In the past several years, shipping has grown well beyond the needs of companies supplying products for everyday use.
Now, individuals have taken it upon themselves to dig deep into online retailers.
Everything from toilet paper to an Xbox is being shipped directly to a customer’s door.
With an increase of shopping online comes an increased need to have cargo shipped everywhere.
To ensure that supply meets demand, the process of getting cargo from point A to point B is a big job in itself.
It requires someone who has excellent communication skills, the ability to negotiate and keep up-to-date records.
This, and so much more, comes together in a position called freight broker.
If the thought of being involved in this industry sounds interesting, stick around!
Here we will cover what exactly a freight broker is and does, as well as what it takes to become one.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Freight Broker?
- 2 Freight Broker Duties in West Virginia
- 3 West Virginia Requirements for a Freight Broker
- 4 Freight Broker Programs
- 5 Salary
- 6 Sources
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Freight Broker?
A freight broker is a middleman who connects a company trying to ship out their products and a company that transports the products where they need to go.
Time management is a big part of making everything work out properly since the last thing a store or distribution center needs is to have customers complaining about empty shelves or a long wait for home delivery.
Having a passion for sales is also a major benefit of working in this position.
A freight broker works off contracts and has to secure approval on both sides before moving forward.
In the fast-paced shipping and receiving world, you have to be quick and move on to the next shipment to keep things turning to client satisfaction.
Freight Broker Duties in West Virginia
An overview of the position starts with a list of clients.
Having this list will ensure you are always busy with deliveries.
More clients mean more deliveries.
The more deliveries, the more you will make.
In order to get paid, you have to have an agreed-upon rate that is charged to the client per shipment.
Out of that invoice, you will pay both the carrier and yourself.
On average, the freight broker makes about six percent per load.
So, what all does a broker do to make this happen?
Here is a list of duties needed to be a success:
- Follow government regulations for the transportation of cargo
- Be comfortable with the Transportation Management System
- Maintain a network of both shippers and delivery services
- Keep the internal database current
- Have a system for client quotes
- Synchronize cargo grab and transportation with dispatchers
- Update clients on cargo progression and delivery
- Negotiate contract terms
- Use advertising campaigns to connect with new clients
West Virginia Requirements for a Freight Broker
A prospective broker must be a minimum of 18 years old and have completed high school or have a GED.
It also helps to have a clean background since that will be checked.
To work independently as a freight broker, you should also have a business name to put on the application.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, is the government entity that a person applies to in order to register as a freight broker.
Through the FMCSA, you will apply for a USDOT number as well as a motor carrier number.
It takes up to eight weeks to process the application.
The cost to apply is a one-time fee of $300.
Freight Broker Programs
In West Virginia, there are no educational requirements to become a freight broker.
It is possible to get training on the job upon entering the industry.
However, if you would like a leg up above the competition or a deeper knowledge of how it all works so you can go at it on your own, one of these programs might be beneficial:
- Parkersburg West Virginia University. For $1,895, you can go on a six-month learning journey that will last your career a lifetime. The instructors built a multimillion-dollar business in the industry. They teach you everything from day one basics to transportation law and getting your business started.
- Freight Broker Boot Camp. For $185, you have access to a resource trove of online information and videos that will have you ready to step into the job in less than two months.
The average salary for a freight broker in West Virginia is about $30k a year.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a freight broker bond in West Virginia?
Yes, the FMCSA requires brokers to have a $75,000 surety bond.
Is there a cap on earnings?
The potential of money-making is really up to the individual.
It is a commission-based job.
If I have to coordinate the delivery, do I need to be there in person?
This all goes back to having above and beyond communication skills.
Coordination really comes from hearing from dispatchers and both parties in the contract along the way.
As long as you keep in touch, you will be able to coordinate from anywhere.