The U.S. freight transport market is large and highly competitive. This segment accounts for between 5 and 6% of the country’s gross national product. In 2020, the U.S. freight transport industry generated total annual revenues of $732.3 billion and total operating revenues of more than $384.6 billion. According to a forecast from the American Trucking Association, national freight transport volume is expected to grow rapidly, increasing 24% by the end of 2022.
In logistics, road transport enables "just in time" delivery and minimizes additional costs. That is why companies in the U.S. with access to highways prefer to use this delivery method. Except for bulk cargo and oil/gas, over 70% of the country's freight is transported by road. In 2021, according to Freight Transportation Research Associates, Inc., 109,340 new trucking companies launched operations, a 45% increase vs. the 59,538 that launched in 2020. In the road delivery sector there more than 679,127 owners and operators, of whom 33.2% are women and 66.8% are men.
As in Europe, trucking is divided into three sectors: full truckload (FTL), less-than-truckload (LTL) and courier delivery. Procurement of transport services is carried out in two ways: via search engines or with the services of a broker. Buyers tend to prefer working with brokers for ongoing or time-sensitive deliveries. To become a freight broker in the United States, a company must have a license and make a deposit of $10,000 to $100,000, depending on its size. This deposit serves as security in case a broker fails to meet some financial obligations to a carrier.
Upon receiving an order from a client, a broker begins to source carrying capacity among its supplier base or via posting the requirement on the internet. After the broker identifies a potential transportation partner, the two parties discuss the specifics of the shipment, i.e. delivery terms, price, volume, and weight.
After exchanging documents and doing due diligence on each other’s experience and credentials, including the partner’s Motor Carrier registration number, a deal is closed. After the order is accepted and confirmed, a supervisory operator calls the shipping warehouse and provides the vehicle number, the driver's contact information, and the time of cargo collection. Sometimes supervisory operators do not share the driver's phone number as part of supervisory procedures. Also, not all drivers are fluent in English, so issues can be resolved more easily through the supervisory operator.
To speed up payment for transport services, a carrier often uses the services of factoring companies which assume the financial obligations of a broker in return for interest. The rate of this interest depends on the size of the shipping company, the number of trucks involved, and the size of the cargo.
“The Tampa team continues to build and maintain high-level relationships with both customers and suppliers through these challenging times. These relationships secure trust in each other and helps us work together through any situation. Our goal is to grow with our clients and carriers. Together we are better”, says Travis Aldridge, Branch Manager at AsstrA Tampa.
Author: Anna Kom.