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Looking for Freight to Haul? Four Resources for Finding Your Best Customer

Posted by IndustrySelect on Thursday, April 15, 2021


From MNI's new Shipper Database for Freight Brokers to resources for understanding your cargo & industry influences, take a look at some of the top resources for finding freight to haul. 


U.S. manufacturing companies are scrambling to meet surges in demand following the unprecedented losses seen during the height of the pandemic. Output, new orders and employment are all expanding rapidly, and with 62% of manufacturers planning to increase production in 2021, many are in need of reliable transportation partners. 

According to the latest freight dynamics tracked by the FTR Trucking Conditions Index, activity in the industry rebounded strongly in January to +10.37, with rates and volume offsetting the rise in fuel costs. Demand for freight is high right now, says FTR vice president Avery Vise, stating "With stimulus from Washington, extraordinarily lean inventories, and a fading pandemic, solid freight demand is practically baked in." 

Yet, finding clients with freight to haul can be a challenging and complicated process. Freight brokers, trucking companies and logistics service providers are all subject to the same issues.

Let's take a closer look at some of these challenges and solutions that can help your business overcome freight related challenges.

Establishing Contact

Contacting the right person can be a game of phone or email tag. Google searches can give you basic contact information, but they often lack critical details that are necessary for contacting the right person.

Ideally, you want to talk to the shipping or freight manager. They are the ones who will be making decisions on what companies they work with to move freight in and out of their facility.

Be aware that the listed contact information companies post publicly may be a gatekeeper employed to screen or filter calls. In other words, your message will be passed along to the right person.

Industrial data provider MNI now offers a shippers database for freight brokers, through its IndustrySelect platform. This ultimate resource helps freight brokers connect directly with manufacturers, wholeslaers, and distributors in need of freight services. This subscription-based service provides access to more than 300,000 shippers and a half million executive contacts. For a free demo of this service for freight brokers, click here

Understanding Industry Influences

Because of tariff and other trade related issues, more and more manufacturers are sourcing cargo transport domestically where they may have relied on intermodal companies before.

In other parts of the country, there are shipping firms that have been restricted in operations due to the U.S./Mexico border closing in El Paso, Texas and elsewhere for brief but unpredictable periods of time.

Studying and understanding their specific issues discussed in manufacturing blogs such as IndustryNet, demonstrates that your company truly wants to become a partner in overcoming obstacles.

Know Your Cargo

With such a wide variety of freight to move, a broker or transport company would do well to learn about the type of business that is associated with a specific cargo type. For example, learning in advance that a company requires shipments of fabricated metal parts several times per week gives you an advantage during initial contact.

Being prepared to ship a manufacturer's specific cargo proves that your company is professional and experienced. It would not reflect well upon your business to call up a company that needs to ship sheet lumber when your fleet consists of tanker trailers.

IndustrySelect provides subscribers with data on the products a company produces, the materials required and the volume of business all in one place.

Look Beyond Price

Most manufacturers already have a shipping partner that they work with. Figuring out what they're paying can be done using a 3PL online calculator.

Cost is not the only variable that potential customers must consider. When talking to them, be open to hearing their problems rather than delivering a 60-second commercial on why your company is better than their current partner.

Find out if they are struggling to find a reliable shipper? Are they being overcharged for capacity they are unable to utilize? Are they experiencing problems due to circumstances beyond their control? Are they using a 3PL provider, or are they simply shipping and handling inventory on their own?

By asking open-ended questions, you can gain a lot of insight into your customers' needs.

Editor's Note: A version of this article was originally published in July of 2019. It has been updated to reflect new trends and statistics in the transportation industry and to provide details on MNI's new Shippers Database for Freight Brokers. 


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