If you’re thinking, how to become a freight broker, the first thing you need to know is that it’s quite an involved process. Creating a brokerage business can be rewarding and profitable but it requires thorough planning and a bit of luck as well.
To begin with, let’s find out what exactly is a freight broker?
Put simply, this is a third party who matches shippers (those who need goods transported) with carriers (companies using their equipment for transportation). In other words those two parties don’t have direct contact – they go through the broker who makes sure everything runs smoothly. Keep in mind that there are brokers who specialize only in specific types of transport such as ocean or air freight or trucking. It’s always a good idea to choose the one you are most familiar with or have some background in. If you choose trucking freight, still there are various different types of freight brokerage services that you can offer.
You may have already decided that freight brokerage is a line of work in which you would thrive and excel, but the truth is, it’s a lot more complicated than simply negotiating contracts with clients or shipping companies on behalf of your customers.
First of all, if you want to be successful in this business, you should have a strong foundation in transportation and logistics. Transportation includes the conveyance of freight from point A to point B as quickly as possible with as few delays as possible. It sounds simple enough, but there are all kinds of things that could go wrong between those two points including delivery time windows, fuel prices, driver availability, empty backhauls, capacity shortfalls and equipment shortages which is why it’s important to know the logistics side of things. Logistics is essentially just a fancy word for supply chain management. Freight brokers also need to have knowledge on how freight brokers find shippers and how to fix rates for road transportation for day-to-day market.
Finding work for freight brokers is not an easy task. Brokers constantly need to search for new customers, arrange different types of transportation and deal with compliance issues. Since they are constantly looking for new leads, they tend to specialize in a particular type of transport so that they can have a bigger pool from which to pick up clients. For example, if you’re well versed in overland shipping then it would be wise to focus your attention on companies requiring land transportation services as this will maximize your chances of bringing business their way. At the same time don’t forget about building relationships – even if you have a lot of leads coming from various sources it’s important to keep in touch with current and past clients.