How to Become a Freight Broker

Shipment of freight is often a complicated process and involves a variety of professionals and services. Freight brokers are shipping professionals that act as liaisons between authorized motor carriers and individuals or organizations that need shipping services.

What does a freight broker do?

Freight brokers connect individuals and companies that have shipping needs to carriers that offer freight shipping. They determine the needs of the shipper and match them with carriers that are willing to transport the freight at a reasonable price. Freight brokers use their extensive knowledge of the shipping industry to help both shippers and carriers achieve their objectives. Freight brokers do not ever take possession of the goods and equipment; they solely just make shipping arrangements. Many freight brokers work for companies that specialize in freight transportation and others operate their businesses.

What kind of training does a freight broker need?

Freight brokers typically need at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer applicants with some formal training and related work experience. Many freight brokers enroll in programs that teach the policies and procedures of being a freight broker. There are a variety of training schools that offer programs to aspiring freight brokers. Many complete programs offered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Some freight brokers begin their careers in entry-level positions working for trucking or shipping companies to gain practical experience in the field. Most freight brokers become licensed by the FMCSA. Freight brokers complete additional training and continuing education throughout their careers to keep their skills current and stay up to date with advancements in the field.

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What are the prospects for a career as a freight broker?

Employment of freight broker is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 24% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increase in a variety of freight shipments will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good especially for freight broker with extensive experience and advanced training. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace freight brokers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do freight broker make?

As of March 2010, the average annual salary for freight brokers is $39,000; average annual freight broker salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a freight broker is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in the freight shipping field and helping match shippers and carriers. Freight brokers must have a solid understanding of the policies and procedures related to freight shipping and knowledge of a variety of shipping carriers. Patience, self-confidence, good decision-making skills, and good negotiation skills are necessary characteristics. Freight brokers must have excellent communication and ability to work with a variety of shippers and carriers. They must be flexible and able to perform a variety of efforts to help individuals and companies attain their goals.

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