How to Become a Freight Broker in Rhode Island

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How to Become a Freight Broker in Rhode Island

Freight brokers are transportation professionals who manage, coordinate and connect manufacturers and other companies with shipping carriers.

They are an integral component in the commercial shipping process.

Freight brokers require astute problem-solving and interpersonal skills to manage many moving parts each day.

Many freight brokers are entrepreneurs, as Rhode Island offers limitless potential for freight brokers.

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Freight Broker Duties in Rhode Island

A freight broker in Rhode Island will find their best, most lucrative opportunities in the state’s capital, Providence, home of Brown University and its most densely populated city.

The Port of Providence (ProvPort) is New England’s second deep-water seaport and is strategically located as a major distribution center for the greater New England and points beyond.

Freight brokers are responsible for negotiating shipping rates and terms between shippers and carriers.

They are also required to manage each contracted shipment until it reaches its destination.

This can be challenging because state laws may differ as the load navigates its shipping path.

Finally, a Rhode Island freight broker is also responsible for handling damage goods claims or deliveries that arrive late or short on product.

Freight brokers must ensure their shipments reach their destination – legally and on time.

Guidelines and regulations that have been set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (49 CFT 371) dictate the allowable business choices of Rhode Island freight brokers.

Freight or cargo brokers are not responsible for handling shipments, which freight agents typically do.

Freight brokers coordinate multiple shipments with shipping customers, freight forwarders, and freight agents.

Licensing Requirements for Rhode Island Freight Brokers

There are no state-level licensing requirements for freight brokers working in Rhode Island, and the required certification is completed at the federal level.

  1. Possess a high school diploma.
  2. Enroll and finish a Freight Broker training program.

Freight broker programs are available in Rhode Island and from many quality sources online.

The coursework typically covers transportation law, regulations, procedures, and practical skills required to operate as a freight broker successfully.

  1. Select a name for the company. The business name chosen cannot be the same as any other Rhode Island business.  Then, register your freight broker company as a business entity, as mandated by Rhode Island law. A freight broker has several business entities from which to choose. Note that each type of entity provides specific protections for the owners and determines how the freight business will be taxed.
  2. File for a Freight Broker License.

The FMCSA – the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers an online application required for a freight brokerage license, plus these forms, Operating Authority (OP-1), Proof of Surety Bond or Trust Fund (BMC-84), and an acknowledgment that a registered agent in each state is available for legal service.

The applicant will be issued an Interstate Operating Authority (an MC Number) when complete.

Rhode Island Freight Broker Programs

Freight brokerage is a profession that is bound by many regulations and laws.

Freight brokers must comply with these laws, which requires an in-depth knowledge of the business and the relevant laws.

When deciding on a freight training program, select a program from a reputable source delivered in an educational format that works for your time constraints.

The coursework included in these freight broker programs includes- an exploration of the federal law, transportation types appropriate for specific load types, and the requirements mandated by regulatory compliance.

Ed2go is an online program that promises to prepare students for freight broker work after graduation.

The Ed2go program is offered in partnership with the Center for Workforce and Community Education in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

This six-month program is self-paced and offered for $1,895.

CUNY’s College of Staten Island offers another quality online freight broker program.

This self-paced program is available entirely online.

Note, this is just a sampling of available programs.

Salary Information for Rhode Island Freight Brokers

Income levels for freight brokers vary.

The factors that influence the income level of a freight broker include their reputation (if working independently), their level of skill, and industry experience.

Freight brokers, according to, had an average annual salary in December 2021 of $33,462.

Additionally, the federal statisticians at BLS note that in 2020, freight/cargo agents had a median yearly salary of $43,770.

In 2020, there were 170 freight brokers in Rhode Island with an annual median wage of $57,580.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Providence $55,384
Warwick $55,384
Cranston $55,384
Pawtucket $55,384
East Providence $55,383
Woonsocket $55,331
Coventry $55,279
North Providence $55,384
Cumberland $55,384
West Warwick $55,384

Regional Salary in Rhode Island

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA140$48,280$23.21$61,570$31,840
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Cargo and Freight Agents, OCC Code 43-5011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do freight brokers working in Rhode Island need to be licensed by the State?

No – licensing for freight brokers happens at the federal level, not the state level.

Would a freight brokerage business in Rhode Island be required to register with the state government?

Yes – all businesses in RI must register with a unique name.

Does Providence have its own requirements for businesses like freight brokers independent of the state?

Yes – Sole proprietors and general partnerships must register with Providence City Clerk.

All other entities must file with the Corporations Division of the RI Secretary of State.

USA Freight Broker License by State

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