A freight broker seeks out and arranges shipments of goods from one place to another.
They also facilitate the contract between the shipper and the carrier.
The need for this will arise within the next 10 years from 2021 by 2-30 percent for related occupations.
People in the transportation industry often transition into becoming freight brokers.
It just seems like the next natural step for them.
If you have already worked as a truck driver, shipping and receiving specialist, dispatcher or plant supervisor, those are some positions that could prepare you for your freight brokerage experience.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Freight Broker Duties in Washington
- 2 Primary Washington Freight Broker Duties
- 3 Licensing Requirements to Become a Freight Broker
- 4 Freight Broker Programs
- 5 Example Curriculum
- 6 Salary
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
Freight Broker Duties in Washington
A freight broker takes on the responsibility of finding the best shipper for delivering merchandise.
They also monitor different aspects of the shipments they coordinate.
Some supply chain management duties also fall on someone working as a broker.
Primary Washington Freight Broker Duties
- Recruit delivery sales lead – Wholesale, manufacturing, and production companies all need shipping services. A broker must know how to generate the leads that will help them make a living in their position.
- Analyze supply chain trends – This includes evaluating logistics data based on customer trends. Inventory and sales records all provide clues for brokers. It offers clues for customizing shipping solutions.
- Oversee related departments – They might need to communicate with dispatchers. In addition, they also will associate with customer service representatives, supervisors, truck drivers, and more. Brokers provide some of the coordination that includes encouraging all parties to work in unity.
- Negotiate shipping costs – Persons in charge of connecting shippers with customers need to provide reasonable options. They must keep in mind the primary goal, which is to offer efficient service for the lowest expense.
- Acquire safe, reliable services – A broker will become acquainted with all the reputable trucking companies. They also evaluate which ones have the best protection against theft, loss, or damage. This also involves providing reasonable prices to clients.
Licensing Requirements to Become a Freight Broker
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission provides support to freight forwarders and brokers.
This includes a list of regulated shipping carriers.
People interested in an occupation that connects carriers to customers can also seek licensing and registration information from the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration.
The registration for operating as a freight broker takes about 4-6 weeks after initial application submission.
This process costs about $300, and additional fees may apply according to types of materials delivered (ex: hazardous or non-hazardous).
Additional licensing to ensure road safety also is required, and all brokers must seek bonding and handling insurance.
Once approved to operate as a Washington broker, people operating independently must wait 10 days to start serving customers.
However, they can at least prepare for active service before their waiting period ends.
The state licensing includes obtaining a USDOT number and Motor Carrier Operating Authority.
Freight Broker Programs
Pierce College offers an extensive online Washington freight broker training track.
This certificate program licenses people who want to work in the United States.
Seattle Central College offers similar training, and you might find others that operate online, in person or both.
The exact training steps vary.
It depends on your overall career goals.
In any case, it may include some data science, inventory control, accounting, or business administration courses.
It also will prepare you for all aspects of logistics (a.k.a. supply chain management).
The list you see below includes some topics covered in your educational program:
- Freight Brokering Fundamentals – You will learn all facets of operation when working in this position.
- Business office setup – If you decide to venture out on your own, you will need to know how to set up and run your brokerage business.
- Setting business goals – You will learn how to operate your business in a way that fosters growth. This includes finding ways to generate desired profits. It also involves learning how to provide service better than your competitors.
- Establishment of a Brand – Brand retention will help people remember you. Combined with word-of-mouth, having a logo and slogan that makes an impact will land you the most clients.
- Software Training – Learn all the computer and mobile applications related to supply chain management and inventory control. It also provides you shipment tracking required for carrying out your broker duties.
- Related Niche Markets – Learn what types of goods delivery you can specialize in. For instance, do you want to ship food, clothing, household, or hazardous items? It will show you what niches have the greatest need.
- Administrative Training – Learn what documents you need to run a smooth brokerage operation. This includes bookkeeping, accounting, and paperwork. It also involves knowing what papers your customers need when signing up for delivery service.
Average freight broker salaries across the United States range from $31,441-$35,517.
In Washington, a person can make $76,056, and they can earn more than $29,000 per year in commissions.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Washington
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA||40||$47,950||$23.05||$62,710||$33,890|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the annual fees for holding my license?
Applying for the Motor Carrier Operating Authority license costs $300.
Additional United Carrier Registration Fees may apply according to fleet size and number.
Cost ranges from about $59.00 to $59,997.
What hours do I have to work?
That depends on you.
If you decide to work directly for a company instead of having your own, you will have to discuss that with them.
Otherwise, you can set your own hours but have to make yourself available when customers need you.
It might require some weekends and holidays.
How many years of schooling do I need?
That depends on your career goals.
Average educational durations start at about six months or longer.
However, you sometimes can obtain on-the-job training while seeking your licensure.