According to a recent investigative report from FreightWaves, double-brokering scams have been reported across the nation, including in the Midwest, California, Florida, Oregon and Texas. Co-brokering is a legal practice that allows a freight broker or carrier to work with another broker or carrier to get a load moved. Fraudulent double-brokering is when someone is pretending to co-broker a real load from a legitimate broker or carrier. These scams violate state and federal laws, and they may end with drivers and carriers not getting paid. Many of these cases of fraud occur via public load boards. Double-brokering scams and other types of freight fraud cost the industry as a whole over $100 million each year.
There are ways, however, to steer clear of fraudulent loads. Read on to find out how to avoid freight fraud and load board scams.
Use Digital Freight Matching Technology
One of the easiest ways to avoid double-brokering scams and other types of freight fraud is to avoid using public load boards, as that is where much of the fraud is occurring. Loads can be posted on load boards without any real verification that the freight is truly available with the company posting the load. Load boards also aren’t real-time, which means that even if the load is legitimate, it may already have been taken by another driver or carrier between the time that the load was posted and when you see it.
To minimize the chances that you fall victim to freight fraud and load board scams, consider using Trucker Tools’ free mobile app. What makes the load search in Trucker Tools’ app different from load boards is that the load information you see in the app is pulled directly from brokers’ transportation management systems in real-time. Because Trucker Tools’ loads are pulled from the broker/3PL’s TMS in real-time, the loads that you see in the app are all legitimate.
Verify the MC/USDOT Number, Contact Info
In the recent FreightWaves report on double-brokering, one of the companies interviewed that has experienced freight fraud was a logistics company in the Midwest. The company was scammed by a double-brokering ring that was using fake MC numbers to pretend that they had trucks available.
If you want to avoid freight fraud and load board scams, start by verifying the broker or trucking company’s MC number. You can look up USDOT and MC/MX numbers on the FMCSA’s website. On the website, you also can search by company name. You may want to check and see if the phone number, email address and/or mailing address of your new contact matches the contact info for the company on the FMSCA’s website, as well. When in doubt, call the phone number for the company that is listed with the FMSCA and ask for your new contact by name. If the company itself has never heard of the person who claims to have the load, don’t accept it, as it may be a fraudulent load.
Build Relationships with Brokers
One of the best ways to avoid load board double-brokering and other types of freight fraud is to build relationships with brokers for the long-term. Developing trust with brokers takes time, but it’s a two-way street and it benefits you in the long run. When you have run a load with a freight broker or 3PL previously, you already know whether or not they are legitimate and if you’ll get paid, which greatly reduces the chance that you’ll be scammed.
You may think that relationships with brokers only can be strengthened with in-person interactions like handshakes and conversations at trade shows, but that isn’t the case. You can use technology to build and strengthen relationships with brokers and 3PLs that you like. Once you’ve booked a load with a broker/3PL you found on Trucker Tools’ app and had a good experience, you can seek out that broker’s loads every time you search for loads within the app. You may even be able to book future loads with that broker right in the Trucker Tools driver app with Book It Now®, which automates the load/truck booking process for you and the broker.
To learn more about Book It Now®, read How To Get Loads in Your Preferred Lanes with Your Favorite Brokers Using Trucker Tools’ Book It Now®. To download Trucker Tools’ free app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/.