When you think of a supply chain, you probably only think of companies, their suppliers, and the motor carriers that transport the companies’ products to the suppliers.
What you probably do not think of, however, are the intermediaries between the companies and the motor carriers.
Although they are often overlooked, freight brokers are an integral part of the supply chain.
Whether you are a business professional with some experience in the logistics industry, a recent college graduate with no work experience, or a professional from an entirely different industry, you can become a freight broker by following some steps.
To make things even more exciting, you can study to become a freight broker through convenient online courses.
That means you can pursue a potentially lucrative career in the logistics industry by studying from the comfort of your own home.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What Courses Are in an Online Freight Broker Program?
- 2 Can You Earn a Freight Broker Certification Completely Online?
- 3 How Long Does it Take to Earn a Freight Broker Certification Online?
- 4 How Much Does an Online Freight Broker Certification Cost?
- 5 Benefits of Online Freight Broker Training Programs
- 6 Drawbacks of Online Freight Broker Training Programs
- 7 Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Freight Broker Training Programs – Summary Table
- 8 Types of Freight Broker Certifications
- 9 4 Self-Study Tips for Freight Broker Online Students
- 10 Schools Offering Online Freight Broker Training Programs
- 11 Summary
- 12 Frequently Asked Questions
What Courses Are in an Online Freight Broker Program?
The courses you take will depend on your online freight broker program.
But here are some courses you might take:
- Basics of Freight Brokering – This is your foray into the world of freight brokering. In this course, you will learn the basics of the job, such as your job duties as well as the skills and qualities you will need to be an effective freight broker.
- Setting Up Your Shipper and Carrier Packet – Documents may not be freight brokers’ favorite part of the job, but they are necessary. Contracts and documents include shipper-broker agreements, broker-carrier agreements, load tenders and confirmations, and rate confirmations.
- Insurance for Carriers and Brokers – Goods can get lost or stolen, meaning financial loss is always a possibility. That is where insurance comes into play. This course will go over essential insurance policies/forms for carriers and brokers.
- Using Operations Software – If you are running your own freight brokerage firm, you will need to use operations software. Besides teaching you how to use operations software, this course might also cover operations-related topics, such as avoiding or managing day-to-day problems that freight brokers go through.
- Niche Markets – No two freight brokers are the same. In fact, freight brokers work in many different niche markets. You can specialize in moving anything from produce to pottery to medical equipment to Tesla vehicles. This course will give you an overview of all the niches there are and help you choose the right niche for your career.
- Transportation Law – Freight brokers may have a lot of freedom, with many of them able to set their own schedules, but they still have to abide by transportation laws. In addition to teaching the various transportation laws, this course will show you why they are so important in freight broker operations.
Can You Earn a Freight Broker Certification Completely Online?
Yes, but there are multiple steps to becoming a freight broker.
You can complete all of them online, but the process requires a lot of hard work and patience.
Here is an eight-step guide to becoming a full-fledged freight broker:
- Get proper training.
- Create your business plan.
- Register your business.
- Select the right carriers.
- Satisfy licensing requirements.
- Obtain a freight broker bond.
- File your BOC-3.
- Devise a marketing strategy.
As you can see, the path to becoming a freight broker can be long and tedious.
Although you can indeed fulfill all your requirements online, that does not mean the process is easy.
On the contrary, the process can be quite challenging.
However, if you do your due diligence and stick to your plans, you will be on your way to becoming a thriving freight broker.
How Long Does it Take to Earn a Freight Broker Certification Online?
Freight broker training usually lasts 30 to 45 days.
However, to become a licensed freight broker and get your business structure in place, you should allocate about 12 months for completing the process and becoming fully operational.
How Much Does an Online Freight Broker Certification Cost?
Besides licensing, which is $300 for one category or $600 for two, there are other costs associated with becoming a freight broker.
These include registration costs, surety bond expenses, costs for business and office equipment, business insurance expenses, software costs, and marketing expenses.
Other potential costs may include outsourcing certain business tasks or paying a bookkeeper to keep track of your business revenue and expenses.
All in all, the total cost of becoming a freight broker typically ranges from $4,000 to $10,000.
The good news is that not all of the expenses are ongoing.
However, there are certain costs you will have to pay on a regular basis, including your freight broker bond renewal, ongoing software expenses, insurance renewals, and business-related costs such as marketing services or office equipment.
Benefits of Online Freight Broker Training Programs
They Are Convenient
Online training allows you to study at your own pace.
If you have other commitments, like another job or family responsibilities, you can still find time for your online studies.
With traditional education, on the other hand, it is a lot more difficult to juggle your studies with your personal commitments.
As an online learner, you do not have to worry so much about arriving late or missing deadlines since you are the one determining your own hours and schedule.
You Can Set Your Own Schedule
Many online programs, including online freight broker programs, are self-paced, allowing you to study whenever it is convenient for you.
This is ideal for learners who have busy schedules and have limited time to dedicate to their studies.
That said, with online programs, you do have to be very disciplined and self-driven in order to succeed since you do not have people holding you accountable like you usually do in traditional education settings.
They Are More Affordable
Due to the lower overhead costs needed to run online programs, they are generally a lot more affordable than traditional programs, ensuring that learners get a bang for their buck.
This is partly why the popularity of distance learning programs, including online freight broker programs, has grown tremendously over the past few years, and this trend will only continue.
Drawbacks of Online Freight Broker Training Programs
You Miss Out On Instructor-Student Interaction
Yes, you can interact with your instructor in a Zoom class, but the truth of the matter is that people tend to be much less connected with each other online, making rapport building very challenging.
In addition, there is a problem with attention span.
According to some studies, the average attention span of students in online classes is significantly lower than it is for students in traditional education settings.
There Are Fewer Opportunities to Meet New People
One of the biggest joys of attending class is being able to network and meet people who have similar interests.
Networking happens to be an integral part of many people’s career growth, and this applies to freight brokers too.
In addition to helping freight brokers develop relationships that might improve their employment or business prospects, networking also keeps them up to date on industry events.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Freight Broker Training Programs – Summary Table
|Benefits of Online Freight Broker Training Programs||Drawbacks of Online Freight Broker Training Programs|
|They Are Convenient||You Miss Out On Instructor-Student Interaction|
|You Can Set Your Own Schedule||There Are Fewer Opportunities to Meet New People|
|They Are More Affordable|
Types of Freight Broker Certifications
There are three types of freight brokers.
Although they all have the same freight broker license, they all have different salaries:
Licensed Freight Broker
This type of freight broker owns their own company, has their own authority, and possibly employs other brokers.
This position is ideal for those who value independence, freedom, and a strong earning potential.
Many top licensed freight brokers earn more than $150,000 annually.
The challenges include managing a number of risks, including financial risks, having to monitor carrier safety and compliance, and navigating contract clauses.
W-2 Freight Brokers
Unlike licensed freight brokers, W-2 brokers, who work for a licensed broker or another brokerage firm, earn a base salary plus commission.
They are paid like regular employees and receive standard benefits, such as medical insurance and retirement benefit plans.
Because they work for employers rather than run their own business, W-2 freight brokers generally take on much less risk than licensed freight brokers.
1099 Freight Broker
Similar to W-2 freight brokers, 1099 brokers also work for licensed brokers, but what makes them different is that they work as independent contractors, not employees.
They, too, are paid on commission, but their rates are typically higher than their W-2 counterparts.
That is because they pay their own employment taxes, and they are not entitled to receive employee benefits or workmen’s compensation insurance.
The salary of 1099 brokers, which is not fixed as it is with W-2 brokers, depends on their job performance.
4 Self-Study Tips for Freight Broker Online Students
It is one thing to go through freight broker training.
It is another thing to do it online.
Of course, online freight broker training programs are filled with perks, such as their affordability and the fact that you can study at your own pace.
But studying online does not come without its own set of challenges, and that is why we have provided four self-study tips to help you stay on track.
Treat Your Online Course Like a “Real” Course
Because that is exactly what it is.
Yes, you have the flexibility to decide when you will complete your work throughout the week, but you cannot put it off indefinitely.
One surefire way to ensure completion of your online course is to remind yourself that you are paying to take the course, just as you would for a traditional course.
Fundamentally speaking, your online course is no different than face-to-face courses.
You should also have this attitude if you are working remotely as a freight broker.
By “showing up” and being serious, you will gain real value in your studies and in your work.
Practice Time Management
The flexibility that online courses provide can be a double-edged sword.
On one hand, it allows you to study whenever it is convenient for you.
On the other hand, it can be detrimental to your studies if you lack solid time management skills.
Some tried-and-tested ways to help you manage your time include making notes of major assignments well ahead of time, factoring in prior commitments that may get in the way of your studies, creating a weekly schedule, and trying time-blocking.
Be an Active Participant
Contrary to popular belief, you can definitely actively participate in online classes, and this also applies to online freight broker classes.
Leverage your course’s online forum so you can better understand the course materials, as well as engage with your classmates.
Do not be afraid to post questions about projects you are working on and ask for clarification during class.
Also, make it a goal to check class discussion threads every day.
You never know what kind of useful information they might contain.
Lastly, if you feel like you are falling behind, do not hesitate to speak up.
Reach out to your professor or classmates and proactively seek help.
Get Rid of Distractions
From social media to Netflix to pets running around your bedroom, the potential distractions are endless.
But the best online students do not let these distractions interfere with their studies, and they set aside time to focus.
How you deal with distractions is entirely up to you.
While some people benefit from listening to music, others prefer to work from a library or a local coffee shop.
Find a distraction-eliminating strategy that works for you and stick with it.
You might also want to consider turning your cell phone off during study time or downloading a website/app blocker.
Schools Offering Online Freight Broker Training Programs
|Delgado Community College||615 City Park Avenue New Orleans, LA 70119|
|Borough of Manhattan Community College||199 Chambers Street New York, NY 10007|
|San Diego State University||5250 Campanile Drive San Diego, CA 92182-1920|
|Freight Movers School, LLC||2931 Ridge Road – 116 Suite 101, Rockwall, TX 75032|
|Freight Broker Training School||11116 W. California Ave. Suite H Youngtown, AZ 85363|
|Freight Broker Agent School LLC||P.O. Box 400 Bethlehem, GA 30620|
|DAT Solutions, LLC||PO Box 72301 PHILADELPHIA, PA 19178-3801|
|Lanier Technical College||2535 Lanier Tech Drive Gainesville, GA 30507|
|Community College of Philadelphia||1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130|
|Santa Fe College||3000 NW 83rd Street Gainesville, FL 32606|
|Transportation Academy||Greensboro, NC.|
|Mississippi State University||190 Bost Drive Suite 330 Mississippi State, MS 39762|
|Community College of Baltimore County||800 South Rolling Road Baltimore, MD 21228|
|University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges Kaua'i Community College||3-1901 Kaumuali‘i Highway, Līhu‘e, Hawai‘i 96766|
|Vegas PBS||3050 E Flamingo Road Las Vegas, NV 89121|
|University of Central Missouri||P.O. Box 800 Warrensburg, MO 64093|
|UNC Charlotte||320 E. 9th Street, 4th Floor, Suite 421 Charlotte, NC 28202|
|Cape Fear Community College||411 N. Front Street Wilmington, NC 28401|
|Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College||3250 St. Matthews Road Orangeburg, SC 29118|
|The University of Arkansas at Little Rock||2801 South University Ave. Fine Arts Building Suite 210 Little Rock, AR 72204|
|THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO||500 West University Avenue El Paso, TX 79968|
|University of Wisconsin Oshkosh||800 Algoma Blvd. Oshkosh, WI,54901|
|Middlesex Community College||100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown, CT 06457|
|Central Texas College||P.O. Box 1800 Killeen, TX 76540-1800|
|Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi||6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412|
|St. Cloud State University||720 4th Avenue South St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498|
|University of West Florida||11000 University Pkwy Pensacola, FL 32514|
|Tri-County Technical College||Post Office Box 587 Pendleton, SC 29670|
|Richland Community College||1 COLLEGE PARK DECATUR, IL 62521|
|Motlow State Community College||6015 Ledford Mill Rd. Tullahoma, TN 37388|
|Stanislaus State Extended & International Education||One University Circle Turlock, California 95382|
Freight brokers play an essential role in the supply chain, connecting companies with motor carriers.
If you are interested in becoming a freight broker, you are in luck.
There are many freight broker training programs you can take advantage of, including online ones, and you can rest assured they are dedicated to your success as a freight broker.
Like other online programs, online freight broker training programs come with their own pros and cons.
Advantages include affordability and the ability to set your own schedule.
Disadvantages include lack of instructor-student interaction and limited opportunities to expand your network.
But if becoming a freight broker is truly your calling, the pros will undoubtedly outweigh the cons.
Although you can earn your freight brokerage license online, the road to becoming a full-fledged broker is quite long and complex.
However, if you stay focused on the prize, you will be well on your way to freight brokering success.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I be a part-time freight broker?
Yes, you can definitely be a part-time broker.
But one caveat of working as a part-time freight broker is that the job entails tracking shipments, which would require you to be available during regular shipping hours.
Also, working part-time will limit your advancement opportunities and income.
Where can I find carriers?
Freight brokers are basically salespeople.
So, in order to find loads from shippers, you will have to network religiously.
You can start off by talking to family and friends and asking for their companies’ contacts.
By asking around, you can find out who’s in charge of finding carriers for their companies and get in touch with those individuals.
How much do freight brokers earn?
Freight brokers nationwide earn an average salary of $62,105 per year, not including an average of $28,000 in commissions.
There are many factors that influence salary, such as location.
Those who work in larger cities tend to earn much more than those working in rural areas.
What makes a top freight broker?
The best freight brokers are multitaskers and problem solvers who thrive in fast-paced environments.
However, to be a truly exceptional broker, you have to go above and beyond the requirements of your job and genuinely care about your clients’ needs.
Should I become a freight broker?
You won’t find a yes or no answer for this as it greatly depends on you, do you think this career is right for you? consider the pros and cons of being a freight broker before becoming one.