Freight Broker Questions for Shippers

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In the realm of freight brokerage, establishing effective partnerships with shippers is of paramount importance. Shippers, however, exhibit a wide spectrum of needs and preferences. Therefore, before fully committing to a partnership, it is essential to ascertain compatibility with the shipper. Employing insightful questioning can prove to be a valuable time and effort-saving endeavor. It is crucial to bear in mind that these partnerships are dynamic and necessitate continuous attention.

In this guide, we present 13 fundamental questions for freight brokers when engaging with shippers:

  1. What products does your company manufacture?
    • Engaging in direct discussions about the shipper’s products allows for more precise inquiries and complements prior research into their business.
  2. What challenges does your company currently face?
    • While extensive industry research can uncover valuable insights into their challenges, direct communication with the shipper provides a deeper understanding of their specific issues.
  3. How is your freight currently transported?
    • This inquiry sheds light on their existing transportation methods, even if they are beyond your area of expertise. Pay close attention to areas where they express dissatisfaction with their current transportation services.
  4. What has been your past experience with freight transportation?
    • By learning about their past experiences, you can avoid suggesting solutions that have not worked for them and build upon what has proven effective.
  5. Which aspects of freight transportation are most important to your company?
    • Understanding their priorities, whether they prioritize special services, speed, or cost-effectiveness, helps align your objectives with theirs.
  6. When did you last change logistics providers, and what prompted the change?
    • This question provides insights into their history with logistics providers and the motivations behind their decisions to make changes.
  7. How would you like to improve your list of preferred brokers?
    • Both prospective and current clients can offer valuable insights into their requirements and how your services can fit into their plans for improvement.
  8. What criteria do you use to evaluate your freight brokers?
    • This question aids in comprehending the qualities and services that hold the greatest significance for the shipper, whether it pertains to cost, communication, or relationship-building.
  9. What has been your experience with drivers?
    • Gaining insights into their interactions with drivers reveals their preferences, challenges, and policies, which can guide your approach to working with them.
  10. Who within your organization makes decisions regarding shipping?
    • Understanding the decision-making hierarchy allows you to tailor your approach to the interests and concerns of the key stakeholders.
  11. What is the typical detention time at your facilities?
    • Detention times can significantly impact carrier relationships and revenue. Identifying and avoiding shippers with excessive detention times, while seeking those actively reducing them, is advisable.
  12. How many loads does your company typically ship each month?
    • This straightforward question aids in gauging the volume of business you can expect from the shipper.
  13. How flexible are your shipping schedules?
    • Assessing the flexibility in their schedules, considering deadlines and lead times, is crucial. Shippers with rigid schedules may not be an ideal fit unless you are prepared for such challenges.


By posing these questions, freight brokers can strengthen their partnerships, anticipate shipper needs, and offer innovative solutions.