I just finished week 5 at Total Quality Logistics or TQL for short, and to be honest this experience has been so much more than I thought it would be for me. At the beginning of the summer I was hesitant because I was very unsure if freight brokerage and sales was the path I really wanted to start myself down. I was frustrated because I felt like I had pigeon holed myself into a career I didn’t want and couldn’t ever see myself doing. However, here I am 5 weeks into the internship and I must say I am feeling completely differently about the experience and the job itself.
Now, most people have no idea what freight brokering is or how it works and I have to admit I didn’t either until I took my interview with TQL. So to give a quick rundown of the industry so that this makes more sense; TQL is acting as the middleman between customers who need to move freight, anything from produce to steel rods, and carriers who have trucks to move this freight. Brokers at TQL have customers and we work to move the freight for said customers by putting carriers on the loads. It may not seem fast paced but think about how many carriers there are in the country so when we have a truck that needs to go from say Salt Lake City, UT to Cincinnati, OH the phones blow up from carriers wanting to beat all other carrier prices so that they can haul the load for us. When I try to explain this to people and they still don’t understand I usually say to them, “Do you remember Wolf of Wall Street? Do you remember how hectic the sales floor was?” Well that’s what the sales floor looks like at TQL, however, of course, it is a little more updated than that since it is 2016 and we no longer have those big bulky computers haha.
I think what has most surprised me about this experience so far is the fact that it is now something I could see myself doing. Now, that doesn’t mean I have my mind made up and I’ve abandoned all other ideas I have for myself because that’s not true. But it is something I am now taking a hard look at because it’s something I’ve come to enjoy. I don’t think people can really understand what type of work environment they want or need until you just kind of get thrown head first into one and see how you do. For me, I love the environment at TQL. I love it. I love the rush I get from trying to negotiate a price with a carrier. To me it feels like a game, one that you have to be very good at if you want to book a carrier for the price you want and not the one they want. Before this internship I had no formal negotiating training but now I feel like I know some of the ins and outs to help me be successful with it. Every day that I go into work I find myself excited to see if I can get the loads for the prices I want and I try and push carriers into taking loads that maybe they don’t really want. It’s all about strategy and it never gets old. I love it.