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Brokers, Carriers & Freight Forwarders Explained: Let FR8Star Connect You With The Right Transport Company

FR8Star offers the opportunity for shippers to work with brokers (with or without assets), carriers, and/or freight forwarders to ship items regionally, nationally, and overseas. It may sometimes be difficult to determine which transport company is right for your load, so it’s important to know the important role each type plays and what they specialize in. Read on to learn more about the differences between brokers, carriers, and forwarders.

Freight Brokers

There are two primary types of brokers: those with their own assets and those without. That is to say, those that have their own drivers, trucks, and trailers, and those who source out a qualified carrier for transport.

The advantage of working with a broker with assets is that they can directly assign a driver for the load and manage the entire process from start to finish, including handling communication, arranging pickup and delivery with the carrier, and paying the driver.

The advantage of using a broker without assets is they can seek out the right driver with the right equipment. They typically handle communication, delivery details, and driver payment like a broker with assets, but also have the opportunity to source an operator from a larger network of trucks to ensure you get the best option for your shipping needs.

You may incur additional cost by working with a broker—although this isn’t always the case—but in choosing this option you gain the peace of mind knowing that someone will manage the process for you. Additionally, both options are ideal for shippers who aren’t necessarily interested in finding and vetting carriers on their own.

Freight Carriers

If you are comfortable working directly with a freight carrier, that’s another option available through FR8Star. Carriers are either individual owner-operators or they are part of a larger fleet of drivers that will handle the movement of your freight directly rather than sourcing out the load.

The advantage of working with a carrier is that you have direct contact with the person who is hauling your load and you can work with them on the finer details that a broker would normally handle. While this can sometimes save you money on fees, that isn’t always the case.

One thing to be aware of with carriers relates to payment and insurance. FR8Star can help you obtain the best possible rates via its competitive network of carriers, but be sure to watch out for carriers that charge for insurance coverage. Carriers have own their assets and they are the primaries on the insurance for the freight they move, so that shouldn’t be a factor for you.

Freight Forwarders

Freight forwarders are the answer for shippers who want to transport a load overseas but wish to avoid having to make every individual arrangement necessary along the way, such as getting a load to a cargo ship or plane and then working with a local transporter to get the load to its final destination.

Freight forwarders are similar to brokers in that they arrange transport for customers, but they work with various importers and exporters with the ability to store cargo, negotiate rates, and deliver the load door to door. They also typically handle all of the necessary paperwork, including invoices, bills of ladling, packing lists, if necessary, and more.

With freight forwarders, it’s worthwhile to check into whether or not they are Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCC). NVOCCs have their own bills of ladling and handle all of the responsibilities of an ocean carrier, except for operating the ship itself. NVOCCs essentially serve as a carrier for the shipper, while a non-NVOCC freight forwarder is an agent for the shipper, meaning they may potentially have less responsibility over the load itself.

Let FR8Star Help

With FR8Star, you have access to a vetted network of qualified brokers, carriers, and freight forwarders that have extensive experience transporting loads in the United States and abroad. For domestic loads, you’ll receive free estimates in as little as 30 seconds, and for all loads, tier rankings, star ratings, and customer reviews provide added peace of mind when comparing all-in bids. Let FR8Star handle shipping so you can focus on running your business.

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