When a company needs cargo transported by truck, a freight broker agent coordinates the process as a third-party intermediary. For companies, otherwise known as shippers, it’s more cost-effective to use a freight broker agent so they don’t have to employ full time staff for the purpose. For trucking companies, they get enough cargo to keep their trucks full.
First, get some initial work experience in the cargo industry, working for a shipper or a trucking company. After one or two years, you can then get work as an independent contractor agent in an existing freight brokerage.
Develop an extensive contact list. Talk with truckers to find suitable partner trucking companies. Call or network with shippers to establish an ongoing business relationship.
Build your reputation and expertise by focusing your freight broker business on a specific segment. Some specializations include heavy/oversized loads, livestock, agricultural products and refrigerated /perishable items. Other freight broker agents can focus on a particular city, state or regional area.
Find out your shipper’s needs, such as their cargo, the pickup and delivery time and place, and the truck type. Talk to shippers on your contact list early every morning to find out what trucks they need for that day.
Take the shipper’s order if they say yes. Agree upon your commission rate. Check loading boards on the Internet every morning.
Look for reputable trucking companies that are suitable for the cargo and are available. Search the Internet, loading boards or specialized directories. Sign broker agreements with several partner trucking companies.
Fax a contract with all the details to a trucking company on your contact list. If they agree to take the load, then they will sign and fax over the paperwork.
Contact the shipper and tell them the load is scheduled for delivery. Make sure all the cargo is delivered on time and reschedule any loads that may be delayed. You might need to call in and check on the driver as well.
Call the shipper to tell them the cargo has been delivered. Pay the trucking company and then send an invoice to the shipper for your charges.