11 Sep 21

Every call you make about a load is a potential negotiation. Knowing what brokers love and hate goes a long way in determining how successful those negotiations will be. I've worked in transportation and logistics for more than 30 years as a broker, a dispatcher and a pricing analyst, and I've been on both sides of those phone calls more times than I can count. Here are some observations that may help you to be even more successful in your dealings with freight brokers: 

What Brokers Love

  • Drivers and dispatchers who inspire confidence – You're a professional who can be trusted with the broker's business reputation and their customers' freight, so let them know that.
  • Good communication – Share your needs with the broker and learn theirs. 
  • Be direct but respectful – You aren’t just negotiating for one load, but potential future business as well.

The Hot Market Map in DAT Load Boards offer a snapshot of freight demand across the country, with the darker colors showing where there's higher demand for trucks.

What Brokers Hate

  • "Is that all you have in the rate?" – If you know your lanes, you won't need to ask this. Rates are set, to a great degree, by market conditions. With DAT Load Boards, you can research the market rates for the lanes you're searching. You also get Hot Market Maps like the one above, which shows you where demand for trucks is highest. If there are a lot of trucks available in that lane right now, the rate may not meet your expectations. But if you know the range of market rates in that lane, you might be able to negotiate for the high end of that range.
  • Long-winded explanations – Time is money for both you and the broker, so keep it brief. For brokers, they're usually in a rush in the mornings to assign the entire day's loads in a short period of time.
  • Indecisiveness – If your goals are clear, you’ll know immediately whether or not you can cover the load. Plus, being decisive inspires confidence. Worst case: just say "Thank, but no thanks," and move on. You can do business with that broker another time.

In another blog post, I've offered tips on what to research and what questions to ask when you call on a load.

All DAT load board packages include broker spot market rates on the lanes you're searching, so you can negotiate with power when calling on a load. Read more about the load board features, or contact our award-winning Customer Service team.

Comments (11) -

There is also lots of thing that carriers hate when they talk to brokers. You guys should post that as well. Thank you.


Hi, i would like to ask a question about getting cargo insurance on cargo being carried in rented equipment. Can you help me with that? For example: Can a CDL holder rent a truck from Penske and haul freight using Truckers Edge? If so, which insurance company will insure the cargo?
Thank you for your time and consideration


Hauling freight on TruckersEdge requires that you have the proper motor carrier authority. Beyond that, I'm not exactly sure about the rental truck. You'd probably have to have a discussion with Penske about what their insurance covers and whether or not you can add the cargo insurance you'd need.


Hey Matt,
    So I'm having trouble getting an MC number and  insurance because I'm unable to describe specifically what type of freight I'd be hauling from TruckersEdge. Can you give me an example of typical types of loads and/or average load values?


What about the fact that all these brokers keep over 30% of the loads and what do they do but sit at a desk, I can say that does not come close to all the expenses a carrier has to pay for and we get the short end all the time. Also how about all these "blind bols" that is PURE FRAUD!  These are just two reasons the rates are low


hector cortez
hector cortez

its the brokers keeping the money i can ive you an exsample that happen to me thats how i know


What I see now coming from someone with over 30 years experience is the larger brokers are hiring kids (22-24) that don't know the difference in a truck and trailer or a helicopter and no clue on negotiating! Capacity is just the solution to covering a load and no knowledge of lanes, trends, costs, etc.. the broker with the experienced knowledgeable staff will be the most successful to make money for the broker as well as the trucker.


Guys I experienced that some brokers POST just one same load 3 to 4 times.when asked he said its only to generate the calls


Yes, lots of duplicated postings! Often another close by city used for duplicates.

Makes you wonder how accurate the load to truck ratios are?
The harder to cover regions have super inflated LVT ratios.


phillip spikes
phillip spikes

        what ever happened to the days  when the shipper said younger bros has been a good co. to us and our customers lets give them  all the fraight they can handle we dont need a broker or a fraight fowerder


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