“How do freight forwarders find shippers?” The question is as old as the freight forwarding industry itself. Prospecting for freight shippers and generating sales are still some of the most challenging tasks that freight forwarders and sales reps can face.
In the world of freight forwarding, there are so many freight forwarder options and competitors trying to undercut your freight rates that can make it difficult to gain significant profits. Therefore, finding new customers for your business and remaining good customer relationships will be one of the top priorities for freight forwarders.
Finding freight shippers is not easy and can be quite tiring. This is why we have compiled a list of the 7 proven and clever ways to help guide and innovate you through the searching process.
1. Ideas Surrounding You
If you look around, regardless of where you are, the things and objects that you see are most likely freights and loads delivered and hauled by transports. As a freight forwarder, you can research the products and objects you see every day and find out where they are produced and how they are transported. They are all potential shippers that need freight moved and can make use of your service.
2. Review of Purchase History
If you are currently out of ways to find new clients, reviewing your purchasing history may be a great starting place. Whether it’s a receipt or online history of your payments, the products that you have bought are produced and transported from somewhere. To find freight shippers that need freight moved, you may need to think outside the box.
3. Search For Competition of the Industry
Every product that is transported by freight forwarders has its competitors. Take a famous and large company like Tesla. It may be hard to replace the freight forwarder firm currently in charge of Tesla’s freight transport, but this may not be true for Tesla’s smaller competitors. Freight forwarders can find a list of the smaller competitors of each industry to generate freight shipper ideas.
4. Use MacRae’s Blue Book and Other Shippers’ Lists
MacRae’s blue book is America’s original industrial directory since 1893 with more than 1 million suppliers. You can search for companies based on manufactured product types. Moreover, the freight rate estimates will even be included in the company’s detailed information section.
Other shippers’ lists include The Industry Week 500, and Boeing 737 Suppliers. There are also paid directories such as LoadPilot that has listed 30,000 freight shippers for freight forwarders.
5. Livestock, Produce, and USDA
Livestock and produce are shipped to different places and countries to satisfy consumer needs. Who doesn’t love the avocados produced in California? You can take a look at the USDA business listings to locate the farmers or owners who grow crops and raise livestock and then contact them as well.
6. Satellite View of Company Buildings
A creative way to find shippers for freight forwarders is to use Google Maps satellite. You can search street by street in industrial areas and verify if a location has a dock. From there you can find out if the firm is utilizing a freight forwarding service.
7. Cold Calling Shippers
Cold calling is a common way to find potential freight shippers that need freight moved. Once you find a shipper, you will need to contact them or knock on their doors to attract their interest in using a freight forwarder service. You can also send a quick email, but the chances of getting replied are very low. The best way is still to directly call the shippers and present them your pitch.
What Is More Important Than Finding Freight Shippers for Freight Forwarders?
Finding freight shippers for freight forwarders may be a tedious and time-consuming task. However, what is more difficult is turning these shippers into returning customers who will use your freight forwarder service in the long term. Customer relationship management is becoming a very important component of a successful freight forwarder business model. Currently, there are not a lot of forwarding software for freight forwarders that contain features of CRM. GoFreight is one of the few freight forwarder software that contains robust CRM features that will help accelerate your business growth. Get a free demo now to see how GoFreight can help your business tremendously.