How to Become a Freight Broker in Minnesota – Get Your License
When manufacturers want to ship their goods over state lines, they employ Freight Brokers to handle the transportation process efficiently. Freight Brokers utilize their extensive database of carrier companies to filter out the most suitable one for the client’s needs and handle all communication between the two parties. Aside from finalizing the type of truck needed and the shipment’s specifics, they are also in charge of negotiating payment terms, ensuring that everyone gets a fair share out of the deal.
Becoming a Freight Broker in Minnesota is a straightforward affair. Although this profession will need hard work and dedication from you, it will be a lucrative and rewarding career. Freight Brokers are excellent communicators, able to transact and strike a deal with both the shippers and the carriers. They are also meticulous planners, extremely organized, and can remain calm and level-headed in the face of unexpected situations. If you think becoming a Freight Broker is the perfect job for you, here is a peek into their day-to-day duties and responsibilities:
- Schedule client appointments to talk about the details of the cargo load
- Look 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 proceeds in an errorless and timely manner
- Provide regular updates to both the shipper and the carrier on the current status of the shipment
- Create invoices and manage payment processes
Certifications and Licensing for Becoming a Freight Broker in Minnesota
Minnesota does not require specific certifications to be able to work as a Freight Broker in the state. However, obtaining one would be an extremely beneficial credential if you are planning to enter the field. 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 with certifications, there are also no state-specific licenses required for Freight Brokers in Minnesota. Instead, all professionals must abide by federal regulations and are required to obtain a license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This organization is within the U.S. Department of Tourism and 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 be operating.
- Pay $300 for the application and wait the required 4-6 weeks for the FMCSA to process your license.
Where to Get Relevant Education in Minnesota
No educational requirements are currently needed for aspiring Freight Brokers, but employers seek candidates with at least a High School or GED Diploma. Aside from this, attending relevant training and classes would be beneficial to becoming a successful Freight Broker. Not only will you learn the fundamental duties of the job, but you will also receive valuable hands-on experience and boosted credentials. Here are a couple of institutions around Minnesota that offer Freight Broker training:
- South Central College in North Mankato and Faribault, MN, offers a Freight Broker Training course that will teach you how to obtain your FMCSA license and start your brokerage. The program is fully online-based and self-paced.
- Normandale Community College in South Bloomington, MN, offers an online and self-paced course on Freight Broker Training that will provide you with the essential know-how and essential resources in the industry.
Salary and Career Growth
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average pay of Freight Brokers in Minnesota amounts to $56,250 annually or $27.04 per hour. This number is about the same as the national average of $54,880 and may still vary depending on the commissions you will earn and your years of experience in the industry. Higher-earning Freight Brokers in the state have reported receiving wages totaling up to $86,370 a year.
Further data shows that there are around 1,390 Freight Brokers currently practicing in Minnesota. The long-term growth rate for this profession is at a national average of 10 percent, which means that approximately 9,500 new Freight Broker jobs are expected to be available every year.
Working as a Freight Broker in Minnesota
Freight Brokers perform a critical role in the nationwide transportation industry, so it’s not surprising that competent professionals are in rising demand. Numerous logistics companies in Minnesota, especially in Plymouth, Blaine, and Minneapolis, are hiring qualified Freight Brokers.