What is a Freight Broker?
Freight broker refer to a company or someone who aids shippers with loads which are on the verge of being hauled, by simply identifying freight carriers who are qualified to haul the load. One can also call them a liaison, since he connects the shippers and the asset carriers.
Essentially, they do not do the actual work. The broker identifies a trucking company to haul the cargo from its point of origin to the desired destination. In the process, the freight broker ensures that the trucking company will charge less than the shipping company or the client is willing to pay.
As a result, profit is made and everyone is happy. The freight broker is also called a truck broker, transportation broker or a load broker. He can be identified as a middleman in the freight and load business.
What does the freight broker really do?
Well, being a freight broker entails tendering a shipper’s freight to a carrier of the asset. The broker manages the shipment from its’ point of origin to the destination.
But the job does not end there, he then makes an invoice to the shipper with the paperwork and finally gives the carrier payment for the shipment.
The business of freight brokers has developed over the years with its market consisting of a large number of shippers and carriers. Freight brokers are bridging in the role of movement of loads, they link the shippers and the carriers.
The broker plays a role in the negotiations of shipping rates and fast deliveries from the carriers, furthermore, they connect the shippers with the business that require to transport cargos, thus the carriers maximize their loads.
Aside from being an intermediary, freight brokers have a significant role in the tracking of freight, as records of pickups and deliveries have to be noted and any other information. In addition, they oversee the legal procedure of transportation, ergo they are experts in shipping and transportation.
Truck Broker responsibility
Freight brokers are responsible for the transportation and safety of the cargo to reach its destination. For you to become a freight broker for trucking and transportation, it implies you take responsibility for a vital part in the shipping process. Which leads us to the next thing, how do you become a freight broker?
But first there are basics you need to understand before you become a freight broker. That is; Prior to taking the first step to launch yourself as a freight broker, it is imperative you review the role you will be playing in the industry.
How much is a freight broker salary ?
Earning for this guy is good, he can make up to $7,500 per month. To add on, he is an indispensable worker for the transportation of the cargos. In a nut shell, he maintains the cycle of the economy.
How to Become a Freight Broker
The journey to become a freight broker or a truck broker is not complicated. If you have the ambition and willingness to do what it takes you can become one easily. You shall however, need to prepare thoroughly for launching your brokerage.
For you to become one, you must have knowledge about the whole business, how it is operated and what you require to become one.
So, what does it take be the important middleman in the transportation industry, these are some of the basics you should ensure you do, have and equip yourself with:
- Gain the industry experience and study on transportation and shipping. In the process, you can refresh and develop some skills that can be implemented to facilitate your business.
- Take the training by attending a freight broker school, here you will acquire the required skills and know how to carry out an operation.
Now to obtain your freight broker license ;
- Identify a company name and make registrations for your business. This will enable you to legally operate with a license. This should be followed by submission of an OP-1 form.
- Design your business plan, this will enable you to apply for a line of credit with your bank. Moreover, the plan will highlight which area you want to target and the customers and improve your preparedness to encounter challenges.
- Determine the right carriers which work in the field of operations you will have chosen for your business.
- Obtain a freight broker surety bond- this implies a three-party contract for quality standards and accountability.
- Ensure you acquire an insurance plan for your business to cover any damages unfortunate accidents that may occur and not to mention your surety bond. An insurance also forms part of the requirements of shipping companies you might be dealing with in future.
- Decentralize your business by having agents of service for each state you conduct your business in.
- Obtain equipment - there are important technical gear such as computer, printers and internet that are necessary for boosting your work and increasing productivity.
- Collect enough capital for initializing your business, with the cash at your disposal you are guaranteed to be on the safe part financially. Here, you might consider a line of credit you can secure.
- Perform a bit of marketing for your business to the potential customers. Have a unique brand that will get your message all over to reach your customers.
Truck Broker Marketing
Your marketing will be your image, you will have to come up with something unique that will impress your future clients and many others.
Before going further, there is one important component that to have to be informed of. It is the key to the commencement of the whole business.
Therefore, without it the business cannot go forward. This is the license, the permit to operate your business legally wherever you are set up.
Freight Broker License cost
It is important to note that all freight brokers must be licensed in order to operate, and this licensing process is managed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA).
As you would imagine there are fees involved, a one-time charge that will cater for securing a freight brokerage license is $300.
To add on, a surety bond is required for a freight broker as part of the business which will work to protect customers from fraudulent business culture.
The surety bond agencies offer bonds of prices ranging $500 to $2000 which is fair for the broker. And most go for the lower spectrum of the pricing.
The bonds are usually priced according to the brokers credit score and his business financial records. There is however, the fluctuation of the bond price over time.
The bond surety should not be confused with the insurance. They are different components with different expenses.
While the bond surety is for protecting the customers against fraudulence, the insurance is in place to protect the business owner from legal liabilities, employee injuries at work or lawsuits.
The insurance scope covers a wider range from one freight broker to the other, the fee is between $1,500 and $3,000 for the basic insurance coverage for your business.
Once you have license granted by the Federal safety Motor Carrier Association (FMCSA) and completion of registration, your license will now be able to commence conducting business a freight broker.
The catch here is that there are several incentives for you to become a freight broker, and all of them will definitely get your attention and interest!
Here is why you should consider becoming a freight broker:
- You do not have to get any experience so as to get started,
- The startup cost is quite low,
- And as the industry is currently worth over $300 billion dollars and is still growing! Is reason enough to get yourself into the business,
- And what’s more, it is possible for you to work from home!
You could not get any better chance and opportunity such as this. It is worth it all the way so long as you put your focus and determination in it.
You do not require any special experience or skill just your passion and determination invested and you are good to go!
Becoming a freight broker without experience
With the above information in mind, you can become a freight broker without even having experience, and in just a few steps you will be good to go. Here is what you do:
- Study all there is about the business and how the operation is conducted,
- Identify your company name and register it at a patent and trademark office,
- Make a draft of your business plan, this is very important as it can help you in other areas like obtaining a credit line from a bank,
- Choose the best trucking carriers, to maintain a good reputation for the quality of services that will offer to your clients,
- Submit your application for a USDOT number and attain your broker authority.
These will form a basis for you, a good foundation that will set you off to the journey you are about to take as a freight broker.
The rest of the requirements can be obtained from the study knowledge you will have done at the beginning. In conclusion this information will be enough for you to get started on your quest to become a freight broker.
Truck Broker as a business
If you follow the right procedure, you will be in business in no time and reaping your income slowly from wherever you might be. This kind of business will not only provide you with an income but also knowledge on various aspects of business, like good negotiations, and new ideas as you will be fully engaged in the business world.
A freight broker is a tremendous resource and an expert in all sectors of freight and issues in the shipping industry. The expertise comes from being in the market day in day out, every working day on all things freight related.
Alongside this expertise, there is technology use in conducting the operation of every shipment and transport. A freight broker coordinates a shipment by matching the shipper up with a carrier. Where freight forwarders actually take possession of the freight and then arrange for the shipment to its’ respective destination.
Being a freight broker will enable you to grow yourself, to what extent is entirely up to you. Decision making about the brokerage business will influence your personality development as well as the growth of your business.
Freight broker training
As a freight broker, you must be knowledgeable in trucking industry and the logistics concerned, the legal matters and regulations, not to forget the aspects of small business ownership.
The training course is offered through certificate programs from respective education department of higher learning institutions. Some of which provide industry specific comprehensive training courses.
You will be introduced to daily tasks performed by freight brokers, these include;
- First rate calculation,
- Then, Service billing,
- Last, tracking loads.
Practical approach is used in this training, you will be introduced to execution of services to clients hands-on.
There are also programs available online as certificate course. The difference with these programs is that they do not make college credit a necessity.
Truck Broker Training Includes
For graduates that are looking to get in to freight brokering do not require a license. The most important concepts covered in the training programs includes;
- The federal motor carrier safety association (FMCSA) regulations and requirements,
- Business management principles,
- Marketing your business,
- The transportation industry overview,
- A small business software
These are major concepts that the training should provide you. After that you will be more than capable to start off your freight brokerage business. With the information at your fingertips, nothing can hold you back from making it a successful like any other successful business story of the men and women out there.
Once your business is set-up, it will now be up to you to take it to the next level. Therefore the success of you freight business depends on you, make the most out of it, expand it even.
Conclusion for Truck Brokers Importance
In conclusion a freight broker is the most efficient manner to send cargo. First, they helps to match the best and reputable carriers with a shipper's requirement. Second, truck brokers helps find the best shipment service and value on the market. Third, they make money when the shipper saves money.
All in, the business can be quite lucrative with the best management and good service implementation. For good productivity, good marketing will facilitate it and also boost the business.