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Asset-Based vs Brokerage Utility Haulers

If you manage a utility project requiring transporting poles, you have a heavy responsibility. You must figure out how your shipment will get to the job site and how it will be unloaded. What equipment will you have to rent? Who will you hire? What kind of permits do you need? Can you get everything done on time?

Fortunately, utility haulers can remove the stress from a complicated haul. Opting to go with one comes with another set of questions. Should you use an asset-based utility hauler or a freight broker? What’s the difference? Is one better than the other?

What is Asset-based Utility Hauling?

Asset-based hauling companies do the actual hauling themselves. They own their trucks and equipment, paying for maintenance, repairs, and replacements.

They hire their own drivers and operators. Asset-based haulers are accountable for the quality, punctuality, and experience of their employees. Their success depends on how effectively their drivers do their jobs.

The Pros of Asset-Based Hauling

Direct communication

Relationships with asset-based utility haulers rely on communication. Customers who can communicate directly with haulers can stay updated every step of the job. There is no broker involved to send messages back and forth. Customers can express questions or concerns to the hauling company that can directly respond. The risk of lost communication is reduced. A strong working relationship can ensure an efficient delivery process.

Clear oversight

Working directly with asset-based haulers can create a superior level of transparency. Customers can always know what quality of service they are receiving. They can contact haulers if any issues arise.

As such, hauling companies must have a greater sense of accountability. They should do everything possible to offer quality service. Their business depends on their performance.

Guaranteed capacity

Asset-based companies possess their own trucks. They also set their own schedules. They can immediately inform customers of availability and capacity. There should be no uncertainty.

The Cons of Asset-based Hauling

Limited capacity

Asset-based utility haulers might have their own fleet, but the number of trucks might be vastly lower than those offered through a brokerage company. They can not meet customers’ needs if they do not have available equipment.


According to LaneAxis, 42% of freight bookings are subcontracted to other carriers. Customers might not even get the service they expect from their asset-based haulers. This can lead to miscommunication and failure to complete a transport.

What is Brokerage Utility Hauling?

Many specialty hauling companies are brokers. They do not actually haul utility materials and equipment. Some do not own their own equipment. Instead, they connect customers to people who will provide hauling services. Redwood Logistics is an example of a freight broker.

Although brokerage hauling companies occasionally advertise themselves as the ones who transport, they help carriers fill their schedules. They earn a commission on each job without putting themselves at much risk.

The Pros of Brokerage Utility Hauling

Possible lower rates

A brokerage company with a large network of connections can work with a wide variety of carriers to handle different types of hauls. They can negotiate with service providers to get customers affordable rates.

Flexible shipping options

Different jobs sometimes require several transportation solutions that sit outside the scope of some asset-based companies. Brokerage companies can use their networks to connect customers with the shipping services they need.

The Cons of Brokerage Utility Hauling

Third-party logistics

Customers might not be able to work directly with carriers. Miscommunication can delay or outright cancel transportation. Brokers with poor communication practices might not promptly relay important information to carriers – or they give incorrect information. Third-party logistics can complicate already complex projects.


Brokers might add their fees too low shipping costs, driving up the final price of a haul. Working with a broker might not be cost-effective.

Risk of unreliable carriers

A broker’s network might include carriers with less-than-stellar histories. Customers won’t usually find this out until their shipment is late or not delivered at all.

Blackwood Resources’ Asset-Based Hauling

Whether you choose brokerage carriers or asset-based trucking companies is up to you. You’ve weighed the pros and cons. Who do you feel comfortable doing business with? A company that pairs you with transport services or one that cuts out the middleman works with your directly to meet your utility hauling needs?

Would you rather deal with a company that operates its own equipment or one that does not?

When it comes down to it, asset-based specialty haulers often provide the best customer experience and significant cost savings compared to brokers. But finding asset-based carriers is not always easy. Fortunately, Blackwood Resources is right here to help.

Blackwood Resources, an asset-based company, can keep the supply chain smooth and efficient. We own our trucks and equipment. You don’t have to worry about renting equipment and hiring new workers. Our skilled operators can transport utility poles anywhere in the eastern United States. You can expect clear communication from us. We will explain the process and work closely with you to provide the best possible transport.

Hauling your utility poles is a major component of what we do. However, we offer a service that other asset-based companies do not.

Some companies will not unload utility poles. They will transport your shipment without a problem but leave the rest to you.

Our trucks have all of the equipment needed to unload. Our operators will use the crane on the truck to move your poles from the flatbed to the ground. After laying your poles in a neat pile at your site, we will leave you with a functioning location where you can complete your project.

Our self-unloading service can save you time and money. You can get back to what matters most: your utility project. You won’t have to track down the people and equipment you need. You won’t have to spend money on rentals and labor. Giving us this job can provide you with peace of mind.

Go beyond this blog post and experience Blackwood Resources’ asset-based hauling for yourself. Contact us today.



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