you answer the age-old question: How do freight brokers find shippers?


Be a conscious observer of the brands around you.

The United States has one of the world’s strongest economies for a reason; it’s driven by companies selling things to consumers. All those things they sell have to be transported. But before they get sold, they have to be advertised. The next time you go to the store, count how many times you see an advertisement. They’re all designed to entice you to buy a product that at one point was transported on a truck. You might be surprised at how many you count up. This exercise is particularly good to do if you’re driving on a highway. You can spot B2B brands that don’t advertise in traditional consumer channels. How do freight brokers find shippers? They look at every brand or company that makes a physical product as a potential customer.

How do freight brokers find shippers? Look at other companies in the same industry.

Have you made inroads with a company in the commercial paper industry? Do a Google search for: “Competitors of ___________” and insert the company name in the blank space. You should get search results that will name other companies in the same industry. From there you can come up with ideas for companies to research and find key contacts. What makes connecting with these leads even easier is using numbers. This will demonstrate your performance capabilities. Avoid blanket statements like, “we guarantee customer satisfaction” or, “we deliver your business”.

These don’t speak to the quality of your service as firm numbers can. Use freight broker software and you should be able to pull some statistics on your on-time delivery percentage. Load coverage percentage or other key metrics are also helpful to show you’re a true pro. Remember, if you’re asking yourself, “how do freight brokers find shippers?”, you want to be prepared with some stats when you do make connections.

Look at other shipping locations in the same company.

So you’ve established a rapport with the shipping manager at the Mobile, AL shipping plant of Dominator Paper Company. But, Dominator has 12 other locations around the US. These are all in areas where you have carrier relationships. This is where you need to use your relationship-building skills to ask your contact for an intro to the shipping manager in Phoenix. Word of mouth referrals is still the best way to acquire a customer. This is even more so the case when it comes to how freight brokers find shippers, .

You’re going to have to use your judgment wisely here because you don’t want to necessarily come right out and ask your contact for the introduction. You’ll need to do some fishing over the phone, or in person, to get a sense for the strength of your contact’s relationship with the other shipping manager. You’ll also want to feel out what your contact knows about the arrangements at the shipping location you would like to start getting business from.

A great way to help make connections is to take performance statistics pulled from your freight broker software and put them into a sell sheet designed by a professional designer. You can find great designers at reasonable rates on But, if you want to be a top freight broker and grow your business, you should be carefully tracking all steps of the movement of your freight. Then, use numbers that demonstrate your success to tell your story.

How do freight brokers find shippers? Look at the customers of your customers.

If you’re shipping 10 truckloads of Dominator Paper out of their Mobile, AL plant each day, where is that freight going? In the instance where you’re shipping raw materials or unfinished goods, those items are going into a facility and then exiting in a different form. But, there’s a good chance they’re still exiting via truckload. How do freight brokers find shippers? It really depends on the state of your relationship with your current customer. You can apply some of the same fact-finding conversational tactics as referenced above to understand if they can help get you a referral into one of their customers.

You want to make it as easy as possible for your customer to refer you to their customers. Have a sell sheet ready for when people ask. If you’re going to ask for an intro and ask for a sell sheet to be passed along, make sure it’s not your first version, but one where you have gotten some constructive feedback from a customer you have a good relationship with. It’s never advisable to develop something and then send out without having gotten feedback on its quality. Source:

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