Dean Corbolotti on Electronic & Personal Relationships in Brokerage

Dean Corbolotti on Electronic & Personal Relationships in Brokerage

Relationships are key to running a successful brokerage.

Typically, that saying refers to personal relationships.   But Dean Corbolotti of New Age Transportation points out that it also needs to include electronic relationships.  Corbolotti, Dean - 2014 Calendar High-Res Headshot

“The people that are connected with carriers, especially electronically, are going to be the ones that get the trucks first.” said Dean.  “They are going to be the ones that succeed.”

Dean is the VP of Operations at New Age Logistics, based out of Lake Zurich, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.  Dean’s been working in the transportation industry his whole life.  He started working weekends in college on the carrier side, before moving to the shipper side, and eventually settling down as VP of Operations at New Age, a full-blown 3PL servicing LTL, truckload, partials, intermodal, small package eCommerce, cross-docking, along with an 85,000 square foot warehouse, to boot.

“This is a relationship business” said Dean.  Relationships are not only forged between broker and carrier, or broker and customer, but also important are the relationships with your employees.  At New Age, there is a positive work culture that Dean attributes to the owner and founder, Carolyn Gable.  “She believes positive energy brings positive results.  The people here, they work hard, but they have a little bit of fun while they’re doing it.  It’s almost like a small family feel to it”.

Doing about $25 million in annual revenue, New Age is not a small business.  But they’re able to offer the personalized customer service of a small-business feel, while also providing all the same large-scale services that a large brokerage might.  “We connect just like the big boys do, and try to operate in a somewhat similar fashion as far as giving customers electronic updates and so forth.”

Yet at the same time, they’re able to keep it personal by specializing their employees, and assigning them to accounts.  “If someone has an issue, they know exactly where to go, and they’re talking to the same person every time they call.”

Dean continued, “One of my favorite lines that I tell our people is, “Make a difference”.  Come in and make a difference, because customers feel that on the other end.”

But after taking into account employee relationships and customer relationships, carrier relationships are often overlooked.  That may be okay now, but especially with increased regulations looming at the end of 2017, capacity is almost sure to tighten, making carrier relationships all the more important.  “The market’s been pretty flat for the past few years” Dean explained.  “At some point it’s going to turn.  Whether it’s next year or the year after, there’s going to be a shortage of trucks”.  Apparently, truckers agree.  New regulations are the top concern of 50% of all owner-operators, and more importantly, 5% of all drivers say they will exit the industry as a result of the new rules, according to Transport Topics.

“The people that are connected with carriers, especially electronically, are going to be the ones that get the trucks first.  They’ll be able to communicate quickly, update quickly.  The carriers are going to go with people that they trust, that pay on time.”

“[Aljex] allows us to communicate with our carrier base more efficiently.  Our carrier base is able to see what we have on the board, and we’re able to offer multiple carriers a particular load right in the system.”

“Everybody wants everything just in time.  Our people are able to dispatch trucks from their smartphone.  So there is no waiting until the next day.  It happens now.  And it’s the people that can adjust to that, that can grab a truck quickly, communicate with their carriers afters hours, they are going to be the ones that succeed.   So if you don’t have a TMS like Aljex that can allow you to do those sorts of things, you’re going to get left behind.”