- Get To Know A Broker
Welcome to our new series “Get To Know A Broker”! This our second editon and we are fortunate enough to have Brian share his experience of being a freight broker and how he got there! He gives great advice about how to stand out as a Freight Broker and the importance of Self Care to be always operating at your best!
- Please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
“I kind of happened on this industry accidentally. I was working in a warehouse, they started cutting my hours from full-time to part-time so I emailed one of the brokers that we were using to move our freight and got an interview the next day.”
- Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
“I only lasted 5 months in my first role in operations. The 3PL where I was at was fairly large and had the sales person pay 33% of your salary and expenses, as a result they were breathing down your neck all day and really gave it to you when you messed up. Which, as someone so green to the industry, happened a few times. The only upside for this company was that they provided great training that most small to medium sized companies could not provide.
Once I started at my next company, I already had a head start as they were expecting to hire someone green. Since then, I spent time only at 2 other brokers and have been consistently trending upwards throughout my short career.
There have been some downs but a huge majority of ups. I started out green, and then spent years as just customer service, then quickly used the skills that I learned to propel myself to dispatch and sales.”
- Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about your Brokerage – what should we know?
“I currently work at a small 3PL. I tell everyone that it’s “boutique sized” to glam it up a little. My selling point for customers is that we offer catered and hands-on service to accommodate all of their needs. Currently, 90% of my work is intra-Canadian freight.“
- Where did you get your training? What did you like and dislike about it?
“My training was done on the job at Traffic Tech, here in Montreal. Their process has been unmatched, compared to the unstructured on-the-job training that I have witnessed at my other employers.
They had a binder that acted as your manual and provided you with daily training in a CSR “incubator” that came with a secluded test-system where they had you run scenarios. You have to pass the incubator phase to graduate to working for your sales person. They would also call newer CSRs in for pop quizzes to test how well they knew their material. It was a great system and I wish I saw that from other employers.”
- Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success in the Logistics industry?
“I have learned over the years to detach myself as much as I can from my work at the end of the day as a means to self preservation. In an industry where we’re kind of working 24/7, I find that we need to be deliberate in taking care of our stress. This isn’t exclusive to logistics and transportation but I try to tell every green person that I come across that they need to actively practice self care to avoid burnout.
I also tell myself that if problems didn’t happen, I’d be out of a job. People are constantly amazed by how calm and unstressed I am in this stressful, hectic industry. Part of it comes from my ability to break down obstacles and problems and tackle them in an efficient manner. By tackling a few tasks at a time, you avoid feeling overwhelmed, which is where mistakes happen.”
- What has been the proudest moment of your career as a Freight Broker so far?
“I was able to bring over an old customer from one employer to the other, not from just soliciting but from providing customer service so great that it was memorable to them.“
- Lastly, any advice you would like to give to other people wanting to get into the logistics industry?!
“Practice deliberate self-care. If nothing ever goes wrong, we’re out of a job.”