What Do Freight Consultants Do?

When a company is looking for ways to decrease costs and improve their logistics processes they often turn to Freight consultants. These specialists are often able to help their clients save money by performing an audit of the companies shipping rates and identifying new savings opportunities. These experts are able to identify inefficiencies, make improvements and implement the best solutions. However, before a shipper hires a consultant it is important that they understand what exactly these professionals do. There are a number of terms that are used within the freight industry, such as freight broker, 3PL and Freight Consultancy and each of these companies offers something different.

This is why it is essential to have a clear understanding of what each one does and their unique business model before you start to engage with any one of them. It is also important for shippers to do their homework on the consultants they are considering and what they actually do, this way they can avoid paying for services that they don’t need.

There are several types of Freight consultants and they each have their own unique approach to finding freight cost reductions. These include Freight consultants that focus on improving the supply chain, freight brokers and 3PLs. Each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses and can offer the right solution for a shipper. For example, Intelligent Audit takes a freight invoicing technology focused approach to helping their clients find savings. This helps reduce their overall transportation costs and ensures that outcomes best align with corporate objectives.

Regardless of the type of freight consulting firm, all of them must have a good understanding of shipping rates and carrier service levels. This includes being aware of the pricing and capacity issues that may impact the largest railroads or smallest owner-operators in the trucking world. They should also have an understanding of the differences in service requirements for dry van trailer, box truck, expedited and refrigerated shipments. Additionally, they should be able to recognize problems with carrier invoices such as double billing and erroneous charges that are caused by manual entry errors or miscommunication between a shipper and a freight vendor.

It is also helpful for a freight consultant to have a good network of contacts with other shipping professionals. This allows them to stay abreast of the latest trends and changes in the shipping industry. This will give them a better edge when negotiating with carriers. Additionally, they should be able to connect their shipper clients with other carriers to help them find capacity for difficult loads.

In addition to this, Freight consultants should have access to critical carrier benchmarking data that is not readily available from their clients. This can help them spot opportunities to improve their shipping contracts and save their client bundles of cash without negatively affecting their service levels. This type of intelligence is not easy to come by and is what separates successful Freight consultants from their less-effective counterparts.