How to Become a Freight Agent with SPI Logistics
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In this episode of Everything is Logistics, host Blythe Brumleve interviews Mike Mikulik, the vice president of sales and operations at SPI logistics. Mikulik talks about his experience in logistics over the past 20 years and how he moved from the international side of things to domestic transportation. He explains the difference between a freight agent and freight brokers, the unique opportunity to be your own boss while minimizing financial risks, and the questions you should be asking if you’re ready to become a freight agent.

Podcast Time Stamps:
00:04:44 Start a freight agent business.
00:09:07 Research potential partners.
00:12:52 Take control of your future.
00:16:05 Strong relationships key to success.
00:24:45 Technology is key in freight.
00:30:44 Bet on yourself.
00:33:23 Believe in the entrepreneur.



At SPI Logistics they have industry-leading technology, systems, and back-office support to help you succeed. Learn more about SPI’s freight agent program here. Make sure to let them know we sent you!

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I'm your host, Mike rolling, and I'm happy to welcome in Mike Mikulik. Luck. Did I say that? Right?

Mike Mikulik: 0:16

You said it. Right. Good. Okay, good.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:20

He's the Vice President of Sales and Operations at SPI logistics. And we're gonna be talking about the wonderful world of freight agent programs. So Mike, thank you so much for joining.

Mike Mikulik: 0:29

Thanks for having me. It's exciting, right? Looking forward to this for a while. Heck, yeah,

Blythe Brumleve: 0:35

likewise, and for folks who may not know you know about you about your career background, give us a sense of how you got into the logistics industry to begin with,

Mike Mikulik: 0:45

Oh, my goodness, really more than an hour, I basically fell into this industry right out of school, believe it or not, so I've been doing this. And I'm not going to tell you the exact number of years because then you'll be able to figure out my age. But it's all over well over 20 years in this industry. And I've touched all modes of transport. I've, I started my career in air freight, and our air cargo was heavily involved in international trade, especially on the Asia Pacific trade link coming into the US and Canada. And then within the last year, I got into the domestic transportation within Canada, US. And to be honest with you, I think that's where the excitement really happened. It's a fast, a fast moving product, anybody that you talk to has some sort of a transportation need when it comes to domestic transportation. And there's always opportunities.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:32

That's interesting that you say that about you. So you came from the international side of things, which I would automatically think is way more exciting than the domestic side of things. But you it's the opposite for you.

Mike Mikulik: 1:41

You know, what if you take a look at air freight, that's exciting, that's fast paced. But think about this, you move something out of I don't know, the port of Shanghai, coming in to Long Beach, California, it gets loaded. And then it's on a thing for 14 on a ship for 14 days. And nothing happens in between. And I found it's very much a commodity driven market. It's just it's all about all about freight prices. And I just find it's just it's a more, it's not as exciting as trucking.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:11

So speaking of trucking, that's how it is that your your passion for trucking? Is that why it sort of brought you over to SPI ?

Mike Mikulik: 2:18

Absolutely. I mean, for one thing, or the model of our company is completely unique, because we're strictly an agent based model. So for us, I can't tell my agents what to do. But I can work with my agents to help them be successful. And I don't know, for me, it's, it's, it's, you know, what, obviously, we all get paid very well. But you know, the big thing is, is when you help an agent, grow, be successful, make a substantial income, there's a lot of psychic income in there, and it's good for the head. I enjoy that enjoy winning.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:45

Absolutely. I mean, that's a great way to put it because I mean, for full transparency for the audience. SPI Logistics is the sponsor of the everything is logistics, podcast, first sponsor of the show. So super grateful to have you guys's support. And one of the things we're going to be doing is having conversations like this, in order to get those perspectives from I mean, we're having this conversation with you, of course, to kick things off, but then in the future, your freight agents and talking to them and figuring out what's going on with that in the trenches knowledge and what they're struggling with what their challenges are, hopefully, you can help other folks out there. So for I guess, for the larger landscape of what, you know, the freight agent world looks like, can you kind of break down the difference between a freight agent and a freight broker?

Mike Mikulik: 3:30

Absolutely. Good question. So I attribute a freight broker is someone who you know, is in the trenches either getting a customer, finding the carrier to sit there to move it on, and they could work for a large Threepio, like whether it be an asset based company or a non asset based company, but they work for a company and they basically dispatch cargo. And they know they somewhat manage that book of business. Now, a freight agent is usually someone who has their own independent book business, and they work for a company under under an agent model or under a straight commission model. That's how I attribute the difference more So internally within our company.

Blythe Brumleve: 4:06

So with with the freight agent model is this. It feels like I've been hearing more about the freight agent model for for a few years now. But has this always been, you know, sort of a, I guess, maybe a stepping stone for freight brokers to sort of aspire to become a freight agent?

Mike Mikulik: 4:22

No, it's kind of cool. So I never I heard about it, I don't know probably about eight years ago, but I never even considered looking at it. Obviously, the first thing was was that it was strictly a commission based model. And you know, when you had a family and you're used to a salary, that guaranteed income kind of is you hold tight to that you need that right? It's hard to let go and also just go on your own. But a lot of the freight agents that have gone on their own are extremely successful, they're entrepreneurs. They have their own business yet they don't have any of the financial risk when it comes to you know, having to buy a TMS having to worry about receivables and payables because the company that they represent as an agent, take on about financial risk. But it's in my mind I just looking back, I probably wish I would have done this years ago because I probably would have been quite successful at it. But it is really a phenomenal experience for an entrepreneur to start and own their own business with very little risk.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:16

So when you when you're mentioning the different freight agent program aspects, and so you mentioned accounts payable and you know, a TMS software, what would the cost structure look like? If a freight agent were just maybe starting out on their own and having to purchase all of these things versus partnering with a different company like yours?

Mike Mikulik: 5:34

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think if anybody wants to start their own three PL the cost would be insurmountable. I mean, even if you had your own account base, and you had your own context, I mean buying a TMS software, you can you can, you can get by on a monthly fee with it, but you'll have a very basic software. But if you want a real robust TMS software that ties into your your customers, TMS system as well to in their own network, and to have all the tools that go along with load boards. And obviously, connections to those load boards would cost you the 1000s of dollars per month plus the upfront cost for it as well. And you got to get your MC number, you've got to get your own insurance. And then you got to have cash flow in order to sit down to pay the carriers. And also to sit there and collect from your customers. And then what happens if you're running cash flow and your customer is, you know, paying well over 30 days, they'd have 90 days, they don't pay for 90 days that's on you. But you know, it's interesting, because we brought on people that have been their own three bills where they still finance themselves. And it's interesting. I mean, one of the two of the reasons well, actually probably the second reason they probably realized after but the first reason why they do it was because they've had been stuck with bad debt. And that dreams, their own cash flow. So for them, they don't want to take on any more financial risks. The second thing is, is once they come on, and they realize that they don't have to worry about paying the carriers and collecting money from their customers, which, if you put it into perspective, it takes a lot of time. Like there's a lot of time and manpower that goes into that, that they actually have more time to sell, and to build on their book of business. So that was one of the added bonuses that they found after they came on board to like, well, I have that much more time to really service my customers and to go after new customers. And then the other side of it is is I mean your carrier relations, when you deal with a company like ours who has been around for 40 years and your reputation solid with carriers that helps carriers are picky, there's only certain people they want to deal with, and they want to make sure that who they're dealing with is reputable, and that they're going to be paid on time to

Blythe Brumleve: 7:35

and they're going to be around, you know, for longer than 90 days, then, you know, maybe some of these other companies out here. Now, when you look at maybe like the Grand i guess sort of landscape of freight agent programs are there like bare minimums that most programs offer. And then there's like that next level above sort of give us a lay of the land of like the competition of what that looks like.

Mike Mikulik: 7:57

I mean, we get people that contact us all the time that are looking to become a freight agent, whether they're, you know, with a company right now where they're on a salary and a commission level, and they're looking to go out on their own, or even ones with other within other agencies that are looking for a change. Usually it happens because something has happened within their company that is frustrating them. One, they're probably not getting paid. Second thing is maybe offering credit to their customers. Or the third one, which we see a lot of is there's a lot of freight agent models that are out there that have so many agents. And the it's saturated. I mean, they can't go after business, because there's so many agents that are already working on that. So those are a couple of things that I really look up, I would look at, you know, what financial risk do I have Coming on into an agency, some agency models will pass on bad debt or have a split on the bad debt with the agent. So they'll be on the hook for some of it. The other thing is they may get charged for some of the TMS add ons and make it charging for load boards or you know, any type of VPN connection that needs to take place with their customers. I think the biggest thing that any one who is afraid of Jenelle or who's looking to become a freight agent is, is do your research. And talk to many don't talk to just one company talk to many different companies. And it's got to be a fit. I mean, you got to feel comfortable with the company that you're working on. And and we encourage any freight agents that we talked to like have you done your research on other companies, you know what, what what are they offering that's really that's really important to you that you feel is a good fit, what are some things that you're looking for that are really important and non negotiable on your side and just having those valuable conversations with them, you'll get a sense of who's the right fit and who's not right fit. But as I look at saturation huge, find out how many agents do you have in your network? You know, if I was to sit there and put forward and a countless how many of those are going to come back with, you know, being available for me to pursue? And that's one thing that we'll do is any agent that we talked to that has a substantial customer list will will Put together an NDA, we'll both sign up. So we have protection, and we'll run it through our, our database to find out if the accounts are open or not. And in most cases, 90% of the time, these accounts aren't open. I mean, we're still a large company, but there's so much freight out there, there's so many customers out there. But I think with some companies, they get to that level of having so many agents that the market becomes extremely saturated, and it's hard for an agent to come in, and not only to take their existing book of business, but to add on to that book of business with

Blythe Brumleve: 10:29

more because they're all coming from the same pool of, you know, the carriers that everybody can use and the software and the capabilities. So they're kind of lumped in and talk with. So when you went say, I'm a I'm afraid agent, and I just went through like a terrible time, you know, I found out you know, I got to split this debt with the with my current provider. And so I start looking around for a new partnership. What kind of questions should they be asking? When it comes for from that new partnership?

Mike Mikulik: 11:00

Do I have a non compete? Is the is the agency that I'm working with? Do they have a non compete? Not that I'm, I'm a, I'm a believer in non competes? Because I think they enter people, you know, do you have a non solicitation? Can you take your customers and go out with you? Or as a company, I'm going to going to be requiring that at me? What are they going to what financial risk do I have? And ask them clearly? Like if the customer doesn't pay? Who takes on that risk? Or, you know, if I am negligent with the load? Who's Who's responsible for that? All those are important questions. I'd even asked to see their insurance certificates as well, too. So I know what kind of company that I'm that I'm getting myself involved in. I'd ask about how many carriers how many, how many vetted and approved carriers I have in the system? And what's your process for vetting an onboarding system on onboarding carriers? Is it automated? Which, if you're a large company, they should be automated, but are they automated? Are they following up when their insurances are due? All those kinds of things are important questions. You know, how what's my training like? Oh, my goodness, like, that's a big thing. How do I get on board? I mean, there's companies that will sit there and bring the person on board showed them how to utilize a system and never hear from them again. That's that's, in my mind, that's a complete nono in your back office support us to be one of the closest people tied in with the agents working with them, helping them develop the programs, helping them get set up helping them understand the TMS tool to the best capability that it can offer.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:28

This episode is brought to you by SPI logistics, the premier freight agent and logistics network in North America. Are you currently building your freight brokerage is book a business and feel that your capabilities are being limited due to lack of support and access to adequate technology? At SPI logistics, we have the technology, the systems and the back office support to help you succeed. If you're looking to take control of your financial future and build your own business, with the backing of one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, visit SPI three To learn more. I actually want to get into a little bit of what that onboarding process looks like. So I'm afraid agent, I've done my shopping, I've done my due diligence, I've asked the questions. And I've decided okay, SPI is the company that I want to go with? What does that transition period look like? Is it something that happens in 30 days, 90 days? Is it something that should probably realistically take a couple of years break that onboarding process. For us?

Unknown: 13:29

I don't think we've perfected the onboarding system. A lot of the agents that we bring on are with a current company, and they're unhappy, they want to leave quickly. So I've our team back office support with the Anita she's responsible for all our client care, she has perfected the onboarding process, and we can onboard onboard a new agent within two days and have them fully up and up and running and operational. And wow, we haven't done it too. We're on a weekend on a Friday night, they decided they want to leave and be up and running off Friday on a Monday morning. And we've been able to do that a lot of starts with a lot of preparation, getting all their accounts set up with credit and entered into the system. But the training on the system is so user friendly. Plus our back office support team, our client care team works directly with the agents to show them how to book their loads in the system. They walk through the whole process until they're comfortable with it. And for some agents, it could be a longer process, no training and feeling comfortable that others they see it they understand it and they're off and running as well. So it I believe that the onboarding process has been is not a lengthy, not a lengthy process. And I think when agents with a current company aren't happy to want to leave, they leave quick. But when an agent is with a company and they're relatively happy, it's overwhelming to sit to take your existing book of business however big that is if it's a 4 million 10 million $20 million book of business, tell your customers you're leaving to go to another agency and that whole transition is completely overwhelming and most people would rather work with a with a An agency that not 100% happy with just because of the work that goes involved with it. But we've really broken down that whole process to make it as easy as possible for the agent to onboard their customers even help them talk to their customers will, why they're leaving and the benefits they're going to have when they join the SPI . Network. And that alleviates a lot of that, that change and that stress that goes along with it.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:21

Is it is it almost a fear, I guess maybe on their part that the customer is just going to say I don't want to go through this change process. I don't know who you're going to uncomfortable with the way things are, and they have to alleviate that stress for them. Part of is

Unknown: 15:35

that, I mean, I think of it, you know, here's a real powerful thing that that freight agents have independent freight agents have this very powerful thing that they probably don't realize how good they actually have with the customer. A freight agent is a customer's best ally. They're the ones that are going to answer the phone at five o'clock in the morning, they're going to answer the phone call at one o'clock in the morning, when they're when they're in trouble and need a load covered. Freight agents have the best relationships with their customers. And I'm explain why. If you're working as a, as a broker, for a large three PL, you know, you may be the salesperson and you have a good relationship with the customer. And then the operations person has a good relationship with the customer. And then there's somebody in credited as a relationship with the customer, you have all these various people. So one of them leaves, they still have two people to fall back on. As a freight agent. That's the one and only person that they're dealing with. And the relationships with them are strong. And a challenge like a challenge. A lot of people try and take a customer away from somebody who is an independent freight agent. And it's tough because they have that rock solid relationship that is hard to break. So when a freight agent is looking to come on board, and they're probably fearful how their customers gonna react, you know what, in most cases, he the customer is going to be the one that lacks, if he doesn't follow the fridge, because he's so used to that phenomenal service and that relationship that he has with that particular individual. I think

Blythe Brumleve: 17:05

you probably develop that rapport, that trust with your customer that they're going to trust you that this is the right move for both of your relationship.

Unknown: 17:14

Absolutely, absolutely. But yeah, freight agents in my mind have solid relationships with their customers. It's a hard it's a hard one to break. And auto freight agents probably don't realize how strong that relationship is.

Blythe Brumleve: 17:28

So after you know, an agent is on boarded, they're they're completed their training, they're they're up and running, what does the day to day look like? For them? Are they now part of the SPI team or do they really just kind of work independently, like they always have been,

Unknown: 17:43

you know, they work independently. I mean, they have their own core carriers are dealing with they know the shipments that they're doing. Anyway, there's a lot of things that come up in the day to day aspect of dispatching freight. And whenever they need support, they reach into our back office team and the walk them through whether it's a carrier is trying to hold a load hostage, we'll work with them on that are more credits needed or you know, Sprint's and some customers have some you know, more requirements in order to grow the business, we need some, some more IT capabilities to work with that customer, they'll work with our IT team to have that connectivity set up with their customer. So it varies sometimes you know what freight agent may go a couple days without having to talk to anyone in the office. Other things depending on situations that come up that could be talking regularly with it. And I think it's important to our agents in our within our really close to our to our team, they work pretty closely, not just because of the support, but we have the vested interest in trying to help them to succeed. So we'll work with them on strategies on how to grow their business, you know, how to deep sell their customers, you know, if it even comes down to a woman even go there with them to see their customers and try and help them build up the relationship even further. And our freight agents love that. I mean when they're sitting in an office all day long for them to go out on the road maybe a little bit overwhelming. We've always held the back office support of our corporate office to work with them and help them grow and manage their business.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:10

So you've mentioned a couple times about you know, I guess sort of the marketing and the sales efforts for for freight agents because they're largely working by themselves and they have you know, they're wearing a ton of hats. What I guess more successful programs or initiatives have you seen some some freight agents take is it email marketing? Is it social media marketing? Is it just you know, deep selling their current customers? Give us a sense of of what that those programs look like for them? Yeah.

Unknown: 19:36

I mean, I am first and foremost a huge component of deep selling your existing business and it's interesting we know when you've dealt with a customer for a long time and perhaps you haven't seen them for a while going out there visiting them and re qualifying that business you always find other opportunities. And in some cases, you may be only dealing with one person within the organization of of your customer and he handles one Section of business, but there's other people within that company that how they're, that handle other aspects of the business, which you may not even know about. So I find the deep selling initiative, and we work really closely with our agents on deep selling. And that's where a lot of them saw a lot of growth was was, you know, cherry picking off their existing account basis brought a lot of fruitful rewards. And we've helped them our agents through that whole process, trying to, you know, give them a strategy on how to deep sell what business to go after how to do it. And we've seen success in that. On the marketing side of things, I mean, you and I've talked, that's probably why you and I are doing work together here now is, I think we were weak on some of the marketing that we're doing. But within the last year and a half, we've really put in a lot of effort and time. And we're learning as we go to, from people like you and from people like Chris, both how to market our company, and I think we're gonna see a lot more come out of that. And with that's also going to come other customer opportunities for our agents, which I think are going to be very possible.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:00

So when you're when you talk about marketing, is it really, you know, marketing the SPI brand? Or are you helping the freight agents market their own business? Or is it a combination of the two,

Unknown: 21:10

it's a combination of the two are a lot of our agents have individual websites that are that are strictly tailored to their location and to the type of business that they want to go after. So we'll, we'll help build websites for them specifically for their independent offices, we market a lot to through me through LinkedIn, and just other various animal or avenues for trying to help customers come on or new customers come on board within the network. And then we heavily market for other agents to come on board to our network. And I think it boils down, not every agent is going to be the right fit for SPI . Yet, we're probably not gonna be the right fit for every other agent to and, you know, we get a lot of requests for people that want to, you know, are interested in the SPI brand. And the ones that we feel are the right fit, and it's the right fit for them. It works out awesome. But I think we really are our select hate to use the word select, I don't want to I don't want to hinder myself, but I think on both sides, you just got to make sure it's the right fit, and then have to win. It's when you have a partnership. That's the right fit. And it's a win win for everybody. Those are the ones that are those are the ones that grow those are the ones that flourish.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:18

And so when you talk about, you know, some of the agents that you're looking for is is is it more of the focus for SPI to to be I don't want to say like headhunting but that's kind of what it is like, you're looking for those top elite providers that are good, you know, sort of ideal customer profile ICP fit for you guys, are they coming to you, and you're vetting them that way,

Unknown: 22:40

we get a lot that come to us, and we'll vet them that way we have, we have a lot to that we're actively pursuing and, and the thing is, when you try to bring an agent on board, trying to recruit an agent, the process is long. I mean, you'll talk to any other of our competitors trying to go after an agent, it could take months, it could take years, Oh, wow. Why would they leave, if they're happier, and I find the time. And it's important, obviously, to keep in contact with them. Because you know, when something bad happens, and they're upset, that's when they start looking? That's your opportunity to try to have them come on to a different network. But there's a long process.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:14

So I'm afraid agent and I'm thinking about you know, making that next phase move? What kind of things? Should I be preparing on my end of things in order to make sure that if I approach a company like SPI , that they're gonna they're gonna take me in?

Unknown: 23:30

Good question. I understand your business. What are you doing in revenue? What are you doing in? In in gross profit? What are your margin percentages look like? What kind of commodities? Are you? Are you are you moving? Or is it you know, freight all kinds? Are you specifically, moving a specific niche, like, all those things are what a freight agent company like ourselves is gonna ask? We're gonna ask you like, what's important to you? What do you what's important to you? If you made a change? What are some non negotiables? That's huge, you get a wide array of answers when it comes to that a lot of boils down to technology, what kind of technology do you need in order to satisfy your customers requirements? And in some cases, you may not be getting what you need to satisfy your customers requirements. That's where you want to really look into the company that you're looking at to join. What is their technology? What kind of flexibility do they offer, what technology? How can are they adaptable to my customers, if my customers have changing needs, huge questions to ask. And I think there's a lot of companies out there that are investing in technology, then there's some that are just holding tight with the technology they have. Then there's others that are really trying to be the pioneers of technology when it comes to the three PL network and those are the ones you you really want to look at those. That's important. Technology is expensive. And I think you'll find a lot of companies you talk to that want to be up there in that top echelon when it comes to technology. It's a lot of money and you got to spend a lot of money in order to get the right tools in place and to keep you know, in line as the SS technology starts to Imagine you go to do tech innovations at the TIA or other other trade shows with regards to our industry. And every year you go, there's something new out there. So it's evolving. So we stay heavily at the forefront when it comes to technology. That's, that's where the future is.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:18

Can you break that to go a little bit deeper on that? For us? What what what, I guess sort of bare minimum technology? Should a freight agent program be offering? And then are you guys you know, sort of, I'm gonna imagine that you guys are a couple steps ahead of that.

Unknown: 25:32

I mean, are you having is from your TMS system? Can you post to various load board sites? Can you have an internal program for LTL? Tours, capturing rates with very LTL providers within within North America? I think that's important. What about connectivity to your customers? Can they push invoices through it? Can they push loads into your system? Those are those are the things you really want to look at? And how in depth can they go with that? I think a big thing is is asking a freight agency what flexibility they have with their tool. I mean, some of them are homegrown tools. So they have some flexibility. Some of them are utilizing, you know, a standard platform, but asking them what kind of flexibility can they have with a platform to make it unique to what their business needs are? Those are huge. And I would say in the last five years, since when we launched our new TMS program, and we had a, we have an in house, VP of it, who is completely hands on building programs, it has taken it to the next level. And whereas before with the old TMS system we're using, it was probably hindering us from bringing on new agents. Now, our TMS system, I don't have any roadblocks with bringing on any agent of any size anymore, just because we've invested heavily into technology.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:44

So with SPI , they've invested, you know, you just said it heavily into technology. Is there one aspect of the freight agent program that you guys offer that you want to be able to offer in the future, or you have plans to offer in the future?

Unknown: 26:58

Good question, a lot of different things that we're kind of working on, here's what we're working on right now, which I think is good. And this will be launched within the next I don't know, probably six to eight weeks is our carrier scorecard on the system. So right now, obviously, there's a lot of good carriers, a lot of bad carriers. But what this what are, what we're trying to do is have our carrier scorecard where it is going to it's going to assess the risk for utilizing a certain carrier for claims, or just poor performance or just past history. That's where we're, that's where we're doing. So when all of a sudden an agent wants to book a load with a specific carrier, the carrier information will come out and they'll be scored as to their percentage of having a successful successful transaction. And if the scorecard if it's low, we would hope that the agent would not use them just because of putting a risk to them, their customer. And also, you can have insurance claims. So I think that's a huge thing that's going to help make better choices on carriers to use. And it's going to help us partner with better carriers to

Blythe Brumleve: 27:54

I mean, that's a Yeah, that's a great way to answer that, because that's going to cut out a lot of the headache, I think for a lot of these folks that are just in the day to day of booking, you know, loads and making sure the freight gets from one place to another. But it starts off with having those good relationships, especially from the carrier side of things. Do you wish there was a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit employees, and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business? Well, all of this should already be on your website. But too often, we hand that responsibility of building our online home off to a cousin, a neighbor's kid down the street, or a stranger across the world. Digital dispatch believes in building a better website at a fraction of the costs that those big time marketing agencies would charge. Because we've spent years on those digital front lines. Our experienced team focuses on the modern web technologies to bring in all of the places you're already active online, show off those customer success stories, and measure the ROI of it all in one place. With manage website plans starting at $90 a month, head on over to digital to see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. We've got explainer videos right on the website and the ability to book a demo immediately. Find it all over at Digital All right, Mike, what else do you guys have coming down the pipeline? what can folks expect from SPI ? Related to the company overall? What kind of what kind of stuff should we expect from you guys?

Mike Mikulik: 29:31

I mean, we've already talked to we're gonna have our agents come in and talk with you about their journey. I mean, we've had a lot that came from a salary, a salary to roll with a company where they're a salesperson, then all sudden transition to becoming a freight agent and going having their own business. We want to we want to share that journey with people because I think, I mean, we kind of touched on it earlier. Not everybody understands what a freight agent does and how that whole how that whole process looks like and obviously there's a lot fear that goes into it, taking a role where you're on a salary and commission and all sudden you're going on your own, and you're betting on yourself. So we're gonna have some rageous talks about that journey that they had, you know, how they scaled their business, I think that's huge. An agent can come on board and you know, grow a certain book of business just with themselves, but then they want to expand and they gotta hire the people. What does that whole process look like? But I think it's just sharing the agent journey is going to spur on more people to look into this, to this way of doing business in the transportation market. And that's what we want to do.

Blythe Brumleve: 30:34

100% Well said, Because I mean, for I think freight agents are very similar to a lot of founders within this, or just founders in general entrepreneurs, in general, you're wearing a ton of hats, and you want to know how you can do a better job for not only yourself and your time and your sanity, but also for your customers, because you want to do right by them. Because without them, you're you know, you're out of business pretty quickly.

Mike Mikulik: 30:55

But I don't know many businesses where you could actually own your own business with little to no financial risk. We're putting any money out there, just bet on yourself. And there are customers out there that I mean, everyone has a great relationship with their customers, but never, never put aside how valuable those relationships are. If your customer values you and likes you and wants to do business with you, they'll follow you.

Blythe Brumleve: 31:20

100%. Alright, Mike, where can folks is if you're afraid of potential freight agent listening to this? Where Can folks you know, check out SPI agent program follow you follow SPI all that good stuff.

Unknown: 31:31

Absolutely. And we get a lot of people just calling just asking about, you know what the process is like to become a freight agent. And we're always open have those conversations, there's a lot of a lot of good. There's a lot of potential for some good entrepreneurs in this industry to take on this freight agent model. Those are the people who want to talk to

Blythe Brumleve: 31:48

where did they find out more of that about that is social media, the website,

Unknown: 31:52

we've got all kinds of check our website at WWW dot SPI three Our LinkedIn page had our SPI logistics has a ton of information on being a freight agent how to get in contact with us. Well, you'll have my probably my name posts on there to search me on LinkedIn, feel free to call me I'm open to having those conversations.

Blythe Brumleve: 32:12

Thank you. I mean, you guys also have a really great marketing department too. That even helped me with a couple of my podcasts graphics. So they're gonna they're gonna help you out?

Unknown: 32:21

Absolutely, absolutely. There's enough resources out there to find us and to get in touch with us if you're interested.

Blythe Brumleve: 32:26

Awesome. And I'll link to all those different contact links in the show notes just to make it super easy. But Mike, thank you for joining the show. And we're I'm looking forward and thank you for the partnership, of course, but then I'm also looking forward to a lot of those conversations with with your agents in the future because there's a lot a lot of valuable insight that can come from those in the trenches experience.

Unknown: 32:45

I believe it, I believe, and I'm excited for your journey to place and I think you know, between your company and our company, we're gonna have some great things happening.

Blythe Brumleve: 32:54

Thank you. Well, thank you so much I believe you guys do which is why you know, this partnership makes sense as you find good people that you connect with. And hopefully the magic comes from that. So hopefully other folks will find this valuable and insightful in their entrepreneurial free agent journey. So appreciate your

Unknown: 33:09

Oh, I hope people can as they listen to this, they can get an idea of the culture of SPI what we're all about, we're gonna have some of our executive team monitor to member agents, but I hope when anyone listening is gonna get a good feel of what our culture is like. Culture sells.

Blythe Brumleve: 33:23

Heck yeah. Believe in the entrepreneur. I hope you enjoy this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. If you liked this episode, do me a favor and sign up for our newsletter. I know what you're probably thinking, oh God, another newsletter. But it's the easiest way to stay updated when new episodes are released. Plus, we drop a lot of gems in that email to help the one person marketing team and folks like yourself who are probably wearing a lot of hats at work in order to help you navigate this digital world a little bit easier. You could find that email signup link along with our socials in past episodes. Over at everything is And until next time, I'm Blythe and go Jags

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.