A freight broker has the important responsibility of working with a company that needs shipping services and a carrier that is authorized to transport the load. It is important to note that a broker does not actually do any of the shipping or the transportation of items.
There are many factors that go into a freight broker’s decision of which carrier will get the load. First, they must determine the specific needs of the company doing the shipping. Cost is a major factor for shippers, so matching the carrier that will transport the goods at a rate that is deemed reasonable by the shipper is a top priority. Once the load is delivered, commissions are earned and the trucker or trucking company gets paid.
A freight broker helps companies that are shipping large loads find a carrier that has experience hauling valuable items. In a sense, the broker is vouching for the carrier and putting trust in his or her hands to deliver the goods safely and quickly. By matching the type of items to be shipped with the right truck driver or trucking company, brokers allow shippers to receive the most efficient service tailored to their specific needs.
Often times, a company will contact a broker when items need to be shipped quickly. This is because freight brokerage agencies have a large list of trusted transportation companies and agents that they can call upon at a moment’s notice. When a tractor-trailer needs to be filled or a company needs to send out a large amount of items in a pinch, a freight broker’s expertise and list of resources is invaluable. The job of a freight broker can be very demanding, usually spent hunting for the perfect carrier and spending hours on the phone. If a broker has many connections and many clients, the work can be extremely fast paced and challenging. It takes a special work ethic to be able to handle the demands of the job, but a good freight broker is good at multi-tasking and juggling multiple clients.
In order to become a broker, one must become licensed by the FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Furthermore, a freight broker must obtain an insurance policy that will protect their clients against any losses or damages. Freight brokers can operate independently at their own business or work for a larger brokerage company. Most often, brokers start out working for a larger agency where they can gain potential clients and connections that they can use to foster relationships when they open their own brokerage firm.