Hundreds of calls, page by page through the carrier listings. Ninety-nine percent of the replies are, “Sorry, we don’t hire out.” But through all the searching, you always find one. That gem in the rough who runs the lane. They are booked out for the week, but now you have them in your pocket. Success!
Searching for capacity is a tough job. The number of carriers out there is astronomical, but there is always somebody driving where you need to go. By the very nature of the industry, if there is a population, then they need trucks to deliver the necessities and niceties of life. Knowing they are there doesn’t make them any easier to find; it takes tenacity, honesty, and persistence.
Tenacity like a bulldog, or a gila monster here in the Southwest. Grab it and don’t let go. In the very transactional environment of truckload freight brokering, it’s easy to commit a couple hours to finding a carrier to match a load, then move on. In order to build a robust portfolio of carriers and have someone in place next time that obscure load becomes available, you need to take the long perspective. That obscure load will come by again, and you could cover it with a single call if you put the time into it now. Grab that lane and follow it through until you know who to call on it. But knowing who to call is just the first part. They have to know you.
Honesty is the fulcrum of industry. After you have built your portfolio, those dispatchers and drivers need to know they can count on you. They need to know your word is your bond and they can count on that load to come through for them. Trust is the chassis of communication; everything stands on it. An intriguing study on game theory proves that those who play a fair game and communicate with honesty come out ahead in the long run.
Winning in the long run also takes persistence. You must be persistent in your contact strategy and approach. Become the most reliable and sticky broker to your carriers. Plan your work and work your plan as long as you can. Henry Ford is well known for persistence bordering on stubborn with respect to continued production of the Tin Lizzie Model T long after other manufacturers released modernized horseless carriages. So your portfolio, persistence, and follow up will pay off. A carrier relationship built over years will almost certainly be financially fulfilling.
If you are building a brokerage from scratch, or struggling to grow what you’ve got, remember the fundamentals never change. There is always a truck going that way; you’ve just got to have the grit to find it. You need tenacity to find them, honesty to win them over, and persistence to keep that hard earned capacity a phone call away.