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Old 02-04-2016, 11:54 PM   #101
Stushaft
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

Father (57 - Challenger) and Brother (22 Gordon Food Services) both recently completed their first year of driving.

They are considering doing a partnered route through Challenger.
Salary: 85k each
Route: Vancouver - Alberta - West Coast US, ultimately LA Area (12 days)
Upside: tax benefit because you end up being out of country a good portion of the year.

My brother is considering doing the above for a year to two years to build some savings and Establish a bit more history and go through the challenger training program.

A) In my brothers position, being motivated, what would be your next move? Are there any career trajectories that appear promising or is it truly a dead end, temporary gig?

B) If both your brother and father were truck drivers, how could a motivated older
Sibling leverage their skill set? What jumps to mind?

A bit of a different tone for the thread but would
Welcome your viewpoint coming from a different angle of the industry
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:36 AM   #102
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

A) It's a difficult job driving a truck. At the same time it pays pretty well for a job that requires very few qualifications. I'm not sure how to answer 'is it a dead end temporary gig'... Your brother and your dad are both being offered 85k to drive, which is pretty good compared to the median salary of the US or Canada. If you're asking if it gets better the answer is no.

B) You could go to work for a trucking company and learn the business. Then assuming your brother and dad are good at their jobs (this is honestly just a combination of common sense and a ridiculous tolerance for sleep deprivation) you can dispatch them, start a trucking company, almost anything you want. It's not super hard to make money off of having reliable truckers... Trucking as a business is primarily about two resources, good truck drivers, and good freight.
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Old 02-06-2016, 02:53 AM   #103
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

Long haul trucking will be the first professional driving job eliminated by SDC. I'd be surprised if your Dad makes it to retirement with a career.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:15 AM   #104
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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Long haul trucking will be the first professional driving job eliminated by SDC. I'd be surprised if your Dad makes it to retirement with a career.
His dad's in no danger from SDC... but his brother will definitely get automated out of existence at some point.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:04 PM   #105
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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How are they shipping it? Are they just sending it LTL (I doubt it) or are they using some sort of courier service?

The only way to know if your existing transportation company is overpriced is to bid the work out to other carriers and see what they come up with. If it's within 25% you're probably not getting ripped off too hard.

Be very careful about people offering you different modes of transportation than you're currently using. I can probably move your shipment for significantly <500 dollars LTL... But LTL sucks really hard. Your shipment could easily be late or damaged going that route.
I got this down to 64 cents a pound plus a fuel surcharge and special pickup from tradeshow location. Decent deal on a per pound base domestic us? They use ups I believe
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:36 PM   #106
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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I got this down to 64 cents a pound plus a fuel surcharge and special pickup from tradeshow location. Decent deal on a per pound base domestic us? They use ups I believe
Is this parcel or LTL?
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:59 PM   #107
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

How accurate is FTRIntel for transportation/logistics news?
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:26 AM   #108
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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How accurate is FTRIntel for transportation/logistics news?
They don't seem dumb. I don't have a subscription so I can't really go past that point.
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:51 PM   #109
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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Anything under a pallet is best shipped through Fedex/DHL/UPS. Which one is best is totally dependent on what you're shipping and to where.
Can you expand a bit on this for within Canada, and for Canada to USA (and I guess USA to Canada). Not food or anything on any restricted list. So curious what I don't know with regards to how I'd pick one of Fedex/DHL/UPS.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:43 AM   #110
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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Can you expand a bit on this for within Canada, and for Canada to USA (and I guess USA to Canada). Not food or anything on any restricted list. So curious what I don't know with regards to how I'd pick one of Fedex/DHL/UPS.
Whichever one has the best rate and time to delivery (if that last part matters). They're going to have different rates depending on your origin and your delivery. Basically different carriers have different infrastructure setup that can make lanes more or less expensive for them vs other carriers.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:17 AM   #111
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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Whichever one has the best rate and time to delivery (if that last part matters). They're going to have different rates depending on your origin and your delivery. Basically different carriers have different infrastructure setup that can make lanes more or less expensive for them vs other carriers.
Ah ok, was sort of half-expecting some industry secret beyond "call for quotes". Figured maybe one was known to do better domestically or something. I know ordering from USA to Canada, UPS is known to be the absolute worst in terms of fees. I do everything I can to avoid it.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:33 PM   #112
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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Ah ok, was sort of half-expecting some industry secret beyond "call for quotes". Figured maybe one was known to do better domestically or something. I know ordering from USA to Canada, UPS is known to be the absolute worst in terms of fees. I do everything I can to avoid it.
Yeah... 'call people for quotes' is something you get forced to do a lot when you go into a new market in my business. It's actually super unpleasant the first few weeks after you land a customer and you don't have a stable of regulars to reach out to yet. Not only are you probably paying more than the competition you're actively making carrier selection mistakes that your competition has already made and learned from. Controlling the customers expectations is so important early.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:14 PM   #113
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

How widely implemented is LEAN across the industry? I figured it would've been the standard by now, but I have encountered US logistics companies and transport manufacturers that don't implement LEAN.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:19 PM   #114
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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How widely implemented is LEAN across the industry? I figured it would've been the standard by now, but I have encountered US logistics companies and transport manufacturers that don't implement LEAN.
The transportation industry is so fragmented you'll run into people across the spectrum efficiency wise. One of the largest customer side Transportation Management Systems is literally called lean logistics so take that for what it is.

It's very fashionable among MBA's so it's pretty standard among shippers and carriers that are big enough to be able to cost justifying hiring MBA's.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:49 AM   #115
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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Anything under a pallet is best shipped through Fedex/DHL/UPS. Which one is best is totally dependent on what you're shipping and to where.
How high or heavy do they stack a pallet? I have a sense of the base size, just not sure if the order I have in mind would stack up to one (or the weight limits).
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:43 PM   #116
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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How high or heavy do they stack a pallet? I have a sense of the base size, just not sure if the order I have in mind would stack up to one (or the weight limits).
I'd try to keep it under 100" tall. As for weight you'd have a hard time going heavier than a pallet I shipped last week... 5000 lbs of welding wire on a single theoretically stackable pallet.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:11 AM   #117
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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I'd try to keep it under 100" tall. As for weight you'd have a hard time going heavier than a pallet I shipped last week... 5000 lbs of welding wire on a single theoretically stackable pallet.
Seems like I fluked my theoretical UPS vs trucking price point on a quote I asked for yesterday. I'm looking at some prefinished wood panels that are particularly hard to get where I live. Panels are 14" wide and 24" long, 3/4 of an inch thick. 50 of those is right on the line where anything more it's (allegedly) cheaper to go truck + pallet than UPS (Indiana to upstate New York). Guessing if you pack them properly it's 25" tall and a footprint of 625 square inches. Weight's gotta be somewhere between 200 and 250 pounds. In your experience does that 200 pound mark make sense for traditional freight being better off than UPS? The dude certainly had no reason to lie about it, fairly sure he just wants to make a deal with me on the sale (and the cheapest shipping I can afford).
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:43 AM   #118
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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Seems like I fluked my theoretical UPS vs trucking price point on a quote I asked for yesterday. I'm looking at some prefinished wood panels that are particularly hard to get where I live. Panels are 14" wide and 24" long, 3/4 of an inch thick. 50 of those is right on the line where anything more it's (allegedly) cheaper to go truck + pallet than UPS (Indiana to upstate New York). Guessing if you pack them properly it's 25" tall and a footprint of 625 square inches. Weight's gotta be somewhere between 200 and 250 pounds. In your experience does that 200 pound mark make sense for traditional freight being better off than UPS? The dude certainly had no reason to lie about it, fairly sure he just wants to make a deal with me on the sale (and the cheapest shipping I can afford).
If you have an option to ship LTL instead of parcel it's almost always MUCH cheaper. Similarly once you get to about 15-25' of volume it rapidly starts to make more sense as a truckload.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:27 PM   #119
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

BoredSocial - How is business now vs when you started this thread?
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:31 AM   #120
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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BoredSocial - How is business now vs when you started this thread?
2014 was a very good year for freight brokers. 2015 was significantly less so. No idea about 2016 yet.
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:49 PM   #121
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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2014 was a very good year for freight brokers. 2015 was significantly less so. No idea about 2016 yet.
Why was 2014 good and 2015 bad?
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:10 PM   #122
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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Why was 2014 good and 2015 bad?
In 2014 it was actually hard to find a truck. There was a capacity crunch, which pushed customers into the spot market. Basically our services got pretty expensive.

In 2015 the price of fuel went down drastically while trucking supply was also up (as carriers reacted to 2014)... And then we had a ****ty produce season. Not a good time.

In 2016 I'm more on the carrier side, but all I've seen is the usual gloom and doom of the first quarter. I'm seeing the beginning of the annual produce season demand/price spike... Hopefully it's big.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:20 AM   #123
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

I'm thinking of using a customs broker for a commercial import that I'd be taking across the border myself. Seeing some of the prices I figure paying that the first time I do it is going to save me a ton of working figuring out all the codes and such. What's a decent price to pay on something in the $2500-$5000 range for the goods? I know sub $2500 I'm looking at something piddly like $30.
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Old 04-12-2016, 03:21 PM   #124
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

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I'm thinking of using a customs broker for a commercial import that I'd be taking across the border myself. Seeing some of the prices I figure paying that the first time I do it is going to save me a ton of working figuring out all the codes and such. What's a decent price to pay on something in the $2500-$5000 range for the goods? I know sub $2500 I'm looking at something piddly like $30.
I have no earthly idea. I wouldn't be sure that the rate was something as small as 30 dollars... No matter what the value is someone is going to have to do the work to get the paperwork done.
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:25 AM   #125
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Re: AMA about the logistics industry or working at a freight brokerage

So now feels like a decent place for an update.

I'm hiring my first guy in <1 month. He's already got an offer letter which he has accepted.

I have a pretty good system going for moving loads of produce. If I can hire people and get them to execute it I'm going to make a lot of money. There are at least 10k call center jobs within 5 miles of my home office. Those places hurl out people with strong phone skills all the time. I can pay those people 40% more than the call centers they just quit and still make 30k a body AFTER paying 14.50/ft for an office (two years out we're still in my home office) on brokers who are doing the absolute minimum to not get fired.

The good ones I could very easily end up paying VERY well, but I'll be making ridiculous amounts of money off of them. My old employer has a broker who did 1M in gross profit last year. If I had her working for me I'd have paid her 400k and kept 200k+ myself. If I hire enough people some of them are going to do really well.

I ****ing love this business. I really do.
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