The logistics sector of each country has its own differences and unwritten rules. What are the features of cargo logistics in America and how do local logistics companies work?
Wide roads, huge trucks, cheap diesel fuel, beautiful landscapes outside the windows of tractors… Unfortunately, American logistics is just beginning here. Such nuances as car breakdowns, delivery times, temperature differences in the states and different time zones seem like flowers! Berries begin when you encounter brokers, factoring and banal scammers. And so, sirs, American logistics…
How to become a broker in America?
It all starts with the cargo that must be delivered from point A to point B. There are 2 ways to do this: use a search engine (similar to www.cargo.lt) or contact a broker. In order to save time, the company itself hires a broker, especially if it knows in advance that the transportation will be permanent.
In order to become a broker in America, you need to take special courses, pass an exam, get a license and make a deposit of $10,000. If the broker does not pay the carrier on time, the company has the right to demand money from the amount of the deposit. Major brokerages contribute up to $100,000.
Having received the order, the broker begins to act. If he has been in business for more than a year, then, having received the cargo, he immediately contacts already familiar carriers. If the broker does not have established connections or if he cannot agree with the company, he places the cargo in the search engine.
How is the cargo received?
The broker contacts the dispatcher and offers the cargo, specifying all the most important aspects: price, weight, cubic capacity, delivery time. Having agreed on the deal by phone, the broker sends the documents to the dispatcher, who signs the documents and sends them back. If this is the first transaction between companies that have not previously worked together, then the broker and the dispatcher exchange MS numbers (Motor Carrier Number – Russian – company registration number), insurance policy numbers and a couple of characteristics from other companies.
The broker checks the number of the insurance policy in the insurance company, and is also interested in the experience of working with this broker from the company that wrote the characteristic.
The carrier, in turn, checks the MC number in the rating of factoring companies. Even if the carrier does not work through factoring, he is still interested in ratings.
In the US, there is no single rating of companies, each company maintains its own accounting, which the carrier pays attention to. However, even the highest rating does not guarantee excellent services. A broker with a high rating can at any time pick up orders, distribute them to carriers and disappear, having appropriated all the money. The deposit will cover only a tiny part of the order amount.
This type of fraud is not uncommon in the American market. On average, out of 200 orders, 1 order will be unprofitable.
Having accepted the order, the dispatcher calls the warehouse where the loading takes place and gives the warehouse workers the car number, the name of the driver, confirms the time and contacts of the broker. Wanting to control the transportation process on their own, the dispatcher does not give out the phone numbers of the drivers. And although the broker requires the driver to call him every day of the flight, not all drivers speak English well. If a problem occurs, it is usually resolved through the dispatcher.
Mode of work and rest
As for the time allowed for the driver to drive, he must drive 11 hours. 3 hours are given for transshipment of cargo, the rest of the time – for sleep. All information is recorded by the on-board computer in a special form (English – log-book). Of course, drivers spend more than 11 hours behind the steering wheel, brazenly forging information in the computer. If, during the check, the “cops” find that the driver spent more than the allotted time on the road, then he will be sent for a 10-hour rest, and they will also issue a fine that will worsen the rating of the company.
In America, the police work clearly and harmoniously. The tractor can be stopped for inspection anytime, anywhere. And, of course, they have not heard anything about “getting on the paw to hush up the conflict.” Therefore, the rating of companies sometimes directly depends on the driver-American, Russian, Uzbek, Pole, Lithuanian …
Not wanting to wait for money from a broker for flights made (usually 30-60 days), carriers usually turn to factoring companies. These companies are of 2 types: one of them provides low interest rates (from 0.59%), and if the broker does not pay on time, such companies demand their money from the carrier. Another type of factoring companies, for a relatively high percentage (3-4%), take the risk of the broker’s solvency or incur losses. The percentage of factoring depends on the size of the carrier company, the number of vehicles and the size of the freight.