Produce transportation brokers are a must. Unlike cargo that is not temperature controlled, if produce is delayed, it may spoil. This can lead to a significant financial loss, and lots of time spent processing claims and trying to fulfill the order by some other means. While many trucking and transportation companies claim that they can handle and transport produce, not all comprehend the sensitive nature of the cargo they are committing to. Here are just a few ways in which a transportation broker can help.

Finding Reputable Trucking And Shipping Companies

Many warehouses and distribution centers have experienced the logistic nightmare of working with the wrong transportation companies. While they don’t want to make the same mistake twice, most simply don’t know how to properly vet their potential carriers. This leads to days, weeks, and months of time interviewing and testing carriers. In fact, it can be a full-time job in itself. A produce transportation broker eliminates this process. They have a list of reputable carriers and an in-depth process for vetting new carriers. For example, do the transportation carriers they vet understand the need for specialty cargo insurance that covers high-risk produce?

Your broker will all but eliminate the logistics risk of choosing a carrier who simply doesn’t understand how produce needs to be handled. They set up an appointment for pickups and deliveries and communicate with both dispatchers and drivers to ensure that the process stays on track.

Minimize The Risk On The Extra High-Risk Cargo

Produce in general is high-risk cargo, but some produce (such as berries) are even more high-risk. Not only do they need to arrive on time; they have very specific handling specs and temperature requirements. Not all dedicated transportation providers will take on the risk of high-risk items, but your broker will know where to go in order to find someone you can rely on.

Access The Owner-Operators

The fact of the matter is, the companies that have the attention-to-detail necessary to haul produce are the small companies and owner-operators who often have teams as small as 10 or 20 trucks. These small teams aren’t only more likely to have the essential attention to detail, but are willing to transport to the small and rural communities you serve. The best way to access these small but invaluable operations is through a broker with a nationwide network of talented distribution teams.

Refrigeration Specs

You know what temperature your produce needs to be kept at, but when a load has 20 or more different types of produce—what goes where and how do you keep everything at the correct temperature? Brokers understand what questions to ask in regard to a trucking company’s operational procedures, including temperature checks along the way. They also understand the ins and outs of the different types of refrigerated trucks. This includes insulated (but not refrigerated) trucks, as well as refrigeration that is self-contained (the truck doesn’t have to be running) and trucks that require the engine to be on for the refrigerator to have power.

What Happens When Things Go Wrong

As you may already know, without the correct transportation vendors, shipping companies can spend most of their time managing their logistic mishaps. This includes everything from flakey companies who have over-committed, to delays, compliance violations, mishandled shipments, late deliveries, compromised shipments, and more. Produce transporters work with the right vendors, minimizing most of these concerns, and then take care of them once the shipment goes out. When something goes wrong, they have a process in place for resolution. All in all, they do everything with efficiency and reduce your number of claims.

Save You Time And Money

Yes, a broker is an additional expense, but anyone who has made the transition from going broker-free to working with a broker will tell you that the time and money saved overall is well worth every penny. Your in-house team can get back to managing their internal operations and building their business, with the peace of mind that their shipments are being managed. Even when a problem does arrive, your broker takes care of things.

Help You Expand Your Business

You may already have reliable transportation vendors, but as your business grows, you will need to identify new vendors. Instead of wasting your time vetting, go straight to a produce broker. They are well-versed in how to get your product farther, knowing who can be trusted as your transportation partner. This goes a long way for improving the retention of your current clients, and also with presenting a track record of success to attract new partners.

Produce transportation brokers are a must. They are a true partner in your success and provide you with multiple time-saving and cost-saving benefits.

The Role of Produce Transportation Brokers in US Food Chain Supply was last modified: by