The past few years have been disruptive for the freight brokerage industry. In 2019, we witnessed a freight recession, but fast forward three years to today, and the brokerage landscape has now shifted to a bull market.
This transformation, driven by unprecedented consumer demand, resulted in increased competitiveness in the industry like never before. Fresh off widespread lockdowns in 2020, and amidst labor shortages, volumes surged as people rushed back to the thrill of in-person shopping. Demand for goods and transportation services skyrocketed, exceeding forecasts and outpacing available capacity. As a result, we saw new trucking companies and freight brokerages begin to pop up across the country to provide additional capacity and capitalize on the new market. Today, there is a need for shippers to leverage brokerage services even more so than in the past, and this flourishing market is providing fantastic opportunities for brokers and shippers alike.
A Promising New Career Path in a ‘Young and Hungry’ Industry
Degrees in Supply Chain are highly sought after and continue to increase in popularity, however, graduates of these programs, although well versed in Supply Chain Management, often walk away with little to no knowledge of the brokerage industry. Because it’s such a lucrative and opportunistic field, we’re now witnessing a trend of people diving into the brokerage space right out of college, resulting in a shift by many institutions to educate college students on the brokerage industry and its opportunities.
In Kenco’s neck of the woods, for example, Chattanooga State is expanding its logistics training to include a certificate program for freight brokerage. At Kenco, we’re entering the second summer of our college internship program within our brokerage & transportation management departments. The goal is to introduce students to the daily operations and culture, provide hands-on experience, and streamline the training/onboarding process should they choose to join us post-graduation.
The Benefits for Shippers: Lower Rates, Higher Quality
Labor challenges and limited supply call for even more competitive pricing for shippers. Brokers must consistently bring their A-game to provide uncommon value to customers in order to stand out in a saturated market. Needless to say, now is a great time for shippers to engage with a freight broker.
The value proposition here is simple: brokers can save shippers time and money. By leveraging a strategic brokerage partner, shippers can be more efficient and focus on the core business rather than having to vet their own carriers and search for capacity every time they have an order to fulfill. This efficiency is especially critical among widespread staffing shortages.
Shippers have a broad range to choose from when it comes to selecting the right brokerage partner. In this hyper-competitive freight landscape, it can be difficult for shippers to ensure they’re partnering with a strategic broker that’s a good fit for their specific business. For our recommended considerations, check out our recent blog on four non-negotiables to look for in a freight broker.
The Bottom Line
The current economy has created phenomenal opportunities for brokers and shippers alike, and now is the perfect time to begin a logistics career. In this dynamic market, brokerages have a unique opportunity to learn and build rapport with shippers at a time when they are looking to capitalize on new, high-quality, and cost-effective partnerships.