[box type="shadow"]Commercial transportation is conducted by brokers and agents who facilitate the moving of physical goods from one location to another. You need to know the difference between brokers and agents so you can determine the level of expertise you receive in your transportation booking. Once you understand the differences, you can deal confidently with transportation for your company.[/box]
[box type="shadow"]A freight broker is totally self-employed. The freight broker carries all the financial responsibility i.e. obtaining own DOT authority, getting surety bond in place, paying the carriers, sending out invoices, collecting payment from shipper, and paying his/her agents. (If using agents) and also pays his/her own taxes. Thus the broker is operating a full and complete business, known as a brokerage.
A freight agent is someone that typically works under the direction and authority of a licensed freight broker helping to coordinate shipments. Freight agents regularly interact with both shipping customers and motor carriers in an effort to insure their customer’s freight pickups on time, in good condition with no problems.
Most of a freight agent’s day consists of providing their customers freight rates, sourcing carriers, negotiating with shippers/carriers, dispatching trucks, scheduling pickup/delivers and solving problems that could potentially delay or damage a shipment. Freight agents operate under the authority/license of an FMCSA approve freight broker so they have little or no liability but are able to earn a significant income based upon profit their customer’s generate.[/box]