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Transportation: Asset-based vs. Brokerage

Ensuring that products are delivered safely, efficiently and on time is a top priority for shippers throughout the nation and choosing transportation carriers and options can be a huge task. With so many options it can be hard to know what type of provider best fits your needs.

Knowing the difference between asset-based and brokerage carriers will help you make an informed decision. Murphy uniquely operates both an asset-based fleet and a non-asset based brokerage allowing us to utilize the best options for our client’s shipping needs.

Asset-based carriers

Asset based transportation carriers own equipment such as trucks, warehouse and tools. They use them to store and ship freight for their clients. Asset based carriers generally have a long history and provide many different services for their clients such as warehouse space, distribution services, and value added options.

Working with an asset-based carrier allows the customer to communicate directly with the transportation provider providing a level of comfort for many shippers.

Although working with a carrier who has their own equipment makes perfect sense to many shippers, it does not allow the flexibility and availability that comes with working through a brokerage.

Brokerage carriers

Brokerage or non-asset based transportation providers do not own or operate their own equipment to move freight throughout the nation and into Canada and Mexico. What brokerage teams do have is a large network of available carriers, at Murphy alone we have a network of over 15,000 asset-based carriers available to work for our clients. Utilizing their huge networks, brokerage carriers act as a middle man from the shipper to the trucking company moving the product. Brokerage teams can operate as a “cradle to grave” operation where one person will learn your shipping needs, find your trucks, quote your lanes and ensure delivery or many different people within the brokerage team may handle your account. The type of operation depends on the brokerage, at Murphy we operate “cradle to grave” ensuring that our customers can be comfortable with their broker.

The large amount of carriers that a brokerage can have allows flexibility with opportunities, timing and costs. Because a brokerage team can easily move freight throughout the entire nation, they can be a huge asset for a shipper that has a nationwide footprint.

While the advantages of working with a brokerage are clear, some shippers may not feel comfortable with a “middle man” coordinating all of their shipments.

Choosing the right transportation provider

Choosing the right transportation partner comes down to the types of service that you need and relationships. Many companies have built lasting relationships with asset-based providers and trust that they can move your freight safely and efficiently every time, while others swear by their brokerage team. A mix of the two can be a happy medium for most shippers – using an asset-based carrier for the local and regional deliveries, while the brokerage team expands their national footprint.

See Murphy’s transportation options here.

Over the next few weeks we will continue to explain different transportation options and highlight their benefits and options. Follow our blog for weekly updates on our growing logistics industry and business!

Have a wonderful day!