Is it worth using the services of shipping brokers?

Brokerage services, regardless of the industry, are always based on a similar basis: the broker gains access to services, goods, prices and fee rates that are beyond the reach of some potential buyers. By purchasing goods or services in bulk, brokers may get a low unit price. Even after adding their own margin, they are able to provide customers, who could not afford direct purchase, with an attractive offer. We will show you how this works for courier services.

Handling individual orders is not so profitable for courier companies. Therefore, the prices for  individual customers are often higher than those for larger orders. Even when running a business, it may be difficult for you to negotiate a favourable contract. This is where a shipping broker comes in.

How does a shipping broker work?

A contract with a courier company obliges you to carry out a certain number of shipments per month. In addition, such a contract is usually signed for a fixed period. The same rules apply to brokers. However, they are special customers as they purchase a very large volume of services at one time. The bigger the order, the bigger the competitive advantage  in negotiating prices.

Brokers take over all formalities and risks related to default. Most often, they have contracts with many shipping companies, which allows customers to choose a specific courier. In other words, brokers allow you to select offers that you have not had access to before.

What are the benefits of using a shipping broker?

The first benefit that has already been mentioned above is access to the services of all large and reputable courier companies. However, this is only the beginning of the advantages offered by brokers. The most important benefits of a shipping brokerage service are as follows:

  • attractive price – the difference between the price proposed by the courier company and the broker may differ significantly,
  • no contract required – you do not have to sign a contract with the broker: you do not commit to send a fixed number of parcels, but you can send as many parcels as you currently need, without any additional costs or fixed fees,
  • diversification of courier companies – if you have to ship a pallet shipment, a non-standard package and an envelope with documents at the same time, then you can choose a different courier from the list available on the broker’s website for each of these shipments – you can choose based purely on price instead of using only one company you have got a contract signed with,
  • easy ordering and always up-to-date offers – brokers try to make life easier for the client at all costs, therefore they minimise formalities, facilitate cost calculation and always have up-to-date price lists – all formalities can be completed online
  • timesaving solution – searching courier websites is a time-consuming and often very frustrating activity due to the difficulties in finding the information you need – on the broker’s website you will find offers from different courier companies and price calculators that quickly provide the prices for a specific shipment in various courier companies.

Is a broker always better than a courier company?

If you order courier services only from time to time and you do not want to waste money, the broker will provide you with security and cost efficiency. If you act as an individual, brokerage services are the only real option to provide you with many courier services at an affordable price.

A situation in which things may get a little complicated when using the broker’s services is if your package is damaged or lost and you want to file a complaint. Depending on the conditions offered by a specific brokerage company, you may have to submit a partial complaint to both parties – the broker and the courier company who physically transported the package. However, your first move should always be a phone call or e-mail to the broker. If you contact the courier company first, it may turn out after a few weeks of waiting that your complaint has not been processed, because you are not a party to the courier company according to the applicable law. Fortunately, these cases are very rare and do not reduce the attractiveness of brokerage services.