When a company or individual wants to transport a large quantity of goods across the country or internationally, they usually call upon a freight broker to arrange the shipment on their behalf.
A typical job description for a freight broker
Freight brokers work as intermediaries between freight carriers and customers who want to transport cargo, internationally or domestically, by airline, train, truck or ship. They do not normally handle the freight or cargo. Instead, they determine the needs of the customer and connect them with a carrier who can meet those needs at a price that is acceptable to the customer. They may then arrange for the freight or cargo to be collected from the customer and delivered to the location from which it is to be transported; or the carrier may collect the shipment directly from the customer.
Some freight brokers work within a brokerage firm, while many others work for themselves. It is relatively easy to be self-employed, provided you have the necessary licenses and knowledge.
Education and licensure requirements
A freight broker's license issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a requirement. No specific level of education is required; but to get your license, you need formal training that will help you gain a full understanding of the industry, its regulations and terminology, and how to handle logistics.
Earnings and employment statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people working in the freight transportation arrangement industry have a relatively high level of income, but constitute a small proportion of the total number of transportation, storage and distribution managers in the U.S.
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