When you look around in your home and elsewhere, it’s highly unlikely to locate things that haven’t been brought to you either directly or indirectly by a truck. This indicates the overwhelming spread and scope of the truck freight industry. However, the good news for you is that the industry still has an ample room for people like you who want to begin and flourish as a freight broker.
Simply put, a freight broker is either a person or a company that works as a mediator between a shipper who wants to transport goods and a trucking company (mostly known as a carrier) that offers transportation service for shipping goods.
With this in mind, it is easy to see that a freight broker is neither a shipper nor a carrier but still plays an important role in freight shipping. According to Robert A. Voltmann, the CEO and executive director of the
TIA, freight brokerage firms or individuals benefit from the knowledge of their industry and investment in technology and human resources on hand, to help both the shipper and the carrier succeed.
The brokers help transport companies in getting the business and earn a commission for the same. They also help the shippers reach a solid carrier that they would not have found otherwise. Manufacturing units and companies involved in import/export of goods hire freight brokers to handle all their shipping needs.
History at a Glance
Freight brokerage isn’t a new terminology to the transportation industry; instead, it is in the existence since the origin of the industry itself. However, before the year 1970, government rules and regulation for the brokerage firms was so strict that only a few businesses were interested in entering this industry. But the revolutionary changes in federal transportation policy in 1970 eased the regulatory constraints and brought great opportunities for entrepreneurs in third-party logistic services.
Transport industry is vast and diverse. It comprises of many important factors, or players, who drive the industry, including freight broker, shipper, motor carrier, freight forwarder (freight forwarding firms), import-export broker, agriculture truck broker and shipper’s associations.
Ideally, every single entity mentioned above would play its conventional role. But the industry is growing so fast that once dividing lines seem blurred now. Today, it is quite easier for a freight brokers to further develop their business by taking subsidiaries or partnering with an established logistic service provider.
How to Begin?
The success of any brokerage firm lies in how strong its network and finances are. If you have a good client-base and a powerful network of carriers, you are good to go with your own setup. Mostly, experienced and established brokers use freight agents to create a wider field of operation.
However, if you are new to the industry, it is recommended that you first work as an agent for a few years. This will not only help you gain technical knowledge, but also help you build contacts in the industry. Alternatively, you may join one of the freight brokerage training courses offered by academic institutions and logistic companies.