Freight brokers play an important role in the transportation industry. In the U.S., which has the world’s largest transportation network, more than 71% of freight tonnage is transported on trucks. In 2016, the trucking industry generated $738.9 billion in gross freight revenue, representing 81.5% of America’s freight bill.
To move all of that freight quickly and smoothly, someone has to schedule and arrange shipments. That someone is usually a freight broker.
What Role Do Truck Load Brokers Play?
A freight broker acts as a middleman in the transportation process.
They connect shippers with truckers to ensure that goods get where they need to go without a hitch (hopefully).
Along with matching shippers and transporters, brokers may also act as negotiators to get the best price for each party. They may also make adjustments to the shipping service to ensure that the job gets done.
It’s easy to assume that brokers aren’t an integral part of the transportation industry. They are, after all, just middlemen. But their services are invaluable to both carriers and shippers.
Shippers don’t often have the experience or time to find reliable carriers. Most trucking companies ship and deliver loads without issues, but there are always a few bad apples out there.
Brokers also help truckers. They act as a reliable source for loads to haul.
Freight brokers are usually involved in every stage of the shipping process, from pairing brokers and truckers to tracking loads and verifying deliveries.
Who is the Largest Freight Brokerage Firm in North America?
With more than 110,000 customers in North America and abroad, C.H. Robinson is the largest freight brokerage firm in North America.
But does that make them the best? Let’s find out.
The 10 Best Freight Broker Companies
If you plan on working with a freight brokerage firm, you may be wondering which one to choose. We’ve compiled a list of the best freight broker companies to make your decision a little easier.
10. Mode Transportation
Operating all across North America, Mode Transportation has relationships with more than 30,000 carriers and drivers in the region and access to over 2 million pieces of equipment.
The company offers a fully-integrated transportation system.
Mode has over 250 independent sales agents and over 100 office locations. They offer a wide range of shipping services, including:
While Mode can accommodate any industry, they have expertise in the following sectors:
- Food and beverage (including wine and beer)
The company also makes sustainability a priority by working with SmartWay to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
9. Yusen Logistics Inc.
Founded in 1955, Yusen Logistics Inc. offers a wide range of services, including freight forwarding, contract logistics and transportation.
Yusen serves a variety of industries, including:
- Pharmaceutical and healthcare
The company’s global network covers 310 cities in 43 countries, and they have over 22,000 employees.
8. Worldwide Express
Located in Dallas, TX, Worldwide Express works with over 40,000 businesses. The company is one of two primary UPS Authorized Resellers in the United States.
Their services include:
- Small package
While the company is headquartered in Dallas, it has more than 125 local offices across the country. Most of the offices are concentrated along the eastern United States, but they do have offices in California and Arizona.
What makes Worldwide Express unique is their ability to handle just about any shipment – from small packages to pallets of merchandise.
7. J.B. Hunt Integrated Solutions
J.B. Hunt is a Fortune 500 company and a familiar name in the trucking industry. The company acts as a freight broker firm, but they also manage their own fleet of trucks.
The company serves the United States, Mexico and Canada.
J.B. Hunt has a long history in the business. They were founded in 1961 in Arkansas and went public in 1983.
The company has partnerships with over 20,000 carriers and offers a range of shipping solutions, including:
- Final mile
- Private fleet backhaul
- Single source
As one of the largest transportation companies in the U.S., J.B. Hunt has a reputation for being a reliable firm.
6. Coyote Logistics
Named one of America’s Most Promising Companies by Forbes in 2013, Coyote works with more than 14,000 shippers ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies.
The company offers many brokerage services, including:
They also offer transportation management services.
Since their founding in 2006, Coyote has built an ever-growing network of more than 40,000 carriers. Their platform, BAZOOKA, allows employees to manage every step of the transaction from start to finish. Customers and carriers can also view and track shipments.
Tech-focused, Coyote streamlines the shipping process and allows for transparency from start to finish.
5. XPO Logistics Inc.
XPO Logistics Inc. is one of the top ten logistics companies in the world. The company operates in 32 countries and has over 95,000 employees with 1,455 locations. XPO works with more than 50,000 customers.
The company is the second-largest freight brokerage firm in the world. They have around 7,000 trucks under contract in the United States, offering the following services:
- Last mile
Their carrier relationships offer an additional million trucks.
XPO uses Freight Optimizer technology to find the best capacity for each load. They use a combination of pricing, lanes, market conditions and carrier ratings.
Offering a global team and one of the largest networks in the industry, XPO is easily one of the best brokerage firms out there.
Landstar offers a large network of carriers and independent agents. Because each carrier and agent acts as an independent business, Landstar’s partners are highly motivated to please customers.
The company offers access to over 58,000 truck capacity providers and a large range of equipment. Landstar works with over 22,000 customers worldwide.
With over three decades of financial stability and experience, Landstar has a reputation for being one of the safest transport networks in all of North America. In fact, they claim to have a 99% claim-free delivery rate and an accident frequency that is far below the industry average.
When safety and reliability are your top concerns, Landstar is the brokerage firm you need.
3. Total Quality Logistics
Using industry-leading technology, Total Quality Logistics is a leader in the freight brokerage industry and has been in business since 1997. The company serves as a dedicated point of contact and boasts a carrier network of more than 65,000. They currently employ more than 4,200 people.
Total Quality Logistics offers the following shipping services:
Frequently named a top company to work for, Total Quality Logistics was named one of the Top Freight Brokerage Firms in 2017 by Transport Topics.
A reliable company with happy employees, Total Quality Logistics ensures that shipments get where they need to go – on time.
2. Echo Global Logistics
Echo may be a young company (founded in 2005), but it’s a leader in the freight brokerage field. Much of their success is due to their advanced technology and enthusiastic team.
Echo’s proprietary technology uses integrated portals to ensure better transmission and data collection. Their technology also allows for real-time visibility and better reporting for better results all across the board.
Echo offers a reliable network and exceptional service, making it one of the best freight brokerage firms out there.
1. C.H. Robinson
Regarded as the biggest and best freight brokerage firm in North America, C.H. Robinson tops our list. The firm is easily the leader in this industry.
The company offers:
- 15,000 supply chain experts
- Coverage in 39 countries across 5 continents
- 73,000 contract carriers
- 120,000 customers
The company provides a number of shipping services, including:
- Intermodal and rail
- Over the road
C.H. Robinson provides a suite of technological solutions for brokers and carriers, including:
- Navisphere Carrier: Designed for carriers, this solution allows carriers to access loads, driver assignments, documents and more.
- Navisphere: Offers end-to-end shipment visibility and reporting across all regions and modes. Users can track and trace shipments, view and print documents, generate reports, request quotes and manage accounts payable from a central location.
- Navisphere Vision: Allows for better supply chain management by offering alerts, analytics and real-time order and shipment data.
No matter your needs, C.H. Robinson can help. And as one of the most financially stable companies in America, you can rely on them to be there when you need them most.