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Transloading and Drayage Quick Tips to Avoid Double Brokering

Double brokering, as defined in transloading and drayage logistics, is a practice in which a broker accepts a load or shipping container from an importer and then re-brokers it to another broker or carrier without the knowledge or consent of the shipper/importer. It is illegal in the United States for a broker to hide that they are using an additional broker, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) protects importers from unethical double brokering practices.

Breathe a sigh of relief, PITT OHIO’s transloading services and drayage services are primarily asset-based and very rarely is even a single broker used. We take a consultative approach to understand your container import needs and are upfront and honest with importers about the details of the transloading and drayage services we arrange. Reputable companies that have the proper resources and capacity to handle your freight will avoid putting shippers and importers in a double broker situation. Read on for further explanation of the risks associated with re-brokered freight, and how you can avoid getting caught in a costly double broker contract.

There are a number of reasons why double brokering is considered to be a negative practice.  Shippers should be aware of this practice and the risks involved, which include:

  1. Delays in the delivery of freight
    Double brokering adds an extra layer of bureaucracy to the transportation process. Communication delays or inconsistent direction in the chain of command could cause delivery issues as well.
  2. Higher transportation costs
    When a broker double brokers a load, they are essentially taking a commission from both the shipper and the carrier. This can add significant costs to the transportation process.
  3. Safety risks
    Double brokering puts the freight in the hands of a carrier that they may not know or trust. This can create safety risks for the freight and for the people who are handling it.

Here are some tips for shippers to avoid double brokering:

  • Do your research. Before you hire a broker, do your research to make sure that they are reputable and that they do not engage in double brokering.
  • Get everything in writing. When you hire a broker, make sure that you get everything in writing, including the terms of the contract and the broker’s fee structure. This will help to protect you if the broker tries to double broker your load.
  • Be aware of the signs. If you suspect that a broker is double brokering your load, there are a few signs that you can look for. These include:
    • The broker is unable to provide you with the name of the carrier that will be transporting your freight.
    • The broker is unwilling to give you a written contract.
    • The broker’s fee structure is unusually high.

By following these tips, shippers can help to avoid double brokering and protect themselves from the negative consequences of this practice.  PITT OHIO’s consultative approach means we take the time to understand your drayage needs, which leads to a seamless experience for importers.