As a Broker of general commodities in the trucking industry, we provide a service to both, shippers/distributors and trucking companies. We specialize in over the road, long haul shipments but no job is ever too big or too small. We can accommodate full truckload as well as "less than truckload" shipments anywhere in the United States.
Business is generated by calling on prospective customers to find out how they move their product from point to point. If trucking is one of the modes, we will get as much information about their commodity regarding pick up and delivery policies and procedures and which geographic lanes they cover. Once this information is obtained I will submit rate quotes for what we would charge to handle their needs. We can quote per shipment with a flat rate charge or break it down with a "per hundredweight" rate which enables the shipper to charge their customer by weight if preferred.
These quotes are based on trends in the market and what it will take to enable them to have their delivery needs met and at the same time, along the lines of what the prospective trucking companies need to keep their equipment generating revenue. No trucking companies want their equipment going up and down the road empty and not generating revenue.
If the rates are acceptable to the customer, I will give them all of my company information they require, such as ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) Operating Authority, Contact information, Insurance and Surety Bond coverage. After we reach an agreement of what they need and what I can do for them, all that is left is setting up the first shipment.
Our main goal is to help meet the shipper's needs by saving them as much money as possible along with being a contractor that basically handles their transportation department job for them.
We do this is by getting all of the pick up and delivery needs for the shipment and making sure all is done from beginning to end exactly the way they want it done.
We are able to deliver to a particular facility or if the materials are shipped directly to a job in progress, where coordinating the meeting between the truck and the contractor unloading the material is required. We handle all of of the communication throughout the move from pick up to delivery enabling us to provide location and status to all parties involved at any time.
Regarding the trucking companies and their needs, we are constantly recruiting new companies. To get set up with a trucking company we have a "Broker - Carrier" packet we exchange that contains all of the physical and mailing addresses and payment details. Also, the Operating Authority, Federal Tax ID numbers, Insurance and Bond information included in this exchange. Carriers generally carry at least $100000.00 Cargo insurance along with $1,000,000.00 Liability Coverage. We also have a Broker-Carrier agreement that is provided to ensure all expectations of each party is clear and agreed upon. Once this process is completed, we are ready to begin a mutually beneficial relationship that will hopefully continue over time.
Each company we work with has their desired running lanes they service and we can use this information to best match them up with jobs that will keep them loaded in the direction they need. Trucking companies generally have their customers they service from home base and whenever they send their trucks on an "Out Haul" and have made their deliveries, they look for companies like Great Southern to provide them with revenue generating loads that will get them back home quickly so they can be ready to service their customers needs again.
The methods for signing on new carriers is basically cold calling and talking about what kind of equipment they operate, such as flatbeds, step decks, retractable curtain side vans or dry box vans, etc.
We ask what lanes or regions they like to operate in and as our Shipper's needs dictate, we are able to concentrate which carriers would ideally be able to use particular loads.
Once a shipment is booked and completed, the trucking company will invoice us for the agreed upon rate by sending the proper paperwork. This includes their invoice along with a copy of the rate agreement or rate confirmation and the signed delivery receipt or BOL (Bill of Lading).
We then bill the Shipper for the job and pay the trucking company at the same time. We never make the carrier wait till we are paid from our customer to pay them. Being able to pay quickly makes us more attractive to the carrier simply because they will get their money without having to chase after it.
Now more than ever there are companies opening every day that want to provide this logistics function and that is to be expected. Our goal and mission is what separates us from the "less desirables". We strive to provide the best service possible by using our extensive knowledge and experience to get the job done within the legal operating laws of the industry. We carry the mandatory Surety Bond coverage of $75,000.00 to ensure we are accountable to our business operations and are not going to be here one day and then gone the next.