Freight Delivery Broker: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a freight delivery broker. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and on-the-job training to find out if this is the career for you.

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Freight delivery brokers ensure that cargo transported via a variety of different forms of transportation arrives at the desired destination, intact and on time. They need at least a high school diploma for entry-level positions, but are frequently trained on the job. They are expected to see average job growth through 2024 per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Essential Information

Freight delivery brokers are responsible for communicating with shippers and freight carriers to ensure freight is moving from its original point to its final destination. Freight delivery brokers are required to have a high school diploma and they receive on-the-job training. They can further their careers by completing training programs on freight brokerage and obtaining certification.

Required Education High-school diploma
Other Requirements On-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 7% for cargo and freight agents*
Median Salary (2015) $41,870 for cargo and freight agents*

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Freight Delivery Broker Job Description

Freight brokers direct the third-party logistics of moving freight from its point of origin to its final destination using air, sea and land carriers. While brokers may never see or handle the freight being moved, they assume responsibility for every aspect of the shipment and may use sophisticated computer systems to track shipments for multiple customers using a variety of transportation modes.

Brokers are generally licensed by one or more agencies, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U. S. Department of Transportation for the trucking industry, the Federal Maritime Commission as ocean freight forwarders or the Transportation Security Administration for managing air freight. Brokers are also required to carry liability insurance or surety bonds to protect their customers and themselves from any losses or accidents incurred in the movement of freight.

Job Duties of Freight Delivery Brokers

Brokers typically manage the daily operations of a freight brokerage, including scheduling and tracking shipments, negotiating with freight carriers and handling customer questions. Brokers may also be involved in prospecting for new clients, securing transportation, preparing marketing materials, matching carriers with customers and maintaining positive customer and carrier relations. Financial management may also be a part of a broker's job duties. Tasks may include preparing spreadsheets and financial reports, filing insurance claims, and setting shipping rates.

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Freight Delivery Broker Career Requirements

A career as a freight broker typically requires an interest in transportation logistics and a working knowledge of the business practices utilized in the transportation industry. This may include familiarity with broker regulations, carrier management and brokerage firm operations. Experience specifically managing truck, ship or air transportation logistics may be required. Experienced freight brokers may also pursue the option of starting their own brokerage business.

Education Requirements for Freight Delivery Brokers

While there is no formal educational path to becoming a freight broker, most companies require a high school diploma for entry-level employment as administrative support staff, couriers, and freight or cargo agents. On-the-job training may include recording shipment details, arranging pick-ups and deliveries, determining shipping rates and handling customer service questions and complaints.

Aspiring freight brokers can further their careers by completing one of the training programs offered by professional organizations such as the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) or through college continuing education programs designed to provide trainees with basic skills and knowledge of freight brokerage business.

Certification

While not a requirement, professional certification as a Certified Transportation Broker is available through the TIA. This certification process includes a home study course and 4-hour exam. Eligibility for entrance into the certification program is determined through an application process that assesses a candidate's prior education and work experience.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, cargo and freight agents are expected to see a 7% employment growth from 2014-2024, which is as fast as the national average for all occupations. This growth can be attributed to an overall growth of the economy, as well as an increase in online purchasing, which will result in an increase in cargo shipping. As of May 2015, the BLS stated that these professionals earned a median annual salary of $41,870.

Those interested in becoming a freight delivery broker should have a high school diploma and be willing to complete on-the-job training. They may also consider pursuing additional certification through the TIA in order to increase credibility and job outlook.

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