Freight Option Comparison: From Asset-Based Carriers to Traditional Brokers to Tech-Only Brokers

Freight options comparison

For better or worse, you now have more freight options than ever before, ranging from Asset-based Carriers, to Traditional Brokers to Tech-only Brokers. How do you choose the right option for your freight?

See how each option compares in the table below:

Service Type

Asset-Based Carriers*

Traditional Brokers

Tech-Only Brokers

LiVe Logistics

Full Truckload (FTL) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Less-than-Truckload (LTL) Yes Maybe Yes Yes
Partial (Sprinter Vans & Box Trucks) Maybe: depends on the fleet Maybe Unlikely Yes
Intermodal No Maybe Maybe Yes
Drayage No Maybe Maybe Yes
Ocean No No No Yes
Air No No No Yes
Reliance on 3rd Parties to Deliver Freight (i.e. brokering) Yes: when needs outpace assets Yes Yes Yes
North American Coverage (multi-region options) Likely not: asset-based carriers are regionally or locally focused Maybe: this depends on the broker and other customers they already have who ship in other regions Yes Yes
Cross-Border Specialty Maybe: limited options Maybe No Yes
Reefer Specialty Maybe Maybe Maybe Yes
Flatbed Specialty Maybe Maybe Maybe Yes
High-Value/High Risk Specialty No No No Yes
Warehousing & Fulfillment Maybe Maybe No Yes
Quoting Time Hours or days Hours or days Minutes: automated with no rep involvement Minutes: automated with rep facilitation
Commissioned Carrier Sales Reps Yes Yes No No
Customer Service Live reps, 24/7? Live reps, 24/7? No Live reps, 24/7
Asset-Based Yes No No Yes**
Driver/Carrier Vetting New employee background checks with periodic drug testing Limited No Comprehensive carrier vetting updated daily

* Even asset-based carriers may sub-contract to owner-operators, similar to brokers (fallacy #2); this is why they’re referred to as asset-based vs. asset-only carriers

** LiVe Logistics now has access to a fleet of 1,700 trucks through our Forward Air division, including dry vans, reefers and flatbeds

† The LiVe Logistics team performs a search on carriers, including reports on theft, holding trailers, equipment, credit score, on-time pickup and delivery, and more to initially vet them

Carrier Selection & Payments

Asset-Based Carriers

Customers pay the carrier directly and are responsible for finding the carrier, negotiating rates, obtaining qualifying paperwork (including lumper invoices), insurance verification, cargo liability coverage levels, and vetting each carrier.

Traditional Brokers

Some brokers need to be paid by you before paying carriers. This can limit carrier interest if not paid in a timely manner. Carrier selection and payment helps mitigate customer risk and reduce the carrying cost to operate a network. Many brokers align with carriers based on a commission structure and may have a limited vetting process, so carrier selection is often price-based and focused on maximizing margin.

Tech-Only Brokers

This is purely a transactional world where little (if any) interaction with the carrier or descriptions of the customer’s needs is clearly conveyed. Traditionally focused on bumping docks for lower value, less time-definite general freight.

LiVe Logistics

Carriers are paid within days of receipt of all paperwork to encourage timely paperwork returns and reward quality partners. All new carriers undergo a strict defined vetting process and existing carriers are monitored daily for ongoing compliance. All carriers must clear specific hurdles before hauling freight for our customers and tiered freight options like high-value and high-risk movement carriers are already trusted partners who have had ongoing success in other areas.

Get a Freight Quote Today

For our customers, LiVe Logistics incorporates the automation of a tech-only broker with the proactive, personal touch of traditional brokers and carriers – so you always know where your freight is and eliminate unnecessary freight costs. LiVe can also provide access to a customized load tracking board where you can see your shipments enroute and retrieve PODs once delivered.

Speak to one of our freight experts today or get a quote and see how much we can lower your freight costs.

Contact us to learn more about freight brokerage services