If you’ve purchased anything online lately, or even in a retail store, you can thank a freight broker.
From fresh vegetables to shiny new electronics, nearly every consumable product moves from one location to another at some point. This process involves “freight,” the transportation of commodities and products via truck, rail, air or ship.
Freight brokers form a vital link between producers, shippers and distributors. Often working behind the scenes, freight brokers help keep the wheels of our modern economy rolling. With more and more of our shopping done exclusively online, the logistics industry is booming, as is the need for skilled, licensed freight brokers.
What Does a Freight Broker Do?
Freight brokers connect producers with carriers and, ultimately, receivers of commodities and products. They help negotiate rates and coordinate pickup and delivery schedules. They often track shipments and resolve issues between shippers, customers and even government agencies.
Freight brokers also make the most of cargo capacity. They help trucks, trains, ships and cargo planes run with efficient loads. This helps reduce shipping costs and manages their customers’ overall cost of doing business.
The global web of production, manufacturing and distribution is a 21st Century economic miracle. Working with technology, commitment and expertise, freight brokers play a key role in making this miracle happen.
Does a Freight Broker Need a License?
In order to broker freight, you will need to comply with the license requirements of the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The license is also known as your Motor Carrier Operating Authority (MC authority or MC number).
Many freight industry professionals start working in the brokerage environment while they are working toward formal licensing. For example, industry experts note that you can work in transportation and logistics before becoming an independent freight broker.
One great approach is to start working with a carrier or logistics company. Some successful students have partnered with existing brokers or transportation professionals as they complete their freight broker training course.
Do Freight Brokers Enjoy Their Work?
You will enjoy your career as a freight broker if you:
1. Embrace a fast-paced, demanding environment
As a freight broker, you will usually be working with large quantities of very important products. Freight customers range from world-leading manufacturers to small businesses, all of whom need goods moved across the country.
Of course, shipments will likely face different challenges as they move from one location to the next. The weather might take a turn for the worst or equipment might breakdown, but your ability to respond to challenges quickly will determine your success as a freight broker.
2. Like solving problems independently
Great freight brokers need to be self-motivated, reliable and innovative problem solvers, especially when they own their own brokerage. If you enjoy figuring out solutions to challenges, you may very well enjoy your career as a freight broker.
3. Enjoy technology
There may not be another industry moving as quickly to adopt and leverage technology as the transportation and logistics business. From fully automated tracking to futuristic drone delivery systems, the freight industry is undergoing revolutionary changes.
Yet amid change, brokers still play a key role in the logistics chain. If you enjoy deploying and operating new technologies, you may have a great future as a freight broker.
So, want to learn more about becoming a freight broker? Read about what a quality freight broker training program looks like and why you should do it online.