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How to Become a Freight Broker

How to Become a Freight Broker

The sphere of transport can not do without numerous specialists. In particular, freight brokers are not the last place in this field. Contemporary economics dictates a large volume of goods turnover. Now a considerable amount of goods must be transported across the country or far beyond its borders. Because of this, there is a need for employees who will organize and control transportation. It is with this question freight brokers help.

Suppose you are interested in the profession of a freight broker. In that case, it will be helpful to know its specifics, the primary responsibilities, and how to become a real professional in this field.

What does a freight broker do?

A freight broker’s main task is choosing the shippers of goods that offer freight services for transportation. This specialist may have their own business or work for an outside firm. The responsibilities of a freight broker include:

  • Developing an advertising strategy to increase the number of clients;
  • The search and selection of appropriate responsible carriers;
  • Calculation of the price of transportation of goods;
  • Developing a transportation plan;
  • Tracking the entire process of transportation of goods;
  • Constant contact with the client to keep him informed of the delivery status and to answer the posed questions;
  • Establishing interaction with carriers, dispatchers, and other specialists for timely and quality loading and shipment;
  • Drafting and signing contracts with all parties.

How much does a freight broker earn on average per year?

A freight broker’s schedule involves a full-time or part-time job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for this professional is $62,100. The compensation can vary depending on the state and current load. Different factors influence the wage: experience, education, location, and work schedule chosen.

Top 7 steps to becoming a professional freight broker

The represented broker must have an excellent understanding of the specifics of the trucking industry. You must thoroughly research the freight shipping industry and develop valuable skills in this situation. There are several ways to become a professional freight broker. We offer you the most popular step-by-step scheme:

  1. Take a course at a freight broker school.
  2. Create your own company and develop a business plan.
  3. Find a responsible and reliable carrier.
  4. Get an official license.
  5. Get a freight broker’s bond.
  6. Complete BOC-3 registration.
  7. Create your marketing strategy to attract clients.

No. 1: Take a course in freight broker school

Freight brokers are not legally required to take a course, but it will be a significant advantage. An educational program will allow you to learn valuable tools and skills to succeed. Many schools offer full-time educational programs that provide helpful, practical experience. There are also separate educational institutions that offer online courses. Training in this specialty will give me valuable knowledge and skills to practice. Everyone can choose a suitable program at their discretion.

You can also gain a lot of handy tips from specialized forums and publications on the web on the lemma of logistics, delivery, and trucking.

No. 2: Start your own company and develop a business plan

If you want to start a career as a freight broker, the best option in this situation would be to get a job with a well-known shipping company. This way, you can get a lot of hands-on experience and understand how to create your business strategy.

Suppose you want to create your own company. In that case, you need to develop a name for your brand and register the business with the licensing department. It would help if you also decided on a legal framework that will be perfect for your business. Many freight brokers opt for a limited liability company. Your business is assigned an individual IRS number when the process is complete. Developing a sound business plan before getting a loan and determining your target audience is also essential.

No. 3: Find a responsible and reliable carrier

For the business to be successful, you must find a suitable carrier. It is necessary to choose it based on several critical criteria: reputation, reliability, safety, and experience in this field. Suppose you are looking for the best carrier. In that case, you should pay attention to online directories or use direct recommendations from other freight brokers in your chosen industry.

No. 4: Get an official license

Every qualified professional must comply with several legal regulations and have an official license before starting work. First, an application must be submitted to the Department of Transportation of a particular region so that the broker will be assigned a unique USDOT number. After that, an OR-1 application is filled out. The process costs an average of $300 and takes no more than a month.

Once the submitted application is approved, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sends the freight broker their carrier number. The complete registration, on average, takes up to 10 days.

No. 5: Get the freight broker’s bond

After that, a freight broker’s bond or an IU-34 bond should be obtained. The amount of the bond averages $75,000. With it, you’ll be able to demonstrate to companies and trucking companies that you have enough financial capital to cover costs in the event of force majeure. A broker’s bond is a kind of guarantee.

The guarantor who provides the collateral assesses the firm’s stability and profitability before approving it. The level of premium interest depends on the specialist’s credit rating.

No. 6: Get a BOC-3 registration

You must register a BOC-3 where you plan to do business in each state. In addition, you should select the right agent to handle the entire process before filing your file. This person takes these procedures in each state.

No. 7: Create your marketing strategy to attract clients

It would help if you created an effective marketing strategy for your business to succeed. In addition, it is worth choosing the best platform to promote your business. First, you can start by adding your business to an online directory where potential carriers and shippers can see your website. Promoting your business goes a long way toward making a freight broker successful enough in their business.

What else you can become besides a freight broker: similar professions

Suppose you are interested in the same field of employment that helps companies deliver various goods. In that case, there are many different jobs in this field. If you are interested in occupations that are similar to freight broker jobs, then you should consider employment as:

  1. a dispatcher in a trucking company;
  2. truck driver;
  3. sales manager in the company
  4. a courier;
  5. freight forwarder with the goods;
  6. a customer service employee;
  7. manager on work with clients;
  8. product packer;
  9. logistics broker.

Everyone will be able to find the best job for themselves, depending on their wishes, specialization, education, work experience, and other parameters. Before applying for a job, familiarize yourself with your chosen profession to understand all the specifics of the job.

FAQ

If the above material wasn’t enough and you want to learn more helpful information about freight brokerage, we’ve also compiled a list of the most popular questions for you.

How long does the training take?

Educational courses often last 30-45 days. Before you choose a specific program, it is worth reading about the duration of the training, what topics will be covered, and other important information.

Where do freight brokers get clients?

The most effective way to find clients is to start working with people you know. For example, you can look for clients among relatives and friends. Many of them may work for companies that need to deliver various goods. You can also send out your resumes to trucking companies. When you have your first customers, you can ask them to recommend you to their friends.

Do I have to be licensed to work as a freight broker agent?

Suppose you don’t want to start your own business but still want to get a job as a freight broker. In that case, you can find an appointment with a particular brokerage company. Many firms are looking for a specialist who will work with clients to set up competent logistics and find carriers to transport the necessary goods.

Do I need to take a business loan to work successfully as a freight broker?

If you are still not ready to work for any company and wish to set up your own business, you will most likely have to apply for a loan from a bank to get start-up capital.

Date: 28 September 2022
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