How to Become a Freight Broker in Connecticut – Get Your License
Freight brokers are an integral part of the supply chain industry. Their main clients are shippers looking to move various goods, and the broker matches those goods up with the proper carriers to make sure it gets where it needs to go. A broker must be comfortable negotiating prices between the shipper and carrier and should have a high understanding of the laws and regulations concerning freight brokering.
A freight broker’s day starts early and can be pretty hectic. Duties can vary from day to day, but the environment is often high stress and fast-paced. A broker can expect to perform many of the following tasks during their workday:
- Sales and marketing to attract new clients
- Searching out reputable shippers and booking loads
- Negotiating rates and providing quotes to customers
- Tracking loads and troubleshooting problems
- Work with carriers, shippers and dispatchers to ensure timely delivery of goods
- Record keeping
- Keeping up to date on market trends and pricing in transportation
It’s important to know that there are also people called freight agents. Still, you should know that while they may be similar in what they do, freight agents do not require a license. They may even work for brokers. Freight agents do not handle payments and therefore do not have the same risk and responsibility as a broker.
What is Required to Practice?
While Connecticut does not require formal training beyond a high school diploma, national laws require that all freight brokers obtain a broker authority license issued by the government. Post-secondary training isn’t required for this license, yet many employers prefer to hire someone who has a certain amount of experience before being hired.
Licensing is overseen by the U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In order to receive your license, you must first register with the U.S Department of Transport. Once you have registered, you will receive a DOT number which you will use to apply for your license with the FMCSA. The application process costs $300.00 and takes 4-6 weeks to process. To receive the MC authority, you will need to prove the following:
- Demonstrate that you have a $75,000 surety bond
- That you have adequate for cargo and general liability
- That you have designated a freight agent in each of the states in which you intend to do business
Studying in Connecticut
Despite the lack of state requirements, receiving training helps you become a desirable candidate to potential employers. Employers are always willing to train the right individual, but if you plan to open your own brokerage company, having the necessary training and knowledge is vital to attracting and maintaining clients.
Brooke Transportation Training Solutions offers an online training program that takes approximately six months to complete. The program is offered in conjunction with the following colleges in Connecticut:
- Capital Community College, Hartford, CT
- Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT
- Tunxis Community College, Farmington, CT
Completing your program online can be a convenient way to get started without the hassle of having to travel to campus or fight traffic. Some courses can be completed at your own pace and on your own time.
For brokers who are interested, there is the opportunity to obtain certification as a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) through the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). It’s not required by either the state or country. Still, if you’re planning on opening your own brokerage company, it can go a long way to gaining the trust of potential clients.
Registration costs $800 for non-members and $675 for members. Once the course has been completed, candidates must pass an examination that costs $525 for non-members and $375 for members. The exam consists of 3 components that can be completed together or separately as long as all three components are completed within 3 exam cycles.
Membership with the TIA is not required to take the exam. However, membership connects brokers to a large network of resources and information.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The career outlook for anyone interested in becoming a freight broker is bright across the nation, with an expected rise of 10 percent from 2020 – 2030. As the world grows increasingly connected, the need for brokers will not be slowing down anytime soon.
Salary-wise, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that freight brokers across the country can make an average of $43,770 annually, amounting to about $21.04 per hour. A new broker may make less than the average and a broker with more experience and education can expect to bring in as much as $69,890 per year.
Working in Connecticut
Connecticut is home to 3 deepwater ports and is positioned between New York City and Boston. This placement makes it an essential link in the transportation industry and a great place to work for someone interested in a career as a freight broker.
The best places to find employment will be in the larger urban areas of Bridgeport, Stanford, New Haven, Hartford and Waterbury.