How to Become a Freight Broker Agent
The job of a freight broker agent is to connect shippers with transportation carriers in order to arrange for the movement of goods. This requires some inside knowledge as to how the shipping industry operates. Ehow provides some useful tips to help people who are interested in how to break into the business of being a freight broker agent.
Initial Work Experience
The best way to learn how to become a freight broker agent is by gaining some practical experience by working for a shipping company. Most freight brokerage firms require at least one to two year’s worth of experience in this business before they will consider letting people operate as an independent contractor. During this training phase, employees should strive to build a network of contacts that can be used as a resource once they decide to move out on their own.
Some of the best advice one can give on how to become a freight broker agent involves specializing in certain types of loads. While working for a shipping company, it is a good idea to find a niche to focus on and work hard to become an expert in that area. A few particular loads that are often in demand include refrigerated items, oversized loads, and livestock. Knowing a great deal about the regulations that govern specialty loads can give a freight broker an important advantage over another when it comes to finding work as an independent contractor.
Offer Superior Customer Service
In the beginning, new broker agents will be competing against more experienced brokers that have spent years building up a solid reputation in the industry. During the startup phase, it is crucial to provide shippers with the best possible service in order to earn their trust. Communication is the key to building trust that will allow for a strong relationship to form with people in the industry who can provide a steady flow of business. If initial clients are satisfied with a broker’s services, they will be more willing to recommend him or her to others.
Sign a Contract
Once a broker and a shipping company have an agreement to move merchandise, it is important to get this agreement in writing. It can be a good idea for people who are new to brokering to have a contract in place that has been prepared by an attorney. While some of the information on the contract will have to be filled in on a case-by-case basis, most of the terms would remain the same from one load to the next. Once the contract has been signed by both parties, the load is then ready to be shipped according to the terms of the agreement.
Following up with everyone involved in the transaction is an important part of a freight broker agent’s duties. An agent may need to communicate with multiple parties in order to ensure the timely and satisfactory delivery of merchandise. Calling a shipper to let him or her know the goods arrived on time is also a good step to building trust with these professionals. Follow up is also necessary to ensure payment is made within the agreed-upon timeframe. After all, consistent payments are essential for a business to be successful.
Freight broker agents will always be in demand, as there will always be products that need to be transported. Those who are interested in having a career as a freight broker agent are more likely to have a successful and lucrative career if they focus on customer service and let everything else fall into place.
Posted on August 6th, 2012 in Freight Agent Broker