Blog: Best Dispatching Practices

How to not accidentally become a broker

Do you know that one thing you should never do to not lose your trucking business?

Double brokering

Everyone heard about it, but not many know that you don't have to repost a load at a lower rate on the loadboard to become one of them. When the broker assigns a load to a carrier, they create certain expectations. The delivery risks are calculated based on the booked truck and the MC number of the carrier.
Now imagine a situation. The truck that was supposed to go to the pick-up broke down and you sent another one to keep the process going. If you never told the broker about it, you've committed an act of double-brokering. How so? Didn't you do everything in the best interest of everyone involved? Not really.
As mentioned previously, the broker expects you to be an open book and notify them of any and all changes that happen during the load transfer. If your truck broke down, you have to notify the broker of the fact (that the previous truck won't be able to make it) and let them know you have another one nearby and ready to go. And that's all it takes to avoid becoming a criminal.
Now, we know that double-brokering is very common and there are many reasons for it. Some companies book too many loads at once and unknowingly commit the act while switching up the trucks or passing the load to another carrier. If the broker gets notified of this, the company gets cooked, blacklisted, and then stays blacklisted for months or even years because it's much harder to earn the trust of brokers once you lose it.
All this is done to protect the carriers at the end of the delivery chain and make sure that they actually get paid for their work. In case of a road accident that would invoke the insurance claim all the blame gets put on the carrier, and in the case of double brokering no insurance company will take your side. Losing the FMCSA authority also becomes a real possibility.

So what do you say to the broker when your truck can't make it to the Pick-Up point?

If you haven't been booked yet, then there's no reason to notify the broker other than for everyone's convenience. You haven't signed any contracts so you're not liable to anything.
If you've placed a bid on the wrong truck or made some sort of mistake (for example, input the wrong dimensions), then you must notify the broker. Otherwise, you're not getting any TONU in the case of the load being too big for the truck.
If you have to switch the truck after getting booked, then you once again must notify the broker. Just explain what emergency happened and tell them that you're sending a new truck to the location with the same price, attach the new dimensions, ETA, and driver info. The broker will decide what happens next, but you'll be in the clear.
So, do you know of anyone who fell into the trap of double-brokering? What happened to them? Share it in the comments to help people avoid it in the future. And don’t forget to leave a like and subscribe to stay informed about all the trucking industry news in the United States.
This was Dmitrii at ALTEK TMS, see you next time! So what do you say to the broker when your truck can't make it to the Pick-Up point?
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