Big companies are increasingly outsourcing the planning and implementation of their shipping needs to third-party logistics services, also known as freight brokers or property brokers. These logistics services, commonly called 3PLs, specialize in the movement of cargo via air, sea, rail, or road. They are experts in the details of cargo packing, transport, storage, and the national and international laws that apply to moving goods across the globe.
What To Look for in a Freight Broker
When choosing a freight broker, it is important to consider several factors.
- Make sure the broker provides more than one mode of transportation.
- Make sure the broker has a federal property broker license from the FMCSA.
- Make sure the broker does not have poor credit or legal claims filed against them.
- Make sure the broker carriers adequate insurance, including contingent cargo coverage.
What is Contingent Cargo Coverage?
Carrier, packagers, and other links in the goods transport chain should carry the appropriate insurance for their part of the process. Freight brokers are usually not the target of liability claims for damaged or lost property unless the insurance of the carrier, packager, etc. refuses to pay. In those cases, brokers need to have contingent cargo coverage to pay valid claims against them. Be sure to have your property investment thoroughly covered in case of mishaps anywhere in the supply chain.