What Does a Canadian Freight Broker Do? [What You Need to Know]

Canadian Freight Brokers – An Introduction


Canadian freight brokers play an important role in the transportation of goods throughout the country. These companies are situated in major Canadian cities within British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and Quebec.


freight brokers to vancouver island


Freight brokers act as a liaison for a network of shippers and carriers. They bridge the gap in communication between shippers and carriers and employ carrier networks to move shipments as quickly as possible.


In this post, we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty on how Canadian freight brokers can make your business more agile and take the stress off you when it comes to moving freight.


The Role of Freight Brokers


Canadian freight brokers play an important role in the transportation of goods throughout the country. They work with both shippers and carriers to ensure that shipments are delivered on time and at a reasonable cost, as well as damage-free, thanks to their network of relationships that can get you a cost-effective approach to shipping freight.


Freight brokers can share knowledge that helps you avoid delays. This can be knowledge of everything from which highways are washed out, which ones are under construction, and which lines need to be rerouted to ensure that your package arrives on time and undamaged.


Continuous communication with and between shippers and carriers is also a crucial part of the role of Canadian freight brokers. This helps make sure that freight is handled appropriately, and with less damage likely.


You can summarize the role of a freight broker in the following key duties:


  • Moving freight speedily
  • Handling freight safely and appropriately
  • Getting it at the best rate and speed
  • Provide knowledge to ensure freight is on time and avoid known delays


In short, freight brokers are a great facilitator to have on your team that can make freight movement more seamless and even more cost-effective.


The Difference Between Freight Broker and Freight Carrier


Alright, so the terms in freight, like freight broker and freight carrier, get thrown around a lot.


But do you know the difference between the two?


Let’s get into it.


A freight broker (like Moto Transportation) is a company that connects shippers with carriers. They don't necessarily transport the goods themselves (though they can), but they work with both shippers and carriers to ensure that shipments are delivered on time and at a reasonable cost. They manage many different customer freight transportation movements.


One way to imagine the role of the freight broker is to picture that of a conductor in an orchestra. They ensure all the performers in the orchestra play together, in time, and sound harmonious.


freight brokers ensure performance and delivery


A freight carrier (also Moto in this case) is a company that actually transports the goods from one location to another.


In Canada, there are a number of different ways to transport freight:

  • Road
  • Rail
  • Air
  • Boat or Ocean


rail freight across canada


Each type of carrier has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it's important to choose the right one for your particular shipment. For instance, if you were delivering a load of products from Vancouver to Kelowna, BC, you’d likely stick to using a trucking transportation company.


If we’re thinking about the musical analogy from above, freight carriers in Canada would be individual instrumentalists, such as violin players. They help carry their piece of the music across the finish line, ensuring that they play their assigned notes properly, just like how freight carriers Canada carry individual loads to their destination – on time and damage-free.


The table below shows a handy breakdown of the key differences between the two.


Freight Broker

Freight Carrier

  • Plans and coordinates the entire logistics process
  • Connects shippers and carriers
  • Helps oversee freight transportation
  • Transports goods and freight for individual shippers
  • Owns and operates transportation resources (such as trucks)


The Benefits of Working With a Freight Broker


Freight brokers are professionals who specialize in the business of transportation. They help businesses and individuals by finding the best way to move goods from one place to another.


They have access to a variety of different modes of transport, including trucks, airplanes and trains. They can also arrange for shipments by sea if needed.


Freight brokers provide a number of benefits for their clients.


The benefits of working with a freight broker as a business include:


  • Lower costs
  • More efficient shipping
  • More options for your shipment
  • Peace of mind


Here’s a quick breakdown of those benefits of using a Canadian freight broker:


Benefits of Using Canadian Freight Broker

Lower Costs

They can help you avoid hidden costs and negotiate the best rates for your freight because of their connections and knowledge in the freight world.

Faster Shipping

They can ensure your freight is able to travel most efficiently and ensure connections and cross-border shipping goes smoothly and keeps your freight on time.

Cost and mode of transportation options

They offer access to more carriers than you may be able to find on your own. This means you can choose from a wider variety of options when it comes time to book your shipment. You'll also be able to find new carriers that might not have been available through other sources.

Peace of mind

They can save you time and effort by doing all the research involved in finding the right carrier for your needs — including comparing rates and other factors like service quality or reliability — so that you don't have to do all this work yourself.


These are just a highlight reel of the benefits of using a Canadian freight broker. Your business can realize unique benefits from employing the services of Canadian freight brokers. Always consult your own freight broker in Canada like Moto Transportation.


How to Choose the Right Freight Carrier for Your Shipment


When goldilocks enjoyed baby bear’s porridge, she said it was “just right”, and when Cinderella lost her glass slipper, Prince Charming found her by trying it on everyone until he found the perfect fit.


Now stay with us – working with a freight carrier in Canada or a freight broker is kind of the same. You need someone who is going to be the best fit for your needs.


When choosing a freight carrier, you should consider:


  • Type of goods you're shipping
  • The distance the goods will be travelling
  • The speed at which you need the goods to be delivered
  • Costs of different carriers to make sure you're getting the best deal


Let’s consider how these factors will affect choosing a freight carrier in Canada.


Type of goods you're shipping
  • Depending on the type of goods you are shipping, you will need the appropriate equipment.
  • For example, if you have goods that are oversize and bulky, you may need a flat deck or flatbed trucking solution.
Distance the goods will be travelling
  • Depending on whether your goods are travelling a short distance or a long one, and if you need multiple connections or freight forwarding, you will need a specific transportation solution.
  • For example, you may need LTL shipping because you are doing a regular cross-border delivery from Vancouver to California. Other times, you may be sending freight from California to Hong Kong and need both trucking and ocean freight resources.
Speed at which you need the goods to be delivered.
  • Depending on the type of freight you are shipping (like fresh food or pharmaceuticals versus building materials and dry goods), it will dictate how fast your goods need to travel.
  • How fast your client needs the product on the other end also comes into play.
  • For example, you may have romaine lettuce that needs to be delivered to a nearby region before it goes bad, so you will need quick, same-day delivery.
Costs of different carriers to make sure you're getting the best deal
  • Getting multiple quotes and finding out who can get you the best price is important.
  • Choosing the right carrier doesn’t always mean the cheapest service.
  • Comparing what various quotes include is the best way to get what you need.
  • Freight brokers in Canada can take the headache out of this process.


Canadian freight brokers like Moto Transportation can help you find the right carrier for your shipment. They're experts in freight transportation, and they have relationships with a variety of different carriers. This means that they can often get discounts from carriers, which can save you money on your shipping costs.




You have questions – we’ve got answers. Let’s get into the particulars about working with Canadian freight brokers.


What’s the Difference Between a Freight Company and Broker?


A freight company is a company that owns and operates trucks, while a freight broker is a middleman who coordinates the transportation of goods between shippers and carriers.


Canadian Freight companies are regulated by organizations like the Canadian Trucking Alliance along with federal and provincial governments. Meanwhile, organizations like TIA, or the Transportation Intermediaries Association help steer the regulatory and representation for the freight brokerage industry.


The main difference between the two is that freight companies own and operate their own trucks, and physically deliver goods. This means that Canadian freight companies move goods, while freight brokers just broker deals for your business. They coordinate the transportation of goods between shippers and carriers.


What’s the Difference Between a Freight Company and Carrier?


A freight company like we mentioned before, owns and operates trucks. Freight carriers are a type of company that can lease trucks from a freight company to operate as a carrier business.


The main difference between the two is that freight companies own and operate their own trucks, while carriers may not. Canadian freight companies are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their trucks, as well as hiring and training drivers. Canadian carriers, on the other hand, do not own any vehicles or employ any drivers. Instead, they lease trucks from freight companies and sub-contract drivers to operate those trucks.


What Is an International Freight Broker?


International freight brokers are companies that help businesses and individuals move goods, products and materials around the world. They play an important role in global commerce, allowing companies to ship goods from country to country without having to worry about all of the logistics involved. It can be like having a great coach - built into your logistics team!


International freight brokers provide information about:

  • International freight rates
  • Customs regulations
  • Key information related to shipping goods overseas
  • Carrier information and connections


International freight brokers can also provide logistics services such as packing and unpacking shipments at both ends of a trip. Some companies offer less expensive options for smaller shipments while charging higher fees for larger shipments with more complicated requirements such as temperature-controlled environments or hazardous materials handling procedures.


Why Use a Freight Broker in Canada?


As an entrepreneur, you know that it can be difficult to find the time to get all of your tasks done. Freight shipping is a part of your business that can be difficult to manage when you are busy with other things. A freight broker can help make freight shipping easier and more efficient for both you and your customers.


If your business ships products from one city or state to another, you may have noticed that there are several steps involved in getting your freight where it needs to go. You may have also noticed that this process can take quite some time before the freight arrives at its destination. The process of moving goods from one location to another is not always easy or quick.


canadian maple syrup shipping


In summary, freight brokers in Canada help you:

  • They know how to find the best way to ship your products
  • They negotiate rates on behalf of their clients
  • They handle paperwork and logistics for you
  • Get freight to its desired destination more effectively


Can a Freight Broker Canada Own Trucks?


In short – yes a freight broker can own their own trucks.


In fact, Moto is proud to offer logistics and 3pl services, meaning we can manage and provide logistics services like freight forwarding alongside the trucking services we also offer our clients.


Find out more about our services and see what Moto can do for your business.




If you need to ship goods throughout Canada, it’s important to work with a freight broker who understands the country and its transportation systems. At Moto Transportation, we are experts in Canadian shipping and logistics. We have been providing top-quality freight brokerage services for over 10 years.


Our team of experienced professionals will work with you to ensure that your shipments arrive on time and at a cost-effective price.


Contact us today to get started!