Silicon Freight Brokers will be concentrating on the freight brokerage of silicon chips. This is a small, specialized, niche of the general freight brokerage industry. SFB is concentrating on this space for several reasons:
Silicon Freight Brokers will be focusing solely on the freight brokerage of silicon chips. There are two distinct customers in this niche market, manufacturers of the chips, and the buyers of the chips who are processor manufacturers.
The manufacturers of the chips can be further broken down into two groups, those that have manufacturing facilities abroad and those in the U.S. Those that have facilities abroad will generally ship them to a United States ocean port, and from there they travel via truck to a processor manufacturer. The second group of chip manufacturers, those that have facilities in the U.S., transport chips via truck from their facility to the processor manufacturer.
Although, in general, silicon chip production has shifted overseas, there are a collection of chip manufacturers still located in the States. The difference between the two types is not very significant, SFB arranges for the carrier to pick up the chips either off the boat or from the manufacturing facility.
Whether SFB deals with the manufacturer or the seller is a function of the contractual terms that the buyer and seller agree to. Sometimes it is the manufacturer's obligation to ship, other times it is the buyer's obligation to arrange pick up of the chips.
The chip buyers are manufacturers that use the chips in their processors. The largest processor manufacturers, Intel, Texas Instruments and Motorola, are located in the U.S.
Silicon Freight Brokers is concentrating on the silicon chips niche as it is a very specialized, thriving market. By focusing in this market space, SFB will be able to offer superior service. Shipping of silicon chips requires special types of trucks that are humidity and temperature controlled. SFB will form intimate relationships with the unique carriers because this relationship will provide SFB with special insight, which will allow SFB to meet any need a customer might have. Shipping silicon chips has special requirements and SFB will be more familiar with these requirements because it will not be distracted by offering other services. Specialization also allows SFB to develop close relationships to the limited number of carriers that are equiped to transport chips. Lastly, the growth of processor manufacturing, which requires silicon chips, has far outpaced most other industries in this country. This growth rate makes this niche especially attractive.
In the freight broker market, there are general brokers that offer a wide range of services. There are a few companies that specialize, but no one is as niche focused as SFB. Because most all of the silicon chips are transported through the U.S. via trucks, there is considerable growth in the specialty freight brokerage business.
SFB will be marketing our business through several different outlets. The first is the Internet. A lot of the industry has moved to the Web as means for communication regarding freight quotes. SFB will be developing a website where a customer can go to find out an estimate for freight rates. The website would key for finding the requisite information like weight, pick up and destination, and SFB would work with our carriers to find them the most safe and economical solution. Because SFB is only working with silicon chips, the complexity of the number and type of trucks to be used (non-temperature controlled, etc.) is reduced.
SFB will also be running advertisements in silicon chip trade journals. The ads in the silicon chip journals will provide visibility for SFB to the manufacturers and buyers of the chips.
There are many different freight brokerage services. This market is broken up into generalists, handling all types of freight brokerage, and specialists, handling materials ranging from heavy equipment, oversized loads, perishable commodities, or hazardous materials.
The chip buyers and sellers make the shipping decision based on service (defined by many variables including customer service, speed, safety of the product) and price. Most business is repeat business, 70-80% according to industry statistics. Once a customer finds someone who they are happy with, they typically stay with them.