Freight brokerage, what do you think of when you hear this? Perhaps you envision some guy in his PC tapping away at the keyboard while sipping coffee. Perhaps you see freight brokerage workers more as the woman in a nice outfit sitting behind her desk calling trucking companies.
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Well, actually both could be right. Freight brokerage people do work from home but and from traditional offices.
They use all the new technology modern tools like: trailer trucking tools and electronic gadgets at their disposal, to get the job done. Sometimes they work long hours; usually they get an early start to their day.
So Then, What do Freight Brokerage People / Companies do, exactly?
Well first off, don’t confuse freight broker with a freight agent. What is the difference? – You might ask! – Well, let me tell you!
The short answer is: the freight agent is usually an independent contractor or other salesperson who works with/for a freight broker or freight brokerage firm. Agents tend to work on a commission based off each shipment.
On the other side, the freight broker gets a percentage in return for using the broker, support with administrative matters, insurance, and such.
So then what do the freight brokerage people/ companies do? –Well the most simple way to explain this is by saying that they are the people that find and mach those needing to ship cargo with those who can haul it.
In more exact detail, they are either a company or an individual who specializes in meeting up shippers with carriers in order to get the freight shipped.
They often negotiate prices, handle insurance, customs declaration and duties, and assist in the coordination of other logistical needs.
Therefore, all people involved in freight brokerage are required to be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
About all of this and more, I will go into detail as you read on.
Important Facts About Freight Brokerage Occupation
|Entry-level Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|On-the-Job Training||Short-term on-the-job training is common|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||7% growth|
|Key Skills||Listening skills, clear speech, critical thinking|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Freight Brokerage: Responsibilities and Duties
So when a client needs to get their items from point A to point B, it is the freight brokerage companies and individual people who they call to handle that.
They do this through a variety of means; some have a client list and carrier list database (or use a service), others use their own custom-made CRM that is tailored to fit their particular needs.
Others, especially those just getting started in the trucking business will often cold call or use other means to reach potential clients.
Brokers with a good reputation will get repeat business and through word of mouth they will gain more customers.
The ones who offer both the best and most reliable services and the best possible prices will have no issue finding clients. Freight brokers must be flexible and able to make adjustments as needed. They also must keep in contact with both the carrier and the client from pick-up to drop-off.
Basic Training and Education for Freight Brokering
There are numerous ways to get what need as far as training. Often people who decide to deal with freight brokering are those who had worked in the industry prior to becoming a broker. Others might have started out in an administrative support position or even as an agent before getting their license.
If you want to learn more, there are many logistics and freight brokerage courses available at many of the community colleges and online.
Additionally, if you thing that freight brokering is the right business for you, then most likely you will need to get some experience and training in:
- Pitching and selling techniques (communications);
- Marketing and social media methods;
- Contract negotiations;
- Calculating freight shipping rates and freight charges;
- Using the various broker software;
- Tracking load and/or fleet tracking;
- Dispatching load;
- Familiarity with the trucking and logistic industry.
As stated, you can find comparable training/education from many sources. When it comes to industry specific training there are various courses; some run about a week others might be longer.
These courses can offer a lot of valuable and important information; however they can also be very expensive.
Remember, freight brokerage is a career that requires constant upgrading and learning; you learn as you go!
Freight brokers as the main nice in the freight brokerage business, must be very knowledgeable about the shipping, logistics, the ever changing governments rules and regulations and every new trend in the transportation industry.
Being involved in the freight brokerage means that you will need to be up-to-date on the current regulations and other industry specific information all the time!
What is the Salary and Employment Outlook for Freight Brokerage Job?
In 2014, there were 78,800 jobs that were taken by cargo and freight agents’ personnel. In the same year the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reported that annual revenue for the cargo and freight agents was $43,960.
Furthermore, freight brokers make up to $90,000 / per year, that is quite a good earning don’t you think?!
The economy in US is in constant improvement; the trucking industry is in constant growth as well so that means that the freight brokerage business is blooming too! So now more than ever it is the right time to become a successful freight broker!
You can go online and find all kinds of guides and resource materials. This will only better assist you in being the best freight broker you can be. Now before you race right out and try to get your license there are few more things to consider which I will cover.