7 Ways a Logistics Franchise
Owner Differs from a Freight Broker

The shipping and logistics industry offers many opportunities for motivated sales professionals looking to advance their careers in a growing field. Products will always need to be moved from one location to another, and companies will require ongoing support with their logistics operations.

It's important to understand, however, that two related job titles in shipping — logistics franchise owner and freight broker — are often used interchangeably when in reality they are quite different. While both do help businesses with their transportation needs, these positions are distinct in the ways they conduct business, work with logistics companies and help shippers.

Unishippers is a leading third-party logistics (3PL) provider that operates a nationally recognized and award-winning franchise program for qualified individuals. In this blog post, we discuss the differences between a freight broker vs logistics franchise owner so you can determine which role is best for you!

What is a logistics franchise owner?

A logistics franchise owner is generally an authorized party or individual that operates a shipping sales operation under the branding, and with the assistance, of a franchisor — typically a 3PL provider. They can grow their own business but are also provided extensive support opportunities.

Pop culture comparison: Think of fast-food restaurants but for the shipping industry.

What is a freight broker?

A freight broker is quite often the conduit between shippers, carriers and customers, and provides logistics solutions to ensure the pickup and delivery of products to their destination. They are often independent, enjoying the freedom of working with multiple logistics companies and owning every aspect of their operation with little external support.

Pop culture comparison: They are the Jerry Maguires of the shipping industry.

Freight Broker vs Logistics Franchise Owner: 7 Key Differences

Now that you know a little bit about each role, let's look at the seven most important differentiators between freight brokers and logistics franchise owners!

1. Experience

Freight broker — Generally has logistics/shipping experience, particularly in working with freight shippers and carriers. They also should have experience in sales, particularly in transportation.

Logistics franchise owner — Isn't required to have logistics and shipping experience but must be entrepreneurial and/or have an impressive sales background to start a franchise.

2. Shipping modes

Freight broker — As the name implies, a freight broker specializes in freight shipping and provides less-than-truckload (LTL), full truckload (FTL) and other freight solutions to companies with shipping needs.

Logistics franchise ownerIs backed by a 3PL provider and offers a full suite of logistics services including parcel, freight, technology and e-commerce solutions — which allows them to work with a wider variety of customer types.

3. Marketing support

Freight broker — Works independently on marketing plans, lead generation, website presence, social media and email marketing and makes decisions they feel are best for them.

Logistics franchise owner — The franchisor provides a website, lead generation, and a whole spectrum of marketing resources as part of being a franchisee. Owners can also market their business on their own.

4. Back-office support

Freight broker — Generally handles all office functions internally, including billing, invoicing, accounting, customer service and other tasks. They do, however, have the option to work with a third party of their choice to handle these services.

Logistics franchise owner — Gets support from their franchisor to handle most, if not all, back-office tasks so they can focus entirely on their business and finding new customers.

5. Training

Freight broker — Does not require extensive training to get started in their role since brokers already have freight skills. Since they are often independent, they rely on themselves to seek out continuing education opportunities to advance their careers and stay on top of current trends in logistics.

Logistics franchise owner — The Franchisor provides intensive onboarding and ongoing training since they often don't begin ownership with logistics skills and knowledge. In addition, they are provided a playbook, so to speak, that helps them follow a proven model.

6. Technology

Freight broker — May get access to shipping technology from the logistics companies they work with to help them move freight, but generally selects their own, non-integrated CRM and other applications.

Logistics franchise owner — Generally given access to shipping technology — including a transportation management system (TMS) and e-commerce solutions — that integrates with a franchisor's CRM platform. This creates a singular and seamless sales management experience.

7. Overall

Freight broker — Relies on logistics companies for freight solutions and technology but remains highly independent in the way they sell and operate their business. Freight brokers are able to work with multiple logistics companies, define their marketing strategies and work with few restrictions.

Logistics franchise owner — Works closely with their franchisor and utilizes its complete business kit including office support, marketing, training and more. However, they are free to grow their business, add employees and generally are not bound by geographic boundaries when seeking new customers.

Are you ready to pursue a lucrative career with a franchise in logistics?

Unishippers has been an industry-leading 3PL provider for more than 30 years, offering parcel and freight solutions for small to midsized businesses (SMBs) across the country. Our franchise program provides top opportunities for professionals looking for ownership opportunities in the logistics field.

Additionally, our franchisees are provided with unlimited earning potential and a work-life balance that is defined by them. Want to hear from some of our owners? Check out franchise testimonials.

If you're ready to learn more about our franchise opportunities, reach out to talk to us today!

10 Traits You Need to Start a Shipping Franchise

Are you looking for a career advancement opportunity with unlimited earning potential and the freedom to work from practically anywhere?…

Learn More