How to Become a Freight Broker in Pennsylvania

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How to Become a Freight Broker in Pennsylvania

If you are interested in the logistics and transportation industry and do not know how to get started, you may want to consider a job as a freight broker.

This is a good entry into the industry and because it is so diverse, you will learn a lot.

Plus, it is easy to get started as a freight broker, there are many programs available through community colleges and online that are very affordable, but will you a good entrée into the business, and prepare you to start earning money right away.

If you are not sure what a freight broker does, here is a quick overview.

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A freight broker acts as go-between shippers and carriers.

They act as a conduit that negotiates shipping contracts and makes sure that shipments are delivered when they are scheduled.

They also handle logistics and can help with additional services like insurance and other assistance for carriers that are on the road.

What Skills Should a Freight Broker Possess?

Freight brokers need to have a variety of skills to keep their business solvent.

The following skills are important for those that are thinking of becoming a freight broker:

  • Be outgoing and market yourself: As an individual freight broker, you need to network and get out of your comfort zone. If you are going to attract business, you need to make people aware of what you do and how you can help them.
  • Know the market: Those in the logistics industry have a language of their own. To gain respect and show your knowledge of the market, you need to use the same lingo as those in the industry use.
  • Understand the importance of deadlines: Deadlines are very important to clients, if they need a load delivered at a certain time, it is up to the broker to ensure it gets there on schedule.
  • Good problem-solving skills: A broker needs to know how to resolve issues like delayed loads, poor weather conditions, natural disasters, and mechanical issues.
  • Interpersonal skills: Strong communication skills are crucial. You must be able to keep your business associates aware of schedules, problems, tracking, and delivery confirmations.

What are the Duties of a Freight Broker in Pennsylvania?

No matter what state you live in freight brokers play a very important role by keeping the delivery of goods on target.

Whether a broker is working for themselves as an individual broker or part of a team, the responsibilities are virtually the same.

Here are some of the typical responsibilities of a freight broker in Pennsylvania:

  • A freight broker needs to find carriers with reliable drivers to get their loads delivered on time, within budget.
  • They must be able to create sales leads to increase their value in a company or to enrich their bottom line if a solo broker.
  • They need to keep good records of loads, tracking, and delivery.
  • A freight broker needs to know how to negotiate prices, prepare quotes and collect payment for services rendered.
  • A good broker needs to identify, verify, and book haulers for their undelivered loads.
  • They must be able to communicate with clients on the status of their loads.
  • A freight broker must be able to troubleshoot problems that may occur on the road.
  • Need to have skills in bookkeeping, so they can track the delivery of each load and invoice clients.
  • Ask happy clients for referrals.

Licensing Requirements of a Freight Broker in Pennsylvania

In the state of Pennsylvania, there are no individual state requirements.

There are also no educational or training requirements other than having a high school diploma or GED.

Many people still choose to attend freight broker classes to get ahead of their competitors and be ready to start working on gaining clients as soon as possible.

Here is some information and requirements:

  • Freight brokers are regulated by freight brokers are federally regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • Determine how you want the company set up, ether partnership, corporation, or sole proprietorship.
  • Get a motor carrier number and apply for a license as a Broker of Household Goods or Broker of Property. Online registration will get you a license immediately.
  • Obtain a surety bond (BMC-84), of $75,000. A credit check will be done to obtain the bond.
  • Once you have your license, you will need a process agent or representative in each state where you work or have a contract. You will need to have a BOC-9 and send it to the FMCSA.
  • You will need both cargo and licensing insurance.
  • To become an independent fright broker, you will need to register to be a Unified Carrier Registration Plan.

Freight Broker Training Available to Pennsylvanians

There are numerous in-person classes and online classes available to prospective freight brokers.

While many do not obtain a formal education, there are many benefits to pursuing classes.

Here are some of the training options for those that want to explore a career as a freight broker:

  • Community College of Philadelphia.
  • Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (Willow Grove)
  • Manor College (Jenkintown)
  • Temple University (Ambler)
  • Community College of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh)

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to Indeed.com, the average salary for freight brokers in Pennsylvania is about $38,258 per year, plus commissions of around $30,000.

This is 31% below the national average.

This salary is for those that are just starting their career.

Those that work hard to cultivate their business can earn more.

Annual Salary Range:
$45K
$52K
$60K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Philadelphia $56,503
Pittsburgh $51,956
Allentown $53,159
Erie $48,723
Upper Darby $56,503
Reading $52,472
Scranton $48,686
Bethlehem $53,159
Lower Merion $56,503
Bensalem $56,970

Sources

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I secure big deals?

Work hard, be reliable and communicate well with clients and carriers.

Can I work from anywhere as an independent freight broker?

Yes, as long as you have internet and phone signals, you can do your job from anywhere.

Can I make commissions?

Yes, you can supplement your income with commissions.

USA Freight Broker License by State


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