Sunday, May 24, 2015

Im a broker

image taken from google

(disclaimer - some buttons on my keyboard are not functioning properly. Apologies for any spelling errors)

Feels weird to say that...I'm a broker. I was telling someone the other day, who asked what I did, that I was a broker. Lynne said, Isn't it so cool to tell people that? And it sounds cool. But I also think that 75% of the people have no idea what I do (and up to 10 months ago...I didn't even know brokers existed). I figured it be fun to explain exactly what it is I do.

I work for a 3rd party logistics company - meaning we have no assets of our own (no trucks, truck drivers or containers). I have held 3 different positions since starting in July of 2014, the one I have now is my favorite. My title is Intermodal Representative/Broker (intermodal means multiple modes of transportation - a truck will pick up an empty intermodal container at the rail yard, drive to the shipper where he will be loaded with whatever product we are shipping, drive the loaded container back to the rail yard where it is placed on the train. Once it arrives at the final destination, another truck will take the full container to the consignee and unload the container). I have tried to explain this in an easy way, and say: I work with trains - but the girl I was telling this to, asked if I was the conductor...NO I don't actually get to operate the train :)

Here is what I do in a nutshell. My company is divided in operations and sales - I work in operations. The sales team will find a customer, say Target (we don't actually have Target as a customer), who needs to ship their products from their warehouse in North Carolina to Los Angeles for example. My team (the intermodal department consists of 2 other brokers and 2 coordinators) will reach out to large intermodal carrier, often via email or online, and get rates to see how expensive it would be to move Targets inventory from point A to point B. Once that's all done, and we have agreed on a price and won (often times there are more 3PLs fighting for the same customer or particular lane) we then have to make sure everything goes smooth and gets delivered ok.

I mainly spend my days quoting and solving problems (things go wrong with trains - shipments get delayed, containers accidentally get put on the wrong trains, and last but certainly not least - trains derail, which is really not good).

I never knew that this side of transportation existed and will never look at trains or trucks the same way ever again. Being a broker wasn't anywhere on my list of jobs I thought I would one day like to try considering Id never heard of it. Like any job, its not always fun - days are long and sometimes they get mundane. But I love my job - it has allowed me to feel like I am making it on my own, I'm able to do fun things, save and pay all my bills. I am so glad I kept working my butt off and trusted Him along the way. 

What do you do?       

1 comment:

  1. That's very cool. So glad you stuck it out and also are having the opportunity to try new jobs within the same job. That way you won't get bored. Being able to pay the bills and manage is a huge deal. Congrats!