Becoming a Freight Broker in Massachusetts – Get Your License
Behind every truck that ships a cargo load through state lines is a hard-working Freight Broker overseeing the operation. Freight Brokers are the people to call when manufacturers want to get their cargo shipped through land transportation. These professionals then employ several methods to find the most suitable carrier company that can cater to the client’s needs. They do this by combing through their extensive database of carriers or making inquiries through word of mouth. The list of responsibilities doesn’t end there, however. Freight Brokers also have to negotiate the transaction price between the two parties and oversee the shipment from pick-up to drop-off.
If you are planning to enter this field, read on to know more about the requirements, licenses, and training you need to get started. Excellent communication is a critical quality you have to possess to become a successful Freight Broker. Negotiating between the client and the carrier company is essential to the job, along with good time management skills and meticulous organizational ability. Since unexpected situations can occur while a shipment is ongoing, you will also have to be calm and level-headed to handle these instances. Although it takes hard work and dedication to become a Freight Broker, you will be rewarded with a lucrative and fulfilling profession in this field.
Freight Broker Licenses and Certifications in Massachusetts
There are no certifications needed to operate as a Freight Broker in the state of Massachusetts, but there is one you have to obtain from the FMCA. FMCA, or the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), enforces nationwide regulations to ensure carrier companies operate safely and efficiently. Here are the steps needed to obtain the federal Freight Broker license:
- For those who are applying for the first time, apply for a USDOT number through the Unified Registration System (URS)
- Obtain a Surety Bond (Form BMC-84) or Trust Fund Agreement (Form BMC-85) worth $75,000 or higher
- Appoint a Process Agent and have them apply for registration through FMCSA Form BOC-3 (A Process Agent is a legal representative in the state where you will be operating as a broker.)
- Pay the $300 application fee and wait the standard 4-6 weeks processing time
Certifications are also not a requirement to practice in this profession. However, training for and earning a Freight Broker certificate can be advantageous for aspiring brokers. You can think of training as a form of “proof” of competence in the field, and that experience sets you apart from others. Whether you decide to work for an agency or establish your own, training helps you learn valuable lessons that boost your performance. One of the best you can earn is a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) certificate from the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). This is currently the most widely recognized certification for brokers in the country.
Relevant Freight Broker Education in Massachusetts
Most successful Freight Brokers attend training or enroll in relevant classes to help them excel. These classes help prepare aspiring brokers for the duties and responsibilities they will be expected to perform in the field and start establishing their own brokerage.
Ed2go is an online learning platform offering Freight Broker Training programs. They have partnered with multiple schools and colleges around the country to provide a comprehensive course on Freight Brokering taught by seasoned experts in the field. The course contains everything you will need to know about the industry, from the fundamental responsibilities to tips and processes to start your own business. Here are a couple of institutions around Massachusetts that have partnered with ed2go:
- Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MA
- Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA
- Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School in Bourne, MA
Career Outlook and Salary of Freight Brokers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 95,600 professionals currently work as Freight Brokers throughout the U.S. Now is an excellent time to enter the field. Additionally, this job is forecasted to have 9,500 new openings every year because its growth rate is at a rising national average of 10 percent.
A Freight Broker in the U.S. makes an average hourly wage of $21.04, which amounts to $54,880 annually. This number excludes commissions and bonuses earned. Higher-earning Freight Brokers, some who have been working in the industry for many years and some who run their own businesses, have reported annual wages reaching up to $69,890.
Freight Broker Opportunities in Massachusetts
There are a couple of paths you can decide to take as a registered Freight Broker. Some professionals establish their own brokerage and handle clients, while some opt to look for employment. In Massachusetts, Freight Brokers are currently in very high demand, especially in Boston, the largest city in the state.