Managing your Day as a Transportation Freight Agent
Being a transportation freight agent is no easy task. It does not matter if you are a freight broker agent or a transportation capacity agent, you have a lot to do EVERY day.
The easiest way to say this is you are a small business owner with all the operations, administrative and sales duties that any small business owner has.
If you do not give sufficient time to operations then you will not make any money. It is through operations you make your living. Whether you are loading trucks as a freight agent or moving loads as a brokerage agent the loads and/or trucks must move for you to generate revenue.
Without proper administration you will not get paid on the loads you move as a freight agent or you might find your trucks are placed out of service by your safety department if you are not keeping up with driver and truck paperwork.
It is your administrative department that makes sure the bills of lading are turned in, the loads are entered into the billing system, dispatched and perhaps invoiced to make sure you have a steady weekly income coming in to pay your bills.
Without sales you may find you have no loads to dispatch in order to generate revenue. You might think you have enough freight right now but what about tomorrow. An active sales initiative keeps customers happy and brings in new customers so your operations and administrative departments have something to do every day.
Many people have a dream to become a freight agent but do not really understand what being a freight agent is all about. Being a successful freight agent is about managing a small business and all of its daily activities and routines. Not only do you have operations, administrative and sales. You are also your own legal, personnel and conflict resolution department. In a small freight agency you are all of those things and more.
How you decide to manage your day is extremely important to your long term success as a freight agent or freight broker agent.
The best way is to break your day down into segments. Yes, things will happen during the day to make you change your plans. That is normal. But start with a plan and try to keep to it. You may also have certain deadlines on some days like having to have all your bills billed on a certain day. That is not a problem. You can break each day down differently and have 5 or 6 daily plans if necessary.
Just start with a plan. Writing it down helps you accomplish more and keeps you from wondering each day what to do next to be successful. Sometimes in the heat of battle we forget what we need to get accomplished each day.
We are going to look at a sample daily schedule that might work for you. If it does, feel free to use it. If not, make the necessary changes you need to fit your freight agency.
We will use an 8am to 5pm schedule, we know that you probably work more hours than that.
8 am to about 8:15am, assuming we got coffee on the way in we like to use this time to check emails and handle any first thing in the morning items that came up overnight.
8:15am to 9:00am, during this time period we like to call our existing customers to see what loads they have to move. Check to see where all of our trucks are if we run trucks, if not then make sure our broker trucks are where they are supposed to be.
9:00am to 12:00pm, during this time we work on moving our trucks if we have any or finding broker carriers for our customer loads if we are a freight broker agent.
12:00pm to 12:30pm, this is lunch time. If we are a small freight agency we will probably just eat at our desks.
12:30pm to 3:00pm, this is our sales hour. During this time period we will work on sales calls to new customers. This is also when we will reach out to our existing customer base to see what loads they might have available for the next day.
3:00pm to 3:30pm, this is when we will make sure all of our trucks got loaded or all of our broker carriers picked up their loads for today. We might even use this time to dispatch for tomorrow if we already have loads for tomorrow.
3:30pm to 5:00pm, during this time period we would focus on administrative tasks like billing, load entry, dispatching in the computer or safety related paperwork.
This was a very simple example of how you might set up your day. Your schedule should never be set in stone, there will always be emergencies that come up you have to deal with. The will always be something to change your plans almost by the minute as a transportation freight agent.
Again, adjust as the day goes on. Just use this as a starting point.
Remember, when running a small business your success depends on how well you get the things that need to be done completed. It is a lot of responsibility, but you wouldn’t be a freight agent if you were not ready for it.
Please go through the rest of our site and blogs for more information and the transportation industry and being a transportation freight agent.