How to Become a Freight Broker in Maine – Get Your License

Nearly every item in your home arrived there thanks to a Freight Broker. And with the growth of online shopping, more products are moving across borders than ever before. However, professionals behind the logistics make sure everything goes according to plan. Without them, getting a shipment from point A to point B wouldn’t be as smooth.

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If an item came to Maine on a plane, train, truck or boat, a Freight Broker likely coordinated that arrival. These professionals are responsible for all cargo and freight logistics, both incoming and outbound. Freight Brokers make shipping and receiving shipments a smooth process for manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Although the job is fast-paced and stressful at times, it’s gratifying and enjoyable for the right person.

The skills and knowledge required to become a Freight Broker are diverse but related. It is imperative that they are excellent communicators, manage their calendars well, and are proficient in geography. They must also have a strong understanding of supply chain management, familiarity with customs and tariffs, and pay close attention to detail to review bills of lading and invoices. Choosing a career as a Freight Broker means each day will be different from the previous one.

Requirements to Become a Freight Broker in Maine

Freight Brokers are not required to have any special education. Still, most employers will require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED. There are a few other requirements to be a Freight Broker. They must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) to obtain a Broker Authority License and government-issued numbers that identify each Freight Broker.

It is possible to learn via on-the-job training, but all the better if you can take courses to get a head start. Hiring managers are more willing to give a chance to an applicant who has put in the extra work. It shows initiative and that they genuinely want to be a Freight Broker.

Educational Programs Available in Maine

While there do not appear to be programs available in Maine, online programs will provide the knowledge required to become a Freight Broker.

  • Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) offers a six-month training program covering everything needed for U.S. Domestic Freight Brokers, including transportation law, marketing, and setting up your office. Resources are provided to aid in registration with FMCSA, as well as getting your surety bond.
  • Eastern Iowa Community College (EICC) offers an online training program that is six months long. They offer a flexible start option, which means that you can begin learning to be a Freight Broker from when you are enrolled.

Licensing and Certification to Become a Freight Broker in Maine

While specific education is not required, there are licenses and insurance that every Freight Broker in Maine should have. Each Freight Broker must have a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Number, as well as an Operating Authority (MC) Number. They are government-issued numbers that identify each Freight Broker. They must register with the FMCSA to obtain these numbers and apply for their Broker Authority License. Other numbers for other types of shipments, such as a Cargo Tank (C.T.) Numbers are available from the FMCSA as well, if needed.

Insurance must be obtained in the form of a $75,000 surety bond. This is to protect the Freight Broker against loss for property damage or bodily injury.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

The number of Freight Brokers in Maine is expected to grow by 4 percent by the year 2028, so growth is a bit slower in this area. There were 240 Freight Brokers in Maine in 2018. The growth for this profession is expected to be roughly 20 jobs per year.

The national average salary of a Freight Broker is $43,770 per year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Maine Freight Brokers were making an hourly average of $24.62 and an annual average of $51,210 in 2020. The highest earners within the state made an average yearly salary of $78,310. So, while the growth for this profession is not as fast as some other locations, the pay for Freight Brokers is greater in Maine than the national average.

Working as a Freight Broker in Maine

Certain times of the year can be busier for Freight Brokers, typically mid-August through October, during peak shipping times as many businesses prepare for the holidays and year-end.

As a Freight Agent, you can start working for someone else as you learn or take courses to become a Freight Broker and set up your own business. The requirements allow for everything to be completed in under a year from start to finish.

In Maine, it would be easier to find job opportunities near the busier cities of Portland, South Portland, Lewiston, and Auburn. The EICC website even mentions the possibility of setting up a successful home-based business as a Freight Broker, so there are multiple opportunities available.