Shippers Giving One Load to Multiple Freight Brokers
What happens when a Shipper gives one load to multiple freight brokers in order to find a truck? Market Distortion, and it’s Expensive for Shippers.
An interesting Market Distortion occurs when Shippers call multiple Brokers to move their load(s). When a Broker receives a call from the Shipper to move a load on a particular lane, he will post the load on the various load boards unless he already has a truck available. If a Shipper thinks that they are going to have better coverage for their load at the lowest price, they are mistaken. Brokers pretty much use the same load boards. Here is what happens when the Trucker sees 15 load postings for the same lane. Truckers subscribe to the same load boards as the Brokers and they will notice that there are 15 loads for one lane and that he is the only truck in town to move 15 loads. Immediately, the Trucker thinks in terms of “supply and demand” economics. If there are 15 loads to move he can easily raise his price as he is the only game in town. The Trucker will call several Brokers. The Trucker raises his price to move that load to a higher level—sometimes a much higher level. The Broker receiving the call from the Trucker can’t move the load for the price the Trucker is demanding so he calls the Shipper to advise that he has found a truck but that they will need more money to move the load. The Broker isn’t going to move the load for free so either the Shipper pays more money or the Broker backs off the load. Then, the process repeats itself until the Shipper pays more to move the load. That is a Market Distortion! Yet it repeats itself many thousands of times each day.
As trucks become tight, this Market Distortion due to multiple postings of the same loads by multiple Brokers will cause the prices required to move the loads to rise at a faster than normal rate. The best solution for the Shipper is to only use one or two brokers and reduce the redundant postings to counter this Market Distortion. Using multiple brokers will only create higher prices for the Shipper as the false signals for supply and demand are broadcast through the load boards.