A freight broker is an individual or company that serves as a liaison between another individual or company that needs shipping services and an authorized motor carrier. Though a freight broker plays an important role in the movement of cargo, the broker doesn’t function as a shipper or a carrier. Instead, a freight broker works to determine the needs of a shipper and connects that shipper with a carrier willing to transport the items at an acceptable price.
Work in the cargo and freight business. Find work with a shipping, trucking or freight brokering company in any position available and begin learning how the freight business operates. First-hand knowledge about the actual job a load broker performs can be learned as an apprentice to a transportation broker or agent. A load broker should have comprehensive knowledge about the ins and outs of the freight business.
Choose a freight specialization. There are many types of freight that require transportation. Specializing in a particular freight type puts the agent in the role of expert and the go-to person for transportation companies handling that particular type of freight. Freight specialties include livestock, over-size loads, hazardous materials and perishable food.
Develop networking skills and build a business network. Load brokers are the contact point for drivers and transportation companies. The load brokers contact list becomes an asset to the broker, without it they have no way to conduct business. Daily conversation with transportation companies and drivers is required of the broker to initiate and successfully complete a shipment.
Obtain a freight brokers license from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Brokers must be licensed whether they are working as an employee of a brokering company or as an independent broker. The Federal Carrier Safety Administration known as the FMCSA is the DOT department that oversees the licensing of load brokers. Call the FMCSA at 800-832-5660 or visit the website to find out more about the licensing process. The license fee is $300 and requires proof of the purchase of a surety bond in the amount of $10,000 before the application is approved.