The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) is the premiere organization for third-party logistics professionals doing business in North America. TIA provides resources, education, information, advocacy and connections to establish, maintain and expand ethical, profitable and growing businesses in service to their customers. TIA a strong, united and synergistic organization for North American third-party logistics companies that celebrates the individual disciplines of its members while speaking with one voice to shippers, carriers, government officials and international organizations.
Transportation intermediaries are also called brokers or freight forwarders by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) or the DOT (Department of Transportation). They are called freight forwarders or NVOCC (Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier) by the Federal Maritime Commission. They are called indirect air carriers by the TSA (Transportation Security Administrator).
Over $162 Billion in transportation services were handled by 3PL companies in 2007. With 3PLs focusing on their core business of the efficient and effective coordination of shipments, shippers are free to focus on their own core competencies. Carriers, in turn, can focus on the demands of managing, operating and maintaining their fleets while the 3PLs acquire shipments for them. Considering the very different businesses of shipper, carrier, and coordinator, it is easy to see how much efficiency can be squeezed out of a system, profiting everyone.
To take a quote from a document provided by the Lexington Institute entitled "Third-Party Logistics: Keeping America's Economy Moving", written by Leslie Carbone and Don Soifer.
"To appreciate the contribution fully, one must begin with a glimpse of how commercial freight moves in the United States. The United States has 4 million miles of roads and 100,000 miles of railroad tracks. Cargo also moves through 540 of the nation's 19,000 airports, and through 5,000 coastal, Great Lakes and inland waterways facilities."
"Each Monday through Saturday, 3PL provider C.H. Robinson's Central Chicago Office is hopping with 750 employees managing 4,000-4,500 shipments in 48 states over America's vast and complex transportation network."
You can download the document here.
Certified Transportation Broker
The TIA website offers "the only individual professional certification in the industry". Have you considered becoming a Certified Transportation Broker?
As a broker, you may want to obtain their TIA 3PL Market Report. That, and the TIA Compensation Report, are essential tools for survival in the highly competitive environment, according to Bob Voltmann, President and CEO of the Transportation Intermediaries Association.
To find a member and discuss what they might do for you, use the TIA search engine. A more powerful version of the search engine, TIA Connect, is available for use by non-members and members alike.
If you are considering becoming a broker or freight forwarder, the TIA can provide assistance in the process. Click here for more information.