All leaders have something in common: people follow them.  Independent Freight Agents managing teams are also leaders because they have employees following them.  If this is the case for you, you are likely reading this article because you are interested in becoming a better leader.  Here are six leadership skills Independent Freight Agents can develop to help manage their team effectively.

1. Communicate Effectively

Being a leader in the logistics industry requires an assortment of skills, and effective communication might be the most important of them all. While it seems like an easy concept to grasp, one has to understand its true importance. Freight Agents should be able to convey important information to carriers while also serving as their voice if problems arise. The importance of clear and effective communication can’t be understated. 

2. Keep Up with Current Affairs

Independent Freight Agents need to stay up-to-date in the ever-changing arena of the trucking industry. They need to observe trends, analyze situations and develop action plans to accommodate carriers and customers. By doing so, they are able to forecast potential issues or changes in the industry and relay these to their customers, providing the top-notch customer service everyone expects.  Additionally, they communicate these trends with their teams.   

3. Be Opportunistic

The logistics industry is a battlefield. Everyone is battling for their own space and unafraid to step on toes to get it. Companies are always looking to manage costs, and some of them are even entering into short-term partnerships to make this happen. Independent Freight Agents need to tap into these situations and forge bonds with these companies to ensure continued success.  

4. Focus on Relationships

The true business of an Independent Freight Agent starts and ends with relationships.  Forge relationships, not deals.  This perspective should clearly be exemplified and promoted with all members of the team.  Agents should be proficient at making connections with their clients, whether they’re a customer or carrier. Consider offering a volume discount, an early delivery or white glove service to ensure strong business relations are formed. 

5. Listen to Your Team

As a Freight Agent, you need to show understanding and empathy to your team’s daily problems. It is crucial to put your feet in their shoes and find solutions to their woes.  Do you have weekly meetings?  Are you checking in frequently with meaningful conversations with your team?  When you do so, are you listening more than speaking?  If your team feels heard, they feel valued, and if they feel valued, they are more likely to work hard.  

6. Embrace Technology

The extent to which technology is being used in the transportation industry continues to grow.  Independent Freight Agents should be ready to adopt new technology to save costs, improve services, and empower their team.  Kopf’s TMS technology is a simple yet powerful way to manage the supply chain, allowing Freight Agents to move more loads.

Final Thoughts

Successful Independent Freight Agents are ready and willing to adapt as leaders.  They understand their success is accelerated when their team works together.  Freight Agents managing teams grow as leaders by communicating effectively, keeping up with current affairs, being opportunistic, focusing on relationships, listening, and embracing technology.  Your ability to manage your team well leads to financial freedom and a life well-lived.

Are you an Independent Freight Agent interested in Kopf’s Agent Program?  LEARN MORE – or – contact Jeanie today at 574.349.5600.

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