"I'm more excited about the supply chain enabler side of it, that's actually building some of that tech to help brokers get more efficient, help shippers get more efficient, and help carriers get more efficient."
Nate Cross & Benjamin Kowalski Talk Freight 360 on FreightCaviar Podcast
On the latest FreightCaviar podcast episode, Nate Cross and Benjamin Kowalski, co-founders of Freight 360, detail how they carved their path in the logistics sector through education and career coaching.
Nate Cross, hailing from Buffalo, began his logistics journey in 2005 with the United States military and continues his service as a logistics officer in the Army National Guard. After serving in the Air Force and the Army, Nate transitioned to brokerage a podcast in 2020, which later transformed into Freight 360 with Benjamin Kowalski. That same year, Nate joined Pearce Worldwide Logistics as Vice President of Agent Development and services.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Benjamin Kowalski spent the initial part of his career in finance and banking. As a Senior Logistics Account Executive, he ranked in the top 5%, establishing a business worth over $4.2 million within 24 months through cold calling. Drawn to the dynamic world of logistics, he's worked with various brokerages and currently collaborates with Nate on Freight 360, focusing on coaching and consulting. And like Nate, he continues to work in the industry, which keeps Freight 360 programming fresh and critical.
Having first crossed paths when Nate attempted to recruit Ben during his time at TQL, destiny had other plans. "Fast forward probably three years later," recalls Nate, "I had started a small podcast in fall 2019 called the Midnight Freight Broker." This venture led Nate to rebrand and join forces with Ben in mid-2020, launching Freight 360.
- Getting Started: Freight 360 launched during the pandemic, the podcast capitalized on the shift to digital consumption.
- Who’s Listening?: Caught the attention of big organizations like DAT and the TIA, leading to their debut broker training course.
- Unique Edge: Both actively work in brokerage. "If you're not doing it every single day, you don't understand the market trends."
- Staying Power: Over 200 episodes deep and rooted in industry love. "We're not going anywhere, that's for sure."
Through Freight 360, Nate and Ben provide essential guidance to newcomers via the podcast and their broker training programs. Rooted in their firsthand experiences and insights, they address the common pitfalls and challenges newcomers face.
Prospecting and Lead Generation:
- Issue: One of the primary failures is either prospecting incorrectly or not at all.
- Misconception: Many believe a load board packed with shippers is all they need.
- Reality: It's crucial to find effective ways to generate quality leads and persistently prospect to convert leads into customers.
"It's not a part-time job because your problems aren't part-time and prospecting part-time is not going to convert you into good quality customers," Nate points out.
- Issue: New brokers often expect instant success with a simple phone call.
- Misconception: You call a shipper, offer services, get a favorable rate, find a truck, and profit from the difference.
- Reality: Ben points out that oversimplifications lead to frustrations, causing many to abandon the industry prematurely. Success demands a realistic grasp of the industry's challenges.
The majority of a new freight broker's experience is rejection. "If you don't have the confidence and the grit to be able to just take it and move on, it's probably not a good fit for you," Nate mentions.
"It should be called rejection and getting punched in the face where you occasionally make a sale,” Ben laughs.
Consistency and Proper Guidance:
- Observation: Rarely does someone who consistently puts in effort over 6-8 months fail to create opportunities.
- Importance: Besides personal drive, having the right mentor or guide is paramount.
- Reality: While the logistics job is not easy, success is attainable with the right guidance and unwavering effort.
For long-term success, one must always set aside time for prospecting. "Every single person that I've seen be extremely successful has always dedicated some portion of their time... to continue to Prospect," Ben emphasizes.
Think of surfing: success in the freight industry isn't always riding high waves but enduring the persistent paddle against currents to get there.
Take in the full interview on the FreightCaviar podcast via Youtube or Spotify.