A truck broker, or freight broker, is the “middleman” in shipping goods across the country. These brokers work as liaisons with shippers, who typically are manufacturing companies or agricultural businesses, and drivers, many of whom work as independent contractors. Truck brokers work to gain contracts with both shippers and drivers and then assign jobs to drivers to fulfill the brokerage firm’s shipping orders. Private Brokerage Training Some private companies offer training programs for brokers. These training programs cover all of the basic operational information needed to become a truck broker. Topics include customer service topics, such as telephone scheduling, as well as technical information, such as keeping quality accounting records. Because there are no certifications for these programs, diligent research is necessary before committing to any specific training program. Experiential Training Brokers also may receive on-the-job training. Future brokers could work for a freight company helping schedule and dispatch drivers or for a shipping company coordinating the company’s product runs. This experience will help the truck broker understand how the business works and also will help with networking, a crucial component to a freight broker’s success. Federal Licensing The U.S. Department of Transportation through the FMCSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, licenses people to be “brokers of property.” People who apply for the broker licenses must agree to adhere to certain procedures, such as GAAP-approved accounting standards and the safe transport of hazardous materials. While the FMCSA does not require a formal education, most people applying will need an educational course to make sure they are familiar with all of the areas needed for licensure.
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