I have often recommended that you broker excess freight as a way to service your customers and increase your bottom line. Select your carriers as carefully as you select your drivers. It only takes a few minutes to review your carrier insurance and safety stats.
For starters, look up your new carrier on www.safersys.org Just take a quick look at the company snapshot. Here you can quickly see their entity type, operating status and confirm the company is not “our of service”. Scroll down and you will see the safety information.
Next, request a certificate of insurance naming your company as certificate holder. This will provide more detailed information about the insurance limits.
Pay extra attention to the limits and deductible on their cargo insurance.
This is what will protect your customer. Confirm the amount of cargo insurance will be sufficient to cover the customer’s product. In addition, if you are requiring a refrigerated trailer, be sure your carrier has ‘reefer breakdown’ coverage on the policy. This is very important to control possible produce claims.
Once you and the carrier have an agreement to move the load, provide the carrier with as much information as possible:
- Confirm he has the proper equipment he will need to handle the cargo.
- Will he need load locks, tarps, chains, binders, or other forms of securement?
- Tell him what he will need to know when the cargo is loaded.
- Count the product and compare with the bill of lading.
- Are there serial numbers to compare?
- Does your customer require additional forms or releases signed at the shipping or delivery locations?
- When must you receive updates of his location and expected time of delivery?
Give him explicit details he will need to insure the product is delivered safely. Do not let anything to chance or assume the shipper will instruct him.
Clear communication is vital with the customer and the carrier.
And for the last recommendation, require the carrier / driver send you a fax, email, scan of the signed proof of delivery immediately upon completion of the trip.
If a problem should arrive, all damages can be held to a minimum by quick action.