Freight brokers work with shippers and carriers to find freight deals that make sense for both parties. They negotiate rates, terms, and conditions between the two companies.
Freight brokers are responsible for finding new opportunities for shipping companies to ship goods. In order to do this, they must first understand how the industry works. This means understanding the logistics of the various modes of transportation, as well as knowing the ins and outs of each mode.
So how does the freight broker agent fit into all of this?
What is a freight broker agent’s job description?
Keep reading to find out.
Freight broker agent job description
Freight broker agents have great opportunities and virtually unlimited earning potential in the shipping industry. The primary duty of a freight agent is to coordinate with the company that needs trucking services for their cargo. Since many businesses are involved with transporting their goods, hiring a freight broker agent to assist a company in the entire process of shipping turns out to be more affordable than employing full-time personnel to do the same job.
The Work of a Freight Broker Agent
The job description for freight brokers and freight agents are almost identical. In fact, most successful brokers started as agents. The same thing with the broker’s job, the freight broker agent is the one to contact manufacturers, shippers, or other potential customers to actually obtain the cargo. He will also be the one to call the trucking companies to take the goods and prepare the documents needed for the shipment before forwarding them to his broker to process the payment.
For those not familiar with freight brokerage, let’s look at an overview of a freight broker agent’s job. Their main objective is to ensure that incoming and outgoing shipments are done properly and timely. They look for credible shipping companies that cater to their needs and meet all of their requirements. Since they are in charge of the transportation of goods, they are also responsible for determining the most expedient route.
There are just a few differences between a freight broker and a freight broker agent. They are both individual contractors who operate and earn their income from the sale of brokerage services. However, freight agents are working under the protection of a broker’s license, insurance coverage, and a freight broker surety bond. Since a freight agent works without financial risk, he must share his earnings with his sponsoring broker.
Successful freight broker agents mostly do transactions over the phone or the internet and they rarely come into actual contact with their customers. However, experienced freight broker agents still need to have some knowledge about customer service. They also have to make sure that they hire credible people for the delivery of cargo and take into consideration the affordability of the safe carriers for freight services.
Characteristics of a Successful Freight Broker
Besides the education and the experience that is needed to help make you successful in the logistics industry, there are several characteristics that will be useful to have in this industry. First of all, skilled brokers must also be honest and trustworthy. This will help you build a reputation among your clients and make them more likely to work with you in the future. No one wants to work with someone that they do not feel they can trust.
Independent freight agents must also have a lot of flexibility. Working in the freight industry can be very time-consuming, and you must be willing to dedicate that time to your job. You never know at what hours your job as a freight broker will call, which means that you must also be self-motivated. If an issue comes up in the middle of the night, you must be willing and able to get up and deal with the issue. A freight broker with no self-motivation will be hard put trying to keep the clients that they have.
Why Do Companies Hire Freight Broker Agents?
No matter how crazy the economy is, commodities will still be in demand and will still need to be transported to the market. The increase in delivery services is very evident. Even with a high amount of transportation expenses, manufacturers still have to make sure their products are delivered promptly to different places. There are numerous motor carriers willing to ship goods, provided that they agree upon the deal with a freight broker or freight broker agent.
Since most manufacturers are looking for carriers to haul their products in a safe and affordable way, they choose to hire a freight agent to handle the operation with the delivery company. This procedure is much easier for them than hiring a workforce to assist them when they need service for the cargo. A freight broker agent has a significant responsibility. It requires formal training and a good set of contact lists to be successful.
Not only is a high school diploma required for this job, but it is also a good idea to attend a freight broker training program to truly become knowledgeable about your future job. Obtaining your broker license can give you a good head start on your competition. Beginner freight agent salaries are on average about $50,000 a year, while more experienced agents can make up to $78,000 a year. Usually, the costs incurred by companies that hire these agents are much lower than they would be if the company were to hire a full-time employee to handle the work.
How Do Freight Agents Get Customers?
Freight agents often find themselves short on time when trying to complete their job successfully, the same as many other jobs out there. It is important to remember that, in order to be a successful freight agent, you must start as a service-minded freight broker. That means that you must get all of the knowledge about the job that you can, and you should be equipped with excellent communication skills and negotiation skills.
To save on time and energy, there are several ways that a freight brokerage operation can go about getting new customers. First, though it is time-consuming, there is always the option of making cold calls to potential clients. You may hear a lot of “no’s,” and you may even get hung up on several times, but chances are that you will eventually find a company that has been looking for the exact service that you are offering.
Often, your current clients can give you referrals to other companies that are looking for a successful freight brokerage to help them out. If there is a specific type of freight that you normally ship, you can also research similar companies and reach out to them. Some of these prospective customers may be on the search for a new freight broker business to partner with. Last but not least, you can also employ a load board that helps companies find freight carrier services that they have been searching for.