How to Avoid Double Brokering in the Freight Industry

September 20, 2023
Cassandra Gaines

In the logistics industry, knowing how to avoid double brokering is essential. This critical concern can lead to financial losses and damaged reputations for shippers and carriers   

Learn more: The issue of double brokering 

Understanding the concept of double brokering is key to identifying potentially problematic situations involving your shipments. It will allow you to ensure your freight reaches its destination safely and on time. Let’s dive in and explore the four simple steps that will help you avoid double broker schemes.  

Double Brokering in Simple Terms 

Double brokering in the freight industry occurs when a load is re-brokered to another trucking company without the shipper’s consent or knowledge of the original broker or shipper. It is both an unethical and fraudulent practice with possible legal issues for the parties involved. Engaging in double brokering is not only a breach of ethical standards but is also illegal, contravening regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other governing bodies within the transportation sector.


 These are some of the risks you may face when double brokering:  

  • Delays and disruptions in transportation 
  • Financial losses for shippers 
  • Risk of cargo loss or damage 
  • Legal consequences 
  • Damaged relationships with brokers

How Can I Identify if a Load Has Been Double Brokered?

To identify double brokered load, carefully review the rate confirmation and bill of lading for any indication of another freight broker or carrier handling the haul.  Look for any language or terms that suggest the load has been passed to another broker or carrier, such as "subcontracted" or "transferred to another carrier." Additionally, check for any discrepancies between the original booking information and the carrier information listed on the bill of lading. If there are multiple brokers or carriers listed, it is likely that the load has been double brokered. It is important to thoroughly review all documentation and communicate with all parties involved to confirm the details of the shipment and avoid potential issues.


Four Simple Steps to Avoid Double Brokering 

As shippers and carriers strive for secure transportation, it becomes crucial to address the issue of double brokering head-on. Follow these steps to establish a trustworthy logistics network and safeguard your business from illegal operations.  


  1. Build Alliances With Proactive Vetting 

Before entrusting your shipments to any carrier, embrace the power of proactive vetting. Verify their credentials, insurance coverage, and industry reputation to set the stage for a secure logistics network. By doing this, you can filter out potentially unreliable carriers, and reduce the risk of double-brokered loads. 


  1. Stay Vigilant and Constantly Communicate  

Be attentive to unusual behaviors or sudden changes in carriers' operations. Tell the carrier that upon pick-up, the customer will confirm the MC and DOT information. Foster open lines of communication and ask for contact information. 

When you speak with the driver, confirm the DOT number on the side of their truck to confirm it matches the carrier you have this assigned to. Also, require tracking be on so you know the driver is in the area of your pick up.

  1. Test Shipments for New Carriers 

When dealing with carriers you have not worked with before, it is prudent to start with test shipments. Assign easy, low-value, and short-haul loads to measure the carrier's reliability and performance for future significant loads.  


  1. Trust Your Gut 

If something seems off do not hesitate to ask questions and confirm more information to make sure all parties are covered in the event something happens. Your intuition does not lie! 

    5.  Rely on Trusted Sources With the Power of Technology  

In the battle against double brokering, technology emerges as an ally. With Carrier Assure, an innovative data analytics tool, you can check a carrier's performance score, with a special focus on the F score, which indicates a higher risk of engaging in double brokering. 


Carrier Assure allows you to make well-informed decisions and steer clear of carriers with potential reliability issues. Using algorithms and data directly from the FMCSA, we provide you with an easy-to-understand score on how a carrier may perform for you. This score is a powerful resource in helping you know how to avoid double brokering and safeguard your logistics processes.


Sign up to Carrier Assure and let us do the work for you!