How to Become a Freight Broker in Indiana – Get Your License
Every day, thousands of trucks travel all around the United States, carrying various cargo like produce, equipment, and clothing. The process of shipping goods through land transportation is made much easier by the presence of Freight Brokers, the professionals in charge of connecting shippers to carriers and supervising shipments. When manufacturers want to ship their cargo through trucking companies, they employ Freight Brokers to look for the perfect carrier that can accommodate their specifications and oversee the transaction.
If you are an excellent communicator, meticulously organized, and level-headed during times of stress, then becoming a Freight Broker might be the perfect career for you. Aside from negotiating shipping terms with both the client and the carrier, you will also have to be on top of the shipment process at all times, making sure that everything is running smoothly and according to plan. To figure out if this profession will suit you, here are the essential day-to-day activities Freight Brokers are expected to perform:
- Schedule orders and client appointments to talk about specifics of the cargo
- Canvas for suitable carrier companies through a database or other methods
- Negotiate the price of the shipment, making sure that it is fair for both parties
- Finalize all the details of the transaction, such as the date and time of pickup and drop-off
- Keep a close eye on the ongoing shipment, ensuring that everything is done in an errorless and timely manner
- Give regular updates to both the client and the carrier on the current status of the shipment
- Create invoices and oversee payment processes
Certifications and Licensing for Becoming a Freight Broker in Indiana
Freight Broker certifications are not required to work in this field, but applying for certification has its perks and advantages. Earning one will undoubtedly help you master the critical fundamentals of the job and make you stand out from others in the field when looking for clients or work. The Certified Transportation Broker (CTB), awarded by the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), is the highest and most widely recognized certification for brokers in the industry.
As of this writing, there are no state-specific licenses for Freight Brokers required in Indiana. However, all professionals practicing in the U.S. must abide by federal regulations and obtain a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is an organization within the U.S. Department of Tourism that enforces rules and regulations to ensure that carrier companies operate safely and efficiently. Obtaining your FMCSA Freight Broker license is a straightforward affair.
- Apply for a USDOT (Department of Transportation) number through the Unified Registration System (URS) for those applying for the first time.
- Obtain a Surety Bond (Form BMC-84) or Trust Fund Agreement (Form BMC-85) with an amount no less than $75,000.
- Designate a Process Agent and have them apply for registration through the FMCSA Form BOC-3. A Process Agent acts as the legal representative in the state where the broker will operate.
- Pay the $300 application fee and wait the required 4-6 weeks for them to process your license.
Where to Get Relevant Education in Indiana
There are currently no educational requirements needed to become a Freight Broker in Indiana, but attending classes and training relevant to this field would be a great advantage if you want to become a successful Freight Broker. There are a lot of Freight Broker training courses available throughout the country, and most of them are conducted on an online platform. Here are a couple of schools around Indiana to get you started on your journey:
- Indiana University South Bend in South Bend, IN, offers an online Freight Broker Training that is entirely self-paced and with six months to finish. They employ real-life examples in their lessons, as well as extensive learning materials taught by experts in the industry.
- Brooke Transportation Training Solutions has a training site in Indianapolis, IN, that offers a Freight Broker Training Class. They pride themselves on their excellent instructors, curriculum, and industry contacts.
Salary and Career Growth
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average yearly pay of Freight Brokers in the U.S. is $54,880, or $21.04 per hour. This number may still vary depending on your years of experience and commissions earned. Higher-earning Freight Brokers have reported receiving salaries amounting up to $69,890 a year. There are around 95,600 practicing Freight Brokers as of this writing, and the long-term (ten-year) growth rate for this profession is at a national average of 10 percent. This means that around 9,500 new Freight Broker jobs are projected to be available every year.
Working as a Freight Broker in Indiana
Being the state that produces the most truck trailers in the country, Indiana is a busy hub for carrier companies and Freight Brokers alike. Because of the heavy movement of cargo throughout the state, companies are always looking to hire competent and qualified Freight Brokers in Indiana, especially in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.