In our business, we often break into new customers by “rescuing” them from difficult situations – positions where they are in a bind with their supply chain and we can swoop in and be the hero.
They often don’t know how we do it, but it is pretty simple. We ship around.
Unlike many of our customers, we aren’t in single-shipper, monogamous relationships with our carriers. We have, at our disposal, tens of thousands of carriers and multiple solutions for almost every situation. That’s the great thing about being a broker, instead of a company that has to sign exclusive contracts with carriers to get good rates. We have economies of scale that we can leverage to get good rates without exclusivity – you may ship 100 loads a year, but we ship tens of thousands. Carriers give us great pricing because they want a piece of our volumes.
Most recently, we were helping a potential customer with a really tricky situation. They were shipping temperature-controlled product to Europe via air freight. Their supply chain was backed up because they worked exclusively with one carrier and one provider for the containers the freight went in. Their carrier didn’t have capacity, and the container provider was short on containers, too. They were up against the wall and needed an immediate, and creative solution.
We got to work, calling four different carriers and three other providers for the containers. We tapped all our resources to find them what they needed and save them from creating shortages down the line in their production. They were able to get the product where it needed to be, on time and in proper condition, which would not have happened had they relied solely on their own contracts.
When people ask me why they would ever want to use a freight broker, or at least have one in their back pocket, I always bring up situations like this. Without Legion, this particular customer would have failed to meet delivery schedules, which is devastating in manufacturing and retail environments, and can have repercussions for everyone up and down the production line, up to and including losing big contracts.
So, the next time you find yourself in a particularly tricky freight situation, remember to call a broker. We get around, and that will benefit you in the end.
by Tony Coutsoftides, CEO