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Freight Broker Business Idea

If you are detail oriented and enjoy helping people make connections, perhaps you should learn how to become a freight broker.

A freight broker, also called a property broker, works in the transportation industry and helps coordinate transportation so that shippers can get their products to their destinations. So, much like a matchmaker, a freight broker has to match the needs of the shipper with the availability of the trucking companies.

Because a freight broker does not handle the freight herself, this can be an excellent work at home opportunity.

What a Freight Broker Does

A freight broker will contact her list of various shippers each morning to find out if they need products shipped. If so, the broker will get the specifics for transportation, and then contact her trucking prospects, either by calling or by posting through Internet boards, and find out if a truck is available.

If one is, the broker makes sure the details are conveyed, fill out the paperwork and follow up to make sure the products are picked up.

How to Become a Freight Broker

To become a freight broker, it helps to have a good understanding of transportation systems and logistics. Marketing skills, customer service skills and computer and accounting savvy are also essential.

A number of organizations provide training on how to become a freight broker. Atex Freight Broker Training offers a detailed description on a typical day of a freight broker.

You’ll begin by doing a lot of cold calling and networking to establish your list of shippers and truckers. You’ll need to do research on different transportation agencies to see which ones are reliable and that you can recommend.

To get and maintain clients, you will need to prove yourself reliable. Once you do so, shippers will begin calling you to arrange product deliveries.

Some freight brokers begin their careers as freight agents. As agents, they work for freight brokers in a specified territory. Experience as an agent can give you credibility as you work to establish your own brokerage.

Tools You’ll Need

As a freight broker, you’ll need a computer with high-speed Internet access, e-mail, printer and a fax. You will also need freight broker software that will help you keep track of your shipments and provide an accounting system.

You will also want a filing cabinet for keeping track of your paperwork (there are very specific governmental requirements for record keeping) and a business line for your phone. In addition, freight brokers must get a license through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and acquire a trust bond for $10,000. Some additional fees may be required for your area as well.

The transportation industry is a growing one, with no signs of slowing down. With strong organizational and problem solving skills and an interest in freight logistics, you can have success learning how to become a freight broker.

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