What does it take to be a freight broker these days? While the requirements in the industry have gotten tougher over the years, there are still good signs that it is a profitable business to be in. Plus, a recent influx of tech innovations have changed the rules of the brokering game and made it easier.
If you are exploring the option of entering freight brokerage, it’s a good idea to check out, in detail, the freight broker job description of a new freight broker. This will prepare you for the challenges and perks of the job and will show you how to make the best of it.
Freight needs to get moved – and the freight broker is the crucial middleman between manufacturers and freight transportation services. Although freight brokers don’t own logistics equipment and trucks, their role is, in all honesty, an essential one for the logistics business, and also for the economy, in general.
Even in times of economic crisis, goods need to be transported, so freight brokers have to adapt to varying conditions. While a freight broker might never have an in-person meeting with their business partners or might never see the freight being moved, their impact on the transportation process is crucial.
This year seems to be quite auspicious for joining the freight broker profession. There are at least three good reasons to do it in 2014, including improving economic conditions and less competition in the field.
What is included in the modern freight broker job description? Most freight companies require higher education in logistics or other level of training in the field. Still, academic training in business or management is also acceptable.
There is a wide range of skills needed as well. These include strong communication skills and flexibility, as well as excellent math skills, which are necessary for currency conversions and mileage calculations. Great computer skills are also a must, as well as an ability to multitask and prioritize, as you will be working with many clients at the same time. Speaking a foreign language is certainly a strong advantage for international businesses.
Generally, if you want to enter the freight brokering business, it’s easier to start in a logistics company in order to gain experience and deeper knowledge in the field. Later on, opening your own brokerage will be easier and you will be more prepared. Especially if you don’t have training in this particular field, a bigger company can provide you with on-the-job training.
The working environment varies, as freight brokers can work for larger companies, can have their own freight brokerage or can become agents, which allows them to work from home. Salaries vary based on experience, state of operation and other criteria, but the average U.S. freight broker salary is about $45,000.
There have been many changes in the world of freight brokerage. From tighter requirements to new technologies, a new freight broker needs a wide range of skills and has to meet new conditions to operate legally.
Licensing and bonding requirements especially have become tougher, as a result of the MAP 21 legislation which changed the rules of the brokerage game quite significantly. Due to various problems in the past, the new rules raised the freight broker bond requirement from $10,000 to $75,000. This means that bigger financial responsibility is now carried by freight brokers, in an effort to curb fraud.
MAP 21 also introduced tougher industry education requirements to enter the business. As a result, many non-competitive freight brokers have gone out of business.
Alongside the legislative changes, a variety of new technologies are also influencing the brokerage business. There are great options for transportation management systems, such as the Cerasis Rater. Logistics software allows for much higher operational effectiveness, practically saving fuel and miles. While such programs are of great use, it also means that freight brokers need to learn to use them in the best possible way.
In terms of innovations, there are also many new bidding platforms that save a lot of time in the freight bidding process. They are referred to as online truck load boards or freight load boards and they help increase efficiency, make better connections with shippers and carriers, and naturally save brokers money.
While there are tougher requirements and rules, there are many innovations in the freight broker business that make it easier to operate in the field. In 2014, there are great conditions to enter the field, with improving economy and less competition due to the consequences of the MAP 21 legislation.
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