Freight Broker Training
Businesses that need regular shipping of their goods around the country use freight brokers to match their needs with the best possible merchandise carriers. This is a less costly alternative to having a shipping department. Freight brokers make a living from commissions charged for their services. Therefore, in order to increase your chances of getting more business and, hence, commissions, you need to enroll for freight broker training.
So What Does A Freight Broker Do?
Freight brokers are individuals who find trucking agencies to ship client’s goods. Their primary role is to ensure that a licensed agency transports the shipper’s merchandise in a safe and timely manner. They can also help in loading the goods that need to be transported. It is important to mention that the broker does not physically do any transportation or shipping of merchandise.
Several factors influence freight broker’s decision of the carrier that gets the load. First, he must determine the specific needs of the company that requires shipment services. Cost is an important factor in shipping, thus finding the carrier that will transport the merchandise at an affordable cost to the shipper is of utmost importance. Once the merchandise is delivered, the freight broker earns his commission.
Your job as a freight broker is to help the company that is shipping large merchandise find a carrier that has the right equipment and experience in hauling items safely. In other words, you are vouching for the transporter and having faith in him to deliver the merchandise safely and within the agreed time. By matching the merchandise to be shipped with the right carrier, you enable the client to receive the most efficient service that is tailored to their specific shipping needs.
Most often, businesses contact freight brokers when the merchandise needs to be shipped urgently. This is because these brokers have a long list of trusted carriers that they can contact on a short notice. Thus, a freight broker’s expertise and network comes handy when a company needs to send out a large amount of items in a pinch.
The job of an established freight broker can be very demanding, usually spending several hours on the phone contacting carriers and matching them with items that need transportation. As such, it requires a strict work ethic to be able to handle the demands of this job. In addition, you need to be good at multi-tasking and juggling multiple clients.
Becoming a freight broker
There are schools that provide freight broker training around the country. With the globalizing world economy, new trade opportunities are propping up and along with this is the need for transportation. Thus, you can consider this a challenging business with tons of opportunities. As such, spending time and money training to become a professional freight broker may turn out to be a worthwhile investment.
You need to have sound knowledge of the transportation facilities that is offered by various shipping agencies. In addition, you need to develop a good network and rapport with businesses that need transportation services and provide it to them in a cost effective manner.
Here are the steps that you need to follow in order to become a professional freight broker
1. Get the training Start off by finding and enrolling in a school that offers freight broker training. Various transport intermediaries offer this kind of training. However, you need to note that there is no formal or official educational certification requirement to become a freight broker. All you need is to develop the basic marketing acumen and have an in depth understanding of how the transportation business works. In addition, you need to learn negotiation skills. The best way to learn the ins and outs of this business is to work under a licensed broker in order to get hands on experience.
2. Get a brokerage registration and license In order to become a legitimate freight broker, you need to be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a division of the Department of Transportation. You will be required to pay a fee of $300 to complete all the formalities. During this process, you will need to fill and submit forms OP-1.
Getting the license from FMCSA is not enough. As a collateral, you must get a $10,000 trust fund or surety bond. This security will go towards covering the damages in case you fail to meet your part of the deal.
Finally, you need to identify a processing agent in your area who will cover the legal issues and any litigation problems that may arise during the course of business. To this effect, you will need to fill form number BOC-3 while applying for your license. This will cost you $50. With this, you will have met all the requirements necessary to start your own freight broking firm.
Key to success
Networking is key to the success of a freight broker. Thus, you need to work hard to compile a list of businesses that require/offer transportation services in your area. The more you grow your database of businesses and transport providers, the more you will get business and hence make money in commissions. Therefore, be sure to introduce yourself to these companies in order to make business deals with them.
A freight broker’s income
As already mentioned, freight brokers earn commissions from their services, usually as a percentage of the shipment fee. As such, there is no formal earning as a freight broker. Almost everyone begins his career in this field as a freight agent designate. As such, your average salary can range from $20,000 to $40,000 as a freight agent. Again, this depends on several factors including: • The freight company that you are working for • Your experience • The number of clients that you are bringing to the firm • The location and • The type of employer
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income of an independent freight broker in 2009 was $38,940. Some of the top paying states for freight brokers were Tacoma, Washington and Connecticut with an income range of $54,450 to $59,330.
With the cost of shipping on the rise due to high fuel costs and product demand slumping from the slowing economy, businesses and shippers cannot afford errors in handling their products. This means that acquiring training in freight brokerage now comes with more weight than ever before. Thus, enrolling for freight broker training can certainly equip you with the necessary skills and competencies to break into this competitive and rewarding career field.
Freight Broker Training