ATS Transportation Blog

The Top 15 Freight Brokers to Consider in 2022

Four-semi-trucks-parked

The thought of selecting the wrong freight brokerage can be daunting, to say the least. That's why we strive, day in and day out, to give you all the information you need to make this crucial decision. 

Freight brokerage is a competitive business. In fact, we’d venture to say that providing this third-party transportation service — due to limited barriers to entry —  is one of this nation’s most competitive jobs.

Granted, locating and supplying the carrier capacity to transport this nation’s non-stop demand for trailer space from one industry to the next is not without its perks. 

In exchange for their services, freight brokerages develop long-term partnerships in an industry that’s truly the backbone of American business. 

That said, this industry is still competitive and with more than 17,000 freight brokers currently operating in the United States, it can be difficult to decide which one will adequately meet your needs. 

You want to make the right selection and find a company that will become not only your transportation provider but a partner that you can lean on and turn to. 

Here at ATS Logistics, we’ve been operating as a freight brokerage for decades and although we’re confident in our abilities and pride ourselves on giving our customers top-of-the-line service to match their needs, we recognize that there are other options out there. 

You deserve the advantages that come from fruitful freight brokerage partnerships even if you don’t choose ATS Logistics.

In this blog, we’ll outline 15 freight brokerages that you should keep an eye on when sourcing for truck capacity this year

Year after year, according to the operational revenue numbers reported by Transport Topics, these are the companies that come out on top of the industry.

These are companies that, as evidenced by their sheer size, do things right year in and out, making them worth noting as you strive to make your supply chain as fruitful as possible in 2022. 

Top 15 Freight Brokerage Companies in 2022

  1. C.H. Robinson Worldwide
  2. Coyote Logistics
  3. Total Quality Logistics
  4. XPO Logistics
  5. MODE Transportation
  6. Landstar System
  7. Echo Global Logistics
  8. J.B. Hunt Transport Services
  9. GlobalTranz 
  10. Worldwide Express
  11. Hub Group
  12. Nolan Transportation Group
  13. Transplace Inc.
  14. Schneider National
  15. Arrive Logistics

To help you make the best decision for your business, here is some high-level information about each of them. 

C.H. Robinson Worldwide

Founded: 1905

Headquarters: Eden Prairie, Minnesota

View C.H. Robinson’s website

Coyote Logistics

Founded: 2006

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois

View Coyote’s website

Total Quality Logistics

Founded: 1997

Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio

Visit the Total Quality Logistics website

XPO Logistics

Founded: 1989

Headquarters: Greenwich, Connecticut 

View the XPO Logistics website

MODE Transportation

Founded: 1989

Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

View the MODE Transportation website

heavy-haul-over-sized-freight-shipment

Landstar System

Founded: 1995

Headquarters: Jacksonville, Florida

View Landstar’s webpage

Echo Global Logistics

Founded: 2005

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois 

View Echo’s website

J.B. Hunt Transport Services

Founded: 1961

Headquarters: Lowell, Arkansas 

Visit J.B. Hunt’s website

GlobalTranz 

Founded: 2003

Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona 

Visit GlobalTranz’s website

Worldwide Express

Founded: 1995

Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

Visit the Worldwide Express website

Hub Group

Founded: 1971

Headquarters: Oak Brook, Illinois

View Hub Group’s website

Nolan Transportation Group

Founded: 2005

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

View the Nolan Transportation Group’s website

Transplace Inc. 

Founded: 2000

Headquarters: Frisco, Texas

View Transplace’s website

Schneider National 

Founded: 1976

Headquarters: Green Bay, Wisconsin

Visit Schneider’s website

Arrive Logistics

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Visit the Arrive Logistics website

heavy-haul-truck-trailer-freight

How to Choose The Freight Brokerage For You? 4 Simple Steps

Now that you understand some of the options available to you, you’re probably asking yourself:

“Ok. . . but even if I consider companies like this in 2022, how will I know if they’d be the best fit for me?”

This is the tricky part. Finding your best-fit freight brokerage isn’t as easy as simply selecting a company for this list. And, it isn’t as simple as picking the largest company or the company closest to your home base. 

No, to truly find a partnership that’s worth writing home about, you’ll want to do four things:

  1. Take stock of your needs
  2. Determine the brokerage’s strengths
  3. Take financial security and longevity into consideration
  4. Prioritize safety

1. Take Stock of Your Needs

When looked at from afar, the transportation landscape is complex. Reefers transport temperature-controlled goods through the heart of the sunshine state while double-drop trailers haul large machinery to construction sites in Connecticut. 

Dry Van’s haul pallet-based goods to North Dakota’s grocery stores and a line trailer moves a 400,000-pound boiler along interstate 94 through the plains of Wisconsin. 

With all this going on, selecting a transportation provider that can adequately serve you and the day-to-day transportation requirements of your business is absolutely key. 

To do this it’s important that you — before taking any action to find a provider — understand exactly what you’re looking for in a transportation partner. 

You can do this by outlining your necessities, including:

  • How much and how frequently you’ll need capacity.
  • Where you’ll need coverage (areas, regions, locations, lanes).
  • How much load-tracking visibility you’ll require.

Identifying your true pain points, before you begin the process of finding a freight brokerage to meet them, will help you substantially in the long run. It’s simply impossible to find the right partnership if you don’t first understand what you’re looking for and the part they’ll play in your supply chain.

2. Determine The Brokerage’s Strengths

Due to the wide variety of freight in transport, and the intricacies of these processes, many of the nation’s best freight brokerages don’t have experience moving all commodity types. 

The last thing you want to do is to select a brokerage that — due to a lack of experience — can’t get the job done for your freight. To avoid running into this issue, make sure to ask your brokerage the following questions:

  • What freight are you best at moving?
  • What is your experience moving my kind of commodity?
  • What are your preferred lanes and lengths of hauls?

Analyze their answers to these questions to determine whether this brokerage’s core competencies will fit your supply chain. Many times, you’ll discover that the best freight brokers understand their strengths and weaknesses fully. 

Find a brokerage that has the strengths that meet your challenges so when it’s time to get your freight moving, they know exactly what it takes to do so.

3. Take Financial Security and Longevity Into Consideration

Not all freight brokers are created equal.

In an industry with such low barriers to entry, a lot of freight brokers pop in and out of the marketplace at their convenience. This makes it difficult — without doing the proper vetting procedures— to find a brokerage that will stick by you, even when it’s not convenient for them. 

You want a brokerage that has the longevity and financial security to get you a truck and maintain your relationship through thick and thin.

Brokers who don’t serve their customers well don’t stick around this industry for very long. Find a brokerage with a deeply rooted history of commitment and the financial standing to match.

Ask potential brokers questions like:

  • When were you founded?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • What do you do if something goes wrong with my load?

These questions, and questions like these, will play an important role in selecting a brokerage that has a reliable history of putting the customer first. 

You’re their customer, you always come first. 

4. Prioritize Carrier Safety

In the business of transporting heavy freight at 60-70 miles per hour along interstate highways, while minivans and SUVs wiz by, maintaining safety and safe practices through the entire process is crucial. 

Working with a brokerage that doesn’t have the proper checks and balances in place within their network won’t only damage your timelines and supply chain but your reputation as well. 

As such, don’t ever select a brokerage without asking them about their carrier safety qualification practices first

Their answers to questions like “what is your process for vetting the carriers in your network?” should give you the information you need to determine whether each brokerage values safety as highly as you do. 

Nothing is more important than safety in this industry. Nothing. Not any amount of freight or the potential to save any sum of money. Good brokerages know this and have solid processes in place to vet their carriers.

Make sure to find a brokerage that values quality and hire carriers that have demonstrated history of safety

Find a The Best Brokerage For You This Year

Now that you have a list of companies to check this year and some guidelines for selecting the right partner for your business, you’re ready for the next step in your freight brokerage selection journey! 

But what should you do next?

Here at ATS Logistics, we’ve committed ourselves to helping great companies, like yours, fill their transportation networks with companies that will come through for them. 

To do so, we’ve developed this 26-question Frieght Brokerage Selection Checklist. 

Download it today and ensure that the brokerages you add to your network this year are “checking all the boxes.”

Finally, if you would like to know more about how ATS Logistics prioritizes safety as we help customers meet their deadlines and reach their goals, please reach out.  We’d love to show you how a great brokerage operates and what this can truly mean for its customers.

Tags: Insider, Freight Brokerage

Jason Netland

Written by Jason Netland

Jason joined ATS in 1996, starting out as a carrier representative on the brokerage operations team. He worked his way up through various roles in operations, sales and management. He has served as the general manager of ATS Logistics Services, Inc. since 2000, where he oversees a multi-divisional organization.

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