Certified Freight Broker vs. Third-Party Logistics: What is the Difference?

When referring to a shipping partner, you may hear the terms third-party logistics (3PL) or Certified Freight Broker. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Regarding freight management and shipping services, some freight brokers offer aspects of 3PL services and vice versa; often, there is a degree of overlap.

Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. A freight broker, like our team at All America Transportation, Inc., is an intermediary that works between your business and a shipping partner. On the other hand, a 3PL is a partner for your business and often handles different supply chain needs.

What is a Certified Freight Broker?

Our team at All America Transportation, Inc. is a certified freight broker. We work with companies who need to ensure that the correct freight makes it aboard the proper carrier. Hiring a certified freight broker can eliminate the headache of matching your cargo with the right trucks on the right delivery schedule. Our team guarantees that the goods we transport are correct and will be delivered to the direct location.


When working with a freight broker, they should:


  • Track truckloads of goods from your company to the destination
  • Find the right transportation service for your company’s needs
  • Assist you in finding the best rates on shipping your products or goods
  • Negotiate prices between the shipper and carrier
  • Adjust the service to get the job done
  • Offer full truckload (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL) shipments
  • Offer expedited shipping

Working with a certified freight broker like All America Transportation is essential for many companies. We understand the freight market and always know how to spot opportunities to negotiate rates and save you on shipping costs.

What is the difference between a Certified Freight Broker and 3PL services?

As you can see from above, the services offered by freight brokers and 3PL’s are different. Freight brokers manage the relationship between shippers (you) and carriers, negotiating rates and transit times and helping you get the most out of your shipping needs. 3PL services, by contrast, are often solutions that provide a wide range of services, some of which overlap with freight brokers.

3PL services often try to add convenience to their shippers by offering some benefits that a freight brokerage provides. Instead of specializing in one area, 3PL services can assist you with many aspects of your supply chain management.

For this reason, approaching a freight brokerage can be a good idea. Freight brokerages often have long-standing relationships with carriers and specialize in managing the shipping of your goods to market. They have the experience and connections needed to get the best rates or shipping times, depending on your needs. Contact our team at All America Transportation if you are interested in working with a certified freight broker. We will help you focus on your business and products rather than shipping needs.

When Should You Contact a Freight Broker?

Generally, shippers choose to use the services of freight brokers early on. Working with a freight broker can help save you money and time when dealing with your logistics needs. You may need a certified freight broker if any of the following apply:


  • Your current resources restrict your capacity
  • You have an issue with your existing logistics provider but aren’t sure where to find better options
  • You want to save on shipping costs but aren’t sure where to start negotiating

If you are worried, you are paying your existing logistics services too much, working with a freight broker can help. We can evaluate your current shipping agreements and tell you whether or not you should look elsewhere. Our team has years of experience working with carriers across the country to find the best rates, routes, and reliability for your needs. With a certified freight broker on your side, you can reduce the price of shipping items across the country.

Contact Us for Certified Freight Broker Services in the United States

Our team at All America Transportation has a network of carriers across the contiguous 48 states and has long-standing relationships that will help you save money. Contact our experts today to ask questions or get a freight quote for your shipments. You can reach our team of freight brokers by calling 314-835-9499 or filling out our online freight quote form.