When people think of careers in the transportation industry, they typically think of truck drivers and railway engineers. Transportation is much larger than that, however. There are many people behind the scenes that play a part in getting goods from one part of the world to another, including customs agents, air traffic controllers, and freight brokers.
What is a freight broker?
In the simplest terms, a freight broker acts as an intermediary, connecting people with a product that needs to be shipped with carrier companies that are available to haul a load. They may work exclusively for a specific company in an office or they may own their own business and work from home with multiple companies.
Is a freight broker the same as a freight forwarder?
These are two different career paths within the field of transportation. A freight forwarder is responsible for overseeing a shipment on behalf of their client from pickup to the final destination. A freight broker, on the other hand, is only responsible for coordinating the connection between the two parties involved.
How do you get freight broker training?
While you are not required to attend a freight broker training program or an apprenticeship, it is advisable. The information taught could save you from a costly mistake later.
How long is freight broker training?
The length of your freight broker training varies depending on the school and whether the course is online or in-person. In fact, many online freight broker training courses are self-paced, allowing you to move faster or slower through the course material, as needed.
How are freight brokers paid?
Freight brokers are paid a percentage of the fee that the carrier company charges to move the load. If you are new and working for a company, you may be paid an hourly wage when you start out. If you are self-employed and run your own freight brokerage company, you can make as much as your clients are willing to pay.
Do you need a license to be a freight broker?
You need a license to work as a freight broker. Freight broker training will teach you what you need to do to get that license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission. Be advised, however, that you cannot obtain licensing if you have been convicted of a felony within the last three years. Freight brokers are expected to be upstanding, honest citizens.
Are there any other requirements for new freight brokers?
Freight brokers are required to have either $75,000 in the bank or obtain a surety bond for $75,000 as part of their licensing with the FMCSC. A surety bond assures your clients -- both the carrier and the shipper of goods -- that they will be protected in the event of a loss. It is a form of insurance policy for your clients.
If you are looking for an opportunity to work from home, freight broker training may lead to a fast-paced and exciting career.