Freight brokers are the connectors of the transportation and logistics industry. They link individuals or companies with goods to transport with carriers who get the cargo from a pickup point to its final destination.
So, how do freight brokers keep the wheels moving in the transportation industry?
Freight Broker Tasks and Duties
Freight brokers act as intermediaries between senders, carriers and recipients. While they may or may not own physical delivery equipment, they do play a crucial role in the distribution system by ensuring the safe and timely transport of goods.
As a freight broker, you’ll work extensively with:
- Customers who have goods to ship
- Transportation companies who ship by ground, rail, sea and air
- Consignees (recipients) who rely on you to get their shipments delivered on time
Freight brokers are responsible for four areas of performance:
- Overseeing and ensuring the safe passage of goods from shipper to carrier to consignee
- Preparing all documents and reports involved with the transport of cargo
- Negotiating terms and rates with carriers, including payment terms
- Prospecting and contracting with new shippers and carriers
Read more: Becoming a Freight Broker
A freight broker’s daily activities might include:
- Negotiating with shippers and carriers to arrange rates for transporting goods, commodities or carrying specific loads
- Using software systems to prepare documents and reports such as bills of lading, overage, shortage and damage (OS&D) reports or customs forms
- Monitoring load movement, communicating load status and resolving obstacles that may arise during shipping
- Arranging for storage of shipments that have been delayed
- Confirming deliveries and arrange for billing of shippers and payment of carriers
- Marketing the broker or agent business to prospective shippers and carriers
Characteristics of Successful Freight Brokers
The freight industry is a huge and dynamic marketplace. The US Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates that over 11 billion tons of freight move by truck each year. Another 1.7 billion tons move by rail and 766 million tons move by water.
To move all this freight requires over 12 million commercial trucks and more than 325,000 rail cars. It also requires well-trained, highly-organized freight professionals who can:
Solve problems quickly
Every shipment involves multiple stops and most involve multiple parties. This can cause bottlenecks and delays when inevitable problems arise.
Work with people well
Whether negotiating, solving problems or winning new customers, a freight broker is engaged with people constantly.
A busy freight broker may have many shipments moving simultaneously, each with its own challenges. Most successful freight brokers are also great time managers.
From communication to shipment tracking to billing and operations management, a freight broker’s business relies heavily on technology.
Freight Broker Training
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists Cargo and Freight Agents among its “Bright Outlook” career areas. The BLS expects faster than average growth for freight brokers and agents over the coming decade. Entrepreneur Magazine considers freight broker one of its top work-at-home opportunities.
If you enjoy working in a dynamic environment where your work directly matters to your customers and colleagues, freight broker might be a great career for you.
One great way to get started is to enroll in a course specifically designed to train freight brokers.
A training course will help streamline your learning process around the freight broker’s tools, procedures and business environment.
It will help you structure your freight broker business, including the procedures for obtaining your broker’s authority and license.
Read more: Five Essential for Freight Broker Training
As you can see, there is a lot to learn before becoming a freight broker. There is nothing like having an experienced guide to help you through the process.
Our Freight Broker Training course is designed by experienced freight brokerage specialists who have worked hands-on as freight brokers and agents. They have worked for large carriers and owned their own freight brokerage business.
To enroll in our Freight Broker Training course, click the link:
Freight Broker Training
6 Months | 180 Course Hours
From licensing and operations, to sales and marketing, learn how to run a domestic freight brokerage or agency in the United States.