August 18, 2023

Freight agent autonomy: What does it take?


For freight agents attempting to navigate today’s volatile market, partnering with the right company can mean the difference between success and failure.

California Freight believes in letting independent brokers do what they do best: be brokers. Agents sell the freight, while California Freight handles carrier and shipper administration, as well as other necessary back-end functions. 

California Freight has worked to design an agent program that promotes both autonomy and profitability. To do that, the company offers its independent contractors a wide variety of support and benefits.

Capital and credit

As an asset-based carrier with more than 260 tractors and 280 drivers, California Freight gives agents access to the capital they need to facilitate customer growth. At the same time, the company’s excellent credit score gives agents the backing they need to pay their vendors on time.

“As the economy continues to struggle in many sectors, carriers and brokers alike are disappearing from our industry,” Ryan Sanders, California Freight’s director of brokerage, said. “Having assets adds financial stability many customers would like to see in their logistics network.” 

Access to capital and credit are more important than ever. Without capital, shippers will be left to bear the broker’s unpaid costs, jeopardizing — and often destroying — the relationship.

From a carrier perspective, agents must have vendors to sell their services. This seems simple, but poor credit typically results in a severe lack of capacity to sell those services to.

IT resources

Technology is at the center of growth in just about every industry today, and logistics is no different.

“Without the proper technology-driven environment, freight agents have severe disadvantages in today’s market,” Sanders said. “Having the correct internal technological applications, carrier-facing applications and customer-facing applications allows a company to maintain a competitive advantage.”

California Freight offers agents access to a slew of technologies, including:

  • A TMS that can integrate with all applications.

    Integrations allow companies to expand their capabilities without expending internal resources to build customized applications. Agents partnering with California Freight gain access to a myriad of solutions, including: Registry Monitoring Insurance Services (RMIS), Parade, paperless back-end functionality, automated tracking and tracing user interface for customer-facing value, as well as a platform for customers to pull their own PODs.

  • RMIS that allows for 24/7 sign-ups and monitoring.

    Once a carrier registers and is certified through California Freight’s automated vetting process within RMIS, they flow into the TMS within 15 minutes through a full integration between the two. Agents do not have to wait for manual codes from corporate, allowing them to book with ease and speed.

  • Applications such as Parade, allowing for large carrier exposure through automated processes running in the background.

    These solutions enable back-end automation to connect freight to carriers. California Freight offers a book-now feature through Parade, meaning freight can continue being booked through automation around the clock without having to do the manual legwork. 

Back-end support

When agents partner with California Freight, they gain access to a new level of back-end support in regard to both personnel and technology.

“Our staff offers our agent partners the same quality of service we do for our own customer base,” Sanders said. “Just as a customer can take their freight and move it to another carrier, agents can take their freight and move it to another brokerage firm offering similar services to their agents. We separate ourselves from the competition by offering exceptional back-end services to our agent family.”

Agents receive IT support, claim support and reconciliation, customer billing, customer collections, carrier payables, feedback on rates and strategy, as well as full access to accounting and administrative staff to assist with any other needs that may arise.

Click here to learn more about California Freight’s agent program.


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