How to Become a Freight Broker in Missouri – Get Your License
Trucks carrying loads of cargo for shipment are a usual sight on roads and highways. Three essential parties make shipments like these possible: the shippers, carriers, and Freight Brokers. When a manufacturer wants to have their wares transported by truck, they enlist the help of Freight Brokers. The latter then look for the most suitable transport companies, called carriers, to fulfill that need. Not only do they aim to find carriers that can accommodate the client’s cargo specifications, but they also have to agree on the shipment details and price range.
Having excellent communication skills is a fundamental necessity to become a Freight Broker. You will need to talk to clients to identify the service they need. Then, you must look for a carrier company and negotiate shipment terms and conditions until you reach a fair agreement. Being meticulously organized is also an essential trait for a Freight Broker to have. It is your job to oversee every aspect of the shipment and prepare for any unexpected situations. For a more detailed understanding of what it takes to be a Freight Broker, here is a simple day-to-day list of duties and responsibilities that they perform regularly:
- Take orders and schedule client appointments to talk about details of the shipment
- Look for suitable carrier companies through a database or other methods
- Negotiate the shipment price, making sure that it is fair for both parties
- Finalize every little detail of the shipment, 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
- Regularly update 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 Missouri
As of this writing, there are no specific educational requirements needed to become a Freight Broker in Missouri. Even though it is not a necessity, attending training and relevant classes would be advantageous if you want to become a successful Freight Broker. Most brokerage employers would also be looking to hire those with at least a High School or GED diploma.
Another way to earn valuable knowledge and impressive credentials in the industry is to apply for a Freight Broker certification. Although it is not a requirement to practice in this profession, earning one will undoubtedly help you learn all you can about the job and make you stand out from others in 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.
When it comes to licensing, there are also no specific licenses required in Missouri. However, all Freight Brokers throughout 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 enforces industry-wide rules and regulations, ensuring that carrier companies operate safely and efficiently. Obtaining your FMCSA Freight Broker license is a simple affair. Here are the steps you need to take:
- Apply for a USDOT (Department of Transportation) number through the Unified Registration System (URS) if you are a new applicant.
- 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 to process your license.
Where to Get Relevant Education in Missouri
There are a lot of Freight Broker training courses currently available throughout the country, and most of them are fully online-based. If your lifestyle and schedule are geared more towards online learning, then these programs are a convenient way to start your Freight Broker journey:
- The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO, offers an online, self-paced course in Freight Brokering. They teach everything about the industry, including the fundamental job responsibilities and even how to establish your own Freight Broker business.
- Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO, offers a comprehensive course on Freight Brokering that is also 100 percent online-based. They provide an extensive curriculum that is prepared and taught by seasoned professionals in the field.
Career Growth and Salary
Average yearly pay of $54,880, or $21.04 per hour, can be expected from working as a Freight Broker in the U.S. This number may still vary depending on your years of experience and commissions earned every year. Higher-earning Freight Brokers have reported salaries amounting up to $69,890 a year.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 95,600 Freight Brokers are currently practicing in the country as of this writing. The long-term (ten-year) growth rate for this occupation is at a national average of 10 percent, which means around 9,500 new Freight Broker jobs are projected to open up every year.
Working as a Freight Broker in Missouri
Freight Brokers are indispensable in the transportation industry, especially in Missouri, where manufactured goods amounting to billions of dollars are reportedly exported every year. In line with this, employers in St. Louis and Kansas are now looking to hire qualified Freight Brokers for their companies.