Those that enjoy logistics and the science of getting things from one area to another may be well suited for a job as a freight broker.
With the need for more and more trucks and truck drivers, comes the need for freight brokers, so drivers can drive with full loads and maximize their time and earn the most possible for their trips.
Those considering a job as a freight broker should have the following:
- High school diploma or GED
- 2+ years of work experience in the industry
- Established book of business
- Skilled working with Microsoft Office Suites
- Great problem-solving abilities
- Superior communication skills, both verbal and written
- Outstanding negotiating skills
- Demonstrated ability to meet sales targets and online deliveries
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What are the Duties of a Freight Broker in Alabama?
- 2 Licensing Requirements of a Freight Broker in Alabama
- 3 Freight Broker Programs in Alabama
- 4 How Much Do Freight Brokers Make?
- 5 Sources
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Duties of a Freight Broker in Alabama?
The main goal of a freight broker is to make sure that they provide reliable transportation to get goods to their destination in a fast, safe manner.
They act as a liaison between shippers and carriers.
Here are some of the key responsibilities:
- Generating leads by attracting new prospects, and developing a sales pipeline
- Identifying, selecting reputable and safe carriers
- Providing customers with shipping quotes
- Booking orders with available trucks/carriers
- Assisting to prepare carriers for load assignments
- Tracking status/location of loads on the road
- Working with shippers, carriers, and dispatchers to coordinate schedule and merchandise drops
- Keeping records of activities
- Updating customers on the status of shipments
- Troubleshoot issues
Licensing Requirements of a Freight Broker in Alabama
There is no specific state license to become a freight broker in Alabama, but there is a federal license issued by the FMCSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
In order to become a freight broker in Alabama, you must have a high school diploma in order to be allowed to apply to FMCSA for their MC Authority.
The license application is $300.
After completing the licensing application, you will be assigned an MC number.
You will also be required to put up a $75,000 surety bond, as well as obtain the correct insurance.
The time required depends on previous experience in the trucking and transportation industry.
If you have worked in the industry, understand the legal responsibilities of booking freight contracts, have knowledge of reliable shippers and know how to use load boards, applying for an FMCSA should only take four to six weeks.
Those that do not have this real-life experience in the freight industry, should consider enrolling in a freight broker training program to get the background they need to be successful in the industry.
Freight Broker Programs in Alabama
Even though many people have experience in the transportation industry, they still find it valuable to take classes in freight brokerage, as there is a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.
They could be booking thousands of dollars in goods.
So they need to know about insuring the load, finding reputable carriers, and attracting good loads.
In the state of Alabama, there are several good options, and here are a couple of local programs:
- Calhoun Community College offers a six-month online program.
- Shelton State Community College offers an online course in conjunction with Brooke Transportation Solutions.
How Much Do Freight Brokers Make?
Freight brokers can make a good salary in Alabama.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in Alabama freight agents just starting their career can make $51,330 per year.
Those that have a lot of experience and good contacts can earn over $70,000 per year.
While it may be difficult to get started in the business, those with persistence and good contacts can earn a nice living.
Those that work around the states’ largest cities like Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, and the Port of Mobile tend to see the most work.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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Frequently Asked Questions
What will my schedule be as a freight broker?
As a freight broker, you can make your own schedule.
Those that work more and have good contacts can elevate their income.
It all depends on when you want to work and how much money you want to make.
Is there currently a demand for freight brokers?
Yes, our transportation continues to grow.
Since 2014, the need for freight brokers increased by 15%.
Even as the world evolves and more technologies come into our lives, the need to transport products from ports and other areas of entry to their destination continues to need brokers.
If I have worked in the transportation industry, do I still need to attend classes?
It is a wise idea as there are several parts of the job you may not have had experience with.
You need to write contracts, make reliable contacts and advertise your services in order to make money.
These are parts of the logistics industry most people are not familiar with.