Broker model 3PLs buy freight from the carriers and put a markup or margin on it and resell it to the shipper at a higher rate. This is how they make their money, and their margins can be adjusted on virtually every shipment as they fit. With the 3PL broker model shippers are normally unable to go directly to carriers for copies of the actual freight bills, and in some cases they are unable to obtain rates directly from the carriers. Since the 3PL broker is actually the one “buying” the freight from the carrier, they invoice the freight to a shipper on their own freight bill instead of one from the carrier. Otherwise, if shippers had direct access to the carrier freight bills then the shippers would be able to see how much the freight actually cost versus what the 3PL was "re-selling" it for. 

As a part of their proposed value to shippers, many broker model 3PLs will tout that they file claims for their customers. They portray filing claims as their willingness to go the extra mile for the shipper in order to earn their business. In reality, they don't file claims so much as a favor, but rather they kind of have to, since they are technically the buyer of the freight. 

Only the payer of the freight bill is able to recover the actual freight charge portion of a claim. For freight claims where the freight charges are recoverable and a broker model 3PL is involved, since the 3PL is the payer (and buyer) of the freight they normally file the freight claims in order to be eligible to recover the freight charge portion of any potential claim settlement. 


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