As a Freight Agent, you already know diversifying your book of business is critical to a successful agency. But are you targeting the best industries? If you are looking to grow your profits, keep reading.
Types of Freight
First, it is important to consider the types of freight you can move as a Freight Agent: road, rail, ocean, and air. This article focuses on road freight moved by truck. Even within this type of freight, there are different types of trucks used depending on the goods that need to be transported.
- Truckload (FTL): a full truckload of freight moved from starting point to destination without loading in between
- Temperature-Controlled: used for shipping produce that must be kept from freezing, or food products that must be frozen or refrigerated (reefer)
- Open-Deck: Special freight that does not fit inside a traditional enclosed trailer
- Less-Than-Truckload (LTL): a partial truckload of freight not large enough to take up the capacity of an entire truck
- Bulk Transport: large quantities of dry or liquid goods shipped without packaging
As an Agent, you should take time to think about the pros and cons of each type of freight. For example, LTL shipments have less wasted space and are more economical so it may be attractive to shippers wanting to save money but also leads to increased freight transit times. For a temperature-controlled truck, a mechanical failure could result in a lost load and lost profits. While not common, bulk transport can be risky for goods such as flammable liquids. However, some of these risks also leave room for a greater need to move these types of freight.
The Most Profitable Industries
Second, Freight Agents should also dig into the most profitable industries. Have you heard the phrase “riches in the niches”? It’s true! Many successful Agents become specialists and move specific types of goods or goods for specific industries. It is best to start out with one niche and then expand over time.
There are hundreds of industries you can target. However, some are more profitable and in-demand than others. We recommend pursuing the following 8 industries for the greatest profit potential.
- Construction Equipment: manufacturers of heavy equipment
- Chemicals: hazardous and non-hazardous
- Building Supplies: this includes lumber, steel, and any manufacturer producing building supplies such as siding, shingles, and so forth
- Oil and Gas: there are many large and ancillary drilling companies as well as related suppliers that produce the equipment they need
- Medical: this includes medical supplies, devices, and pharmaceuticals
- Automobile: manufacturers and suppliers of new and old vehicles, auto parts, and accessories
- Food and Beverage: everything from produce to bottled water, this is an essential and huge industry
- Consumer Goods and E-Commerce: this is another large industry and includes almost anything in your house from shampoo to furniture
If there is an industry you want to learn more about, simply Google it. Take note of the various types of goods within the industry and make a list of companies selling these products. You might start your search with larger well-known companies, but dig deeper to find smaller companies within each niche as well. Use your list as a springboard for lead generation.
It can be easy for newer Freight Agents to get overwhelmed, but don’t let the vast amount of opportunities deter you from focusing on one industry at a time. Pick any of the industries we mentioned, research, and start making cold calls. You can always shift gears and switch industries later if you need a change, but the riches really are in the niches.
If you already have a book of business, become an Independent Freight Agent for Kopf. With 24/7 office support and generous commission splits, you’ll have the tools you need to succeed. Apply here or give us a call at 574.349.5600 to get recruited today.