One of the first lessons a new Problem Solver learns is that we don’t give freight back. Our entire existence depends on making our customers’ lives easier, and if we hand back freight after we committed to moving it just because it costs more than we thought, we aren’t doing our job. Our Problem Solvers are empowered to make the right decisions on their accounts, even if it means losing money sometimes.
For example, if we’ve committed to you to move a load of freight at a certain price, and the market shifts suddenly, we will honor our commitment. It is our job to understand the market and plan for price fluctuations, and if we didn’t do that, it isn’t right to make that your problem. That’s not to say that we won’t have open and honest conversations about what is happening in the market, and if we see a long-term trend developing, we’ll discuss that with our customers. But a one-week shift in pricing for us doesn’t mean we stop honoring our pricing to you.
Additionally, sometimes stuff goes sideways, and we have to get really creative to solve a problem. We’ve had drivers quit in the middle of a run before (oh, the joys of working with human beings!) and we simply had to pay whatever it took to get that freight moving again. When that happens, we don’t charge the customer – it isn’t your fault we had a driver who decided he didn’t want to drive anymore – we just eat those charges ourselves and move on. Our commitment was to move the freight, and we’re going to do it.
Finally, when we’ve developed a long-term relationship with a customer, we understand that there are times when you simply can’t budge on pricing, even though what you are paying isn’t enough to cover the cost of the move. Maybe you have an emergency load, maybe a customer of yours is screaming for product RIGHT NOW, maybe someone in your office messed something up and now you are in a bind. When that happens, we’ll do everything in our power to help you. The value of a long-term relationship is that we don’t think of it as just today’s freight – we understand that with our customers, we win and lose together. If we take a loss to help you today, you’ll take care of us on something else down the road.
Freight brokerage is, after all, a two-way street. (Pun intended.) We all have to work as a team to get the freight where it is supposed to be, on time and as ordered.