Connecting shippers and carriers to navigate the transportation of goods, click here to explore the important role of a freight broker.
The global freight brokerage market is expected to reach $86 billion by 2028, and for a good reason. Freight brokers help companies move goods by arranging shipments with dependable shipping companies. They also have valuable skills and education that benefit the companies they work with.
You’re missing out on huge growth potential if your company doesn’t use a freight broker. Learning more about a freight broker’s role will help you see the value of forming a freight broker partnership.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the role of a freight broker!
What Is a Freight Broker?
Freight brokers are much like the middle ground between carriers and shippers. However, they don’t actually take possession of any freight. They also don’t own any cargo or the trucks or vessels that ship the cargo.
Instead, freight brokers use their communication skills to ensure the freight shipments arrive on time at the right destination.
Freight brokers earn payment for their involvement in the entire shipping process. They can tap into regional, national, and international shipping company networks.
Freight Brokers vs. Freight Agents
It can be easy to confuse freight brokers and freight agents. Many people think these two roles are one and the same, but this isn’t the case. The last thing you want to do is work with a freight agent, thinking they’ll move your freight as the broker will.
Freight agents serve as salespeople for various freight broker companies. Instead of moving freight, they sell freight brokerage services and build partnerships. Freight agents are one person or an entire team of people working on commission.
Freight brokers involve licensed companies that move goods from one location to another. They’re responsible for invoicing, credit checks, claims, and transportation management.
All in all, freight brokers are larger entities that move freight, while freight agents independently sell these services.
Duties of a Freight Broker
Freight brokerage involves navigating different tasks each day. There are two primary duties a freight broker has, which include:
Finding Reliable Carrier Partners
The fact is a freight broker’s job begins long before they even ship freight. Finding and vetting reputable carriers is a significant part of the daily job.
The first step is ensuring a company has proper insurance and the authority to ship freight to various locations. For example, trucking carriers must have insurance like cargo and liability coverage to be authorized to ship goods.
Brokers must also look at areas of expertise and track records that show a company is reliable regarding shipments.
This is vital to a freight broker’s job because not all companies offer consistent, high-quality services.
Managing Shipping Logistics
Managing shipping logistics is the second essential duty of a freight broker. If you use a freight broker, they’ll plan your shipment’s journey from start to finish. This journey includes everything from:
- Scheduling pickup appointments
- Communicating in-transit updates
- Arranging other pickup options if something goes wrong
- Working with companies to arrange deliveries
Remember, a freight broker is trying to find the best way for your shipment to reach its destination. Ultimately this requires constant monitoring of the freight every step of the way.
Why Do Companies Utilize Freight Brokers?
Companies around the world use freight brokers to find the best shipping solutions. Companies count on freight brokers to find reliable shipping options that will save them money long-term.
Additionally, freight brokers save time for companies because they handle all the shipment logistics. Other reasons companies use freight brokers include:
- Access to better pricing
- Solves issues that arise
- Have established relationships with carriers worldwide
- More shipping flexibility
- Saves company resources
- Have more expertise
Finally, when companies work with a broker, they form a partnership. This partnership has many benefits in the long run, like increased cash flow overall.
As a company, if you’re looking for a freight broker, you’ll need to do your research to find a reputable company. It’s best to begin by asking other businesses in your industry who they use. Be sure to conduct a Google search and read all the reviews.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent source of information, giving you access to reviews and complaints.
Finally, review company websites to find out more about the services they offer and their industry experience. Don’t forget to ask the freight broker how they evaluate the carriers they partner with.
What Skills and Training Does a Freight Broker Need?
Freight brokers need to be able to adapt to an unpredictable, fast-paced environment. They also need skills such as:
- Time management skills
- Ability to negotiate
- Computer and technology skills
- Organizational skills
- Detail oriented
Finally, a freight broker needs excellent people skills. They need to be able to help clients, vendors, and customers through any issues that may arise.
Freight Broker Training
In addition to specific skills, freight brokers need training to ensure they know things like industry regulations and operational procedures. As a freight broker, you can get your training in different ways.
First, there are self-paced freight broker classes online. You’ll typically get access to different materials like videos and audio that guide you through being a successful freight broker. You’ll also learn about software and technologies like LoadPilot Freight Broker Software.
There are also formal education and certification programs available. These programs are more expensive, but there is hands-on training and the ability to network more. Formal education programs vary in length from weeks to months and often have apprenticeships available.
Apprenticeships provide on-the-job training and hands-on learning, allowing you to apply classroom education to real-life scenarios.
Learning About the Role of a Freight Broker
Learning more about the role of a freight broker will help you see the value of using these services for your company. Remember, moving freight doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience.
Continue researching to find a freight broker company that will meet your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with your decision. To learn more helpful business and technology tips, make sure to visit the rest of our blog!