TransCore releases first broker benchmark industry report

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TransCore has released the findings of its first broker benchmark survey based on customer feedback. The data offers an industry overview with benchmarks focusing on broker operations, business and financials, as well as staffing. This research is the first in a series that will be released throughout the year by TransCore to share relevant information with its constituencies.

“Staying abreast on the latest industry information is essential to the success of brokers,” says David Schrader, vice president of freight business services for Portland, Ore.-based TransCore. “We commissioned this research to help the broker community make the most informed decisions possible to improve operations. We are thankful to those that participated and will continue to offer similar business intelligence as an industry resource.”

Responses were generated from a variety of companies. Nearly half (47 percent) have five or fewer employees, and are predominantly self-employed. Of those, 48 percent exclusively provide broker services, with an additional 28 percent classified as broker/carriers. Throughout the past three years, 45 percent averaged $1 million to $5 million in revenue. Study highlights revealed that carrier and personnel account for 82 percent of operating costs, and almost half attribute about 75 percent of overall costs to carrier expenses.

Analysis further indicates that truckload loads comprised a majority of responders’ businesses (78 percent), with gross margin averaging 15.8 percent. Most loads originated from long-term relationships with suppliers. A large number of responders (75 percent) indicated that they expect intermodal shipments, which are now just five percent of the average load mix, to increase or remain flat in 2008. It also was shown that 64 percent of those surveyed have health insurance, and 45 percent offer retirement or pension plans.

The survey was based on 26 online questions posted in February and March. A total of 594 U.S. brokers responded, with 312 completing the entire survey. Participants ranged from self-employed brokers with 10-plus years experience to new brokers in large well-known companies. The entire report is available on a complimentary basis at www.3sixty.transcore.com or 800-529-7634.