Job hunting is never an easy task. Many economies are struggling with high unemployment rates globally. It is challenging to keep up with the stiff competition in the job market. You need to have a job-winning resume with several years of experience for you to stand a chance of getting a job offer. All the same, it doesn’t mean that you cannot find work without experience. With the right and resume, you can win an employer and land yourself a good job.
The freight brokering industry is among the sectors where you can learn on the job. With proper training and passion for the job, you can effortlessly learn the ropes in the freight industry and understand what the job entails. Once you grasp the nature of logistics, transportation and trucking, you can become an independent freight agent or broker.
Understanding how to become a freight broker with no experience is one of the challenges faced by many. A logistics broker is the go-between a shipper and a carrier, ensuring the transportation of goods is secured and takes place without hiccups. They have several duties and responsibilities that make up their typical day at work.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Freight Broker Agent
- Developing and choosing reputable transport services that offer sufficient security to clients’ goods.
- Generating leads and converting them into actual customers using an appropriate sales pipeline.
- Handle transportation services per the company and government rules and regulations.
- Plan and coordinate delivery and pick-up schedules while reporting and tracking the shipment status of goods regularly.
- Handle multiple deliveries and process spot requests immediately to ensure the customer is satisfied.
- Negotiate contracts and pricing agreements with the carriers to ensure everybody goes home happy.
- Maintain a positive relationship with clients and carriers by ensuring freight paperwork is completed before transportation.
- Keep an organized filing system for reference purposes.
- Ensures your freight is insured and that your carriage has sufficient liability coverage.
- The transportation agent communicates any special instructions to the carrier to ensure the transportation process runs smoothly.
- To remain relevant in the transportation industry, a freight broker should be abreast with the current market trends to keep up with clients’ changing demands.
The duties and responsibilities of a freight broker are clear and straight-forward. The demand for agents is taking the world by storm. In the US alone, the freight industry gives more than a trillion-dollar turnover yearly. The nature of the job allows you to be as free as a bird. It means you get time to spend with family and friends and even free time for making an extra buck due to its flexible scheduling.
With minimal monthly overheads, the industry is gaining traction, with many agents starting their businesses. Unlimited earning potential encourages hard and smart working individuals to succeed in the transportation industry.
Becoming a logistics agent or broker is one of the career paths to excel in, without much education. Learning about the industry at entry levels gives you the chance to know more about succeeding in the trucking and logistics sector. You get to build long-term relationships by maintaining a positive reputation with good networks. With such a CV, your education will not be required to secure the broker’s position.
Special Certifications Required
To become a licensed freight broker in the transportation industry, you need to have a freight broker license, allowing you to act as a liaison between the shipper and the carrier. On the job freight, transportation broker training is essential if you do not have prior experience. You can also decide to take a freight broker course to have the relevant knowledge and skills for the job. To obtain the broker license:
- You need an MC or motor carrier number from the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
- Using a valid credit card, get a PIN from FMCSA.
- The PIN takes 4-7 business days to be shipped to your business address.
- Submit your MC Authority license application to become a registered broker with FMCSA and take 4-6 weeks.
- Ensure your application is on-point since you have to pay a $300 non-refundable fee for each license you are applying for.
- If you are a carrier handling interstate commerce, you need a DOT number.
- The DOT number is applied separately using an MCS-150 form.
- With the DOT registration, you must file a biennial update whether your company is no longer in business or has ceased interstate business.
- When renewing your license, you must ensure you also have a freight broker bond, which is a type of surety bond establishing your credibility.
- Once you have the brokerage license, it is critical to keep up with the hours of service that the FMCSA keep updating on their portal to know how to organize your transportation team.
Working for an Existing Logistics Firm vs. Starting Your Own Freight Brokerage Business
The ultimate goal for many individuals is to become an owner of successful companies. Not everyone is into white-collar jobs and being employed. Either way, you need to work to earn a living. Let’s check out the similarities and differences between working for an existing transportation firm against starting your own transportation business.
Working for an existing transport company can be fun, existing, and stressful, depending on its environment. Starting your own freight company may be challenging, but you get the chance to be your boss and create your working environment.
When working for a freight company, your options are limited to the bounds of that freight broker business, while working at your own company means you can expand globally without limitations.
Being the freighting company owner means increased responsibility for the owner while working as an employee to a freight company means you are tied to only your job description.
Freight Agent Qualifications
The logistics industry does not demand much from its employees or brokers in terms of qualifications. For job offers on freight brokerage services, the online platform provides several vacancies. The following freight broker qualifications give you a competitive edge over your competitors:
- High School Diploma, GED, or equivalent.
- Candidates with experience in a similar position is an added advantage
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office suites.
- Excellent communication and customer delivery skills.
- Good negotiation and problem-solving abilities.
- Ability to meet sales targets.
How to Start a Freight Brokerage Business
Starting a logistics company is not an easy task. With appropriate online resources, entrepreneurs are finding the process less hectic. When starting such a business, you should have the following factors in mind:
- Consider the cost of starting the transport business in terms of how much is required and the source of capital.
- Check out the particular fleet of vehicles that will meet your transportation needs without weighing much on your overhead costs.
- Find out where and how you can get professional freight broker training on courses like National Certificate in Freight Handling to boost your knowledge and experience in logistics services.
- Find out how to employ the truck driver with the best training skills to train other drivers.
- Ensure you have good leads to follow through and start you off with the company.
- Apply the highest standards of supply chain logistics to ensure your clients are happy.
- Create a good network and relationship with employees, suppliers and consumers.
Whether you want to start your own logistics company or work for one, the information provided above is vital in guiding you to make a solid decision. The transportation industry remains the top industry where you can earn a good living and grow your income substantially.
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