How to Become a Freight Broker in Louisiana – Get Your License
Freight Brokers are essential parts of the transportation industry, especially now that more goods are being shipped across the country. The process starts with manufacturers getting in touch with Freight Brokers, who comb through an extensive directory of carrier companies to look for the one that suits the client’s needs and budget best. The main factors that they consider are the type of cargo load the shipper will be sending out and the budget constraints of the shipment.
If you are planning to dive into the world of Freight Brokering, the most important skill to cultivate is communication. The industry requires you to constantly communicate with clients and carrier companies, making sure that all the shipment requirements are met, and the price is suitable for all involved. To find out if you will be a good fit for the job, here are the essential activities Freight Brokers are expected to perform:
- Schedule orders and client appointments to talk about specifics of the cargo load
- 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 shipper 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 Louisiana
Obtaining a certificate is not a requirement to become a Freight Broker, but applying for one will give you considerable perks and advantages. Attending certification training will help you master the essential fundamentals of the job and make you stand out from others in the field when it’s time to look for employment or clients. 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.
When it comes to licensing, there are no state-specific licenses required for Freight Brokers in Louisiana. Instead, all professionals planning to practice in the country must abide by federal regulations and obtain a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This organization within the U.S. Department of Tourism administers the rules and regulations that ensure carrier companies operate safely and efficiently. Here are the steps to obtaining your FMCSA Freight Broker license:
- Apply for a USDOT (Department of Transportation) number through the Unified Registration System (URS) (only for those who are 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. Your Process Agent will act as the legal representative in the state where you 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 Louisiana
There are no educational requirements to become a Freight Broker in Louisiana, but employers would most likely be hiring those who have at least a High School or GED diploma. Enrolling in relevant classes and training will give you a great advantage if you want to become a successful Freight Broker. Here are a couple of schools around the area to get you started on your journey:
- Delgado Community College in New Orleans, LA, offers a Freight Broker Training course aimed at teaching students how to obtain their FMCSA license and establish their own brokerage. The program is fully online-based and self-paced.
- The University of Louisiana Monroe in Monroe, LA, offers an online and self-paced course on Freight Broker Training taught by seasoned professionals in the industry.
Salary and Career Growth
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average pay of Freight Brokers in the U.S. amounts to $54,880 annually, which is $21.04 per hour. This number may still vary depending on the commissions you will earn and your years of experience in the industry. Higher-earning Freight Brokers have reported receiving wages totaling up to $69,890 a year. Further data shows that there are around 95,600 currently practicing Freight Brokers in the country. The long-term (ten-year) growth rate for this profession is at a national average of 10 percent, which means that around 9,500 new Freight Broker jobs are expected to be available every year.
Working as a Freight Broker in Louisiana
Freight Brokers perform a critical role in the nationwide transportation industry. Because of this, the demand for competent and qualified Freight Brokers is continually rising, and companies in Louisiana are looking to hire professionals, especially in the largest city, New Orleans.