Freight brokering is a growing field, and with good reason. Few business opportunities offer its combination of advantages, including high-income potential, flexible hours, and the ability to work from home. Not everyone can be successful in it, though. Being a broker requires a diverse set of skills, including marketing, sales, customer relations, knowledge of the transportation industry, and a willingness to stick with it through the challenging early stages. To gain these abilities, many people are turning to freight broker schools. But are these programs worth the time and money involved?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors.
Who Is a Good Freight Broker
One is the level of business experience the aspiring broker possesses. Seasoned independent drivers, for example, know the transportation industry inside and out. That gives them an edge in understanding the problems faced by manufacturers, warehouses, retailers, and of course truckers on a daily basis. As business owners, they’re accustomed to handling their own taxes, collecting overdue compensation, dealing with problem clients, balancing their books, and all of the other tasks involved in running an enterprise.
Such persons probably already possess most of the skills needed for success as a freight broker. However, they might benefit from training in certain areas, such as sales and marketing, or dealing with regulations specific to the brokering business. In these cases, taking a class or two from an established institution might be the way for them to go. They may also benefit from the chance many schools offer to actually sit inside of a broker’s office and observe the day in, day out activities that take place.
Then there is the person who has experience as a driver and/or distribution center employee, but little or no business training. He or she would probably benefit a great deal from attending a reputable broker education program. There they will learn exactly what brokers do, the forms and regulations they must deal with, how to open up shop, market their services to truckers and warehouse managers, do basic accounting, run an office, hire help, etc.
Benefits of Freight Broker Training
The trucking industry is the backbone of the U.S. economy. Without trucks to move the 11.49 billion tons of freight in the U.S. annually, the American economy would come grinding to a halt. With the rise of e-commerce, there is a growing need for reliable shippers and carriers and this is where a freight broker comes in. Truck brokers function as the middle man between the shipper and the carrier who delivers the goods. They play a critical role in the movement of goods across the country.
In today’s booming trucking market, dependable freight brokers are in high demand. According to the latest statistics, the freight brokerage market is poised to grow by $41.47 billion during 2020 to 2024, which makes now as good a time as any to embark on freight broker training. With the right training, becoming a truck broker can be a profitable and rewarding career path. The following are some key benefits of becoming a truck broker:
- Flexible schedule – Working as an independent truck broker gives you a great deal of freedom and flexibility in terms of your work hours and schedule.
- No commute – Becoming a freight broker means you can work from home and completely cut out the time spent commuting to work.
- Low investment – You can begin your career as a freight broker for as little as a few thousand dollars. Start small and grow your business over time on your own terms.
- Stable career – Freight brokering has a reputation as a solid industry with increasingly sustainable growth.
- Good pay – The average freight broker salary in the U.S. is about $45,000. As you gain valuable experience and build strong connections with shippers, you could earn upwards of $75,000 or more.
Pick Your Freight Broker Schools Carefully
If one does decide to get formal training, then it pays to be a careful shopper. Just Google “freight broker schools” and you’ll get page after page of results. Many of these programs are run by quality people and are well worth the money they charge. Some are less than wonderful, and a small number might be outright scams.
So how can a person tell a good opportunity from a poor one? One way is to check with the Better Business Bureau. Their web site is www.bbb.org, and they keep records on many brokerage schools, both BBB members and non-members. They also have local offices in most cities, where you can speak with someone directly.
Another way is to check with the department of education in the state where the school is located. Make sure that it has been granted a license to offer training by the proper authorities. Check on how long it has been in operation. A program that has been going for years in the same location is more likely to be legitimate than one that just set up shop last week or has moved across the country multiple times.
Perhaps the best way to gauge freight broker schools’ quality is simply to ask established brokers which one they recommend. Many of those already in the business are happy to steer a newcomer in the right direction. Checking online reviews from those who have attended a school is yet another way to separate the winners from the losers.
No matter which way you enter the field, one thing is sure: you’ll need the right trucking software to succeed. TruckingOffice can help you gain the competitive edge necessary to make good money as a freight broker. Check out our plans, then contact us with any questions you may have.