4 Fundamental Challenges for Carrier Sales Representatives During 2021

Kathy Monroy
March 23, 2021

Carrier Sales Representatives play an essential role within the freight brokerage industry. Understanding the volatility of the supply and demand market allows carrier sales reps to navigate through rough waters to negotiate competitive rates that align with market trends and to essentially become solution providers for their clients.

Understanding Carrier Sales Reps Role  

Carrier Sales Reps are the backbone and driving force for generating profit for Freight Brokerages in the transportation industry.

Carrier Sales Reps are primarily responsible for securing capacity by procuring qualified carriers from their internal and external networks.

Some of their duties are to negotiate competitive freight rates, build new and current carrier relationships, and managing the life cycle of their shipments from pickup to delivery.  

These professionals consistently work in a fast-paced environment, wearing different hats throughout the day and providing solutions to their customer’s needs. Thus, having the right professionals to fulfill this role is essential to creating a win-win atmosphere for increasing revenue and margins.

Providing exceptional carrier sales and customer service talent will allow companies to grow their reputation within their carrier networks and provide an avenue to continually secure the capacity needed in a high demand market.


Carrier Sales Representatives Challenges During 2021

Carrier Sales Representatives carry a significant burden, and sometimes, many can experience burnout due to high work volumes and more demanding capacity. This has been the case during the past few years and will continue until the market finds a balance between capacity and qualified professionals to fill in these shoes.  

   1. Growth challenges.  

This search for normalcy is already increasing commerce and shifting consumer tendencies, therefore stressing the need for truck drivers to haul freight.  

As consumers splurge and the economy rises, finding trucks to meet the demand becomes imperative. One of the most critical carrier sales reps' tasks is searching for these trucks and maintaining excellent relationships with their carriers to allow the business to span out in time.  

More truck drivers and capacity lead to the need for more carrier sales representatives to take over these tasks.  

   2. Higher and more competitive rates.

One of the main reasons for increased rates is the tight capacity the industry is going through. There is a strong demand for transporting freight, but a low supply of drivers brings a great deal of imbalance in the marketplace. So, the inevitable happens, higher rates start to be negotiated to meet the demand, and the cycle accumulates over time.

Other reasons for higher rates could be inclement weather, fuel costs, holidays, and stricter hours of service regulations. Nowadays, drivers must log their hours and comply with the regulations, which sometimes delays their trips and doesn't allow them to pick up more freight.  

Carrier Sales Representatives must work through these challenges and continue to negotiate competitive rates that improves their margins.  

   3. Building carrier relationships.  

Even though this is not a challenge specific for 2021, it will always be top-of-mind in the carrier sales world since these relationships are the building block of any successful business.  

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In 2021, the challenge lies in staying ahead of the game and increasing demand. Understanding the industry and letting your customers know that you know what's going on in the business will give them the sense of trust they need to continue doing business with your company.  

Carriers need partners who they can trust, rely on, and find accountability. To become that partner, the first step is to stay ahead of the game by providing the right solutions.  

   4. High turnover rate.

Market shifts and dynamic trends cause uncertainty for carrier sales reps and their customers, causing frictions and a lack of trust. Additionally, undergoing high-stress levels while trying to keep up with the market by understanding it and creating fair and competitive freight rates causes a strain in any professional's day.  

This is why many carrier sales representatives burn out, start underperforming, and become complacent in their responsibilities. Finding ways to keep these professionals engaged, motivated, and performing at the best of their abilities is necessary for any company.  

Creating incentives and bonus plans are one of the most efficient strategies to obtain better motivated reps to sell freight consistently.


A solution suited to industry needs

At Lean Staffing Solutions, a division of our parent company, Lean Solutions Group, our offering adapts to our client's needs and the transportation and logistics industry.

To meet the ever-growing demand for capacity and build strong carrier relationships, we provide entry-level carrier sales representatives trained with the necessary knowledge to execute their roles efficiently.

Working with us means quality, cost-effectiveness, and time reductions. As we continue to navigate through rough waters in this supply and demand industry, we train our team to build relationships with carriers that allows them to continually sell freight without worrying about market conditions.

When our candidates arrive at your business, they will be already trained, cutting the learning curve in half.  

Our team of highly trained carrier sales candidates are eager to work for you and gain experience to further their career.  

Get to know Mac, one of Lean Staffing's Carrier Sales Reps! Learn how he strives to generate revenue and long-lasting relationships with carriers and brokers.


Kathy Monroy is an experienced Communications Specialist and Journalist. Driven to go above and beyond, Kathy produces high-quality content specializing in transportation and logistics, marketing, sales, and technology. Her goals include becoming an expert and an authority in her line of work, always providing her audience with the most relevant and useful information.

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