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

If you’re interested in a career in a growing industry that provides flexibility and a good salary, consider becoming a freight broker in Mississippi. It’s an exciting, fast-paced job that you can do as an employee or by starting your own brokerage. If you start now, you could be working as a freight broker in just a few months.

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What is the Job of a Freight Broker Like?

A freight broker acts as a middleman between people and companies shipping goods and the carriers that provide the transportation. They connect these two parties and take care of all the details of shipments for their clients.

This is a job that requires organizational skills, good time management, attention to detail, people skills, and the ability to solve problems on the fly. Some of the typical daily duties of a freight broker include:

  • Communicating with clients to take their shipping orders and learn what they need
  • Maintaining a database of carriers
  • Matching clients with the appropriate carriers for their needs
  • Helping carriers find shippers to fill in available spaces on transports
  • Planning shipments, including all details from start to finish
  • Tracking shipments and receiving updates from carriers
  • Communicating with clients about the status of a shipment
  • Troubleshooting any problems that arise during a shipment
  • Negotiating prices, billing, and taking payments

How Do I Become a Freight Broker in Mississippi?

The state of Mississippi does not have any specific requirements for freight brokers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates this industry and licenses brokers. You’ll need to get a license through the FMCSA by taking these steps:

  1. Get a U.S. Department of Transportation Number. It is free, and you can do it through the FMCSA.
  2. Purchase a trust fund agreement or surety bond for at least $75,000.
  3. Designate a process agent, which can be you or someone else. Use FMCSA form BOC-3 to do this.
  4. Complete the FMCSA OP-1 application, pay the $300 fee, and wait four to six weeks for your license.

If you are starting your own brokerage, you may want to register it in Mississippi. A common choice for a legal entity is a limited liability company or LLC. It’s easy to register and will limit your personal liability while you do business.

Another consideration is professional credentialing. The Transportation Intermediaries Association offers a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) credential. It’s not required to operate, but it shows employers and potential clients that you have trained and studied for the job.

Educational Programs in Mississippi

There are no educational requirements for freight brokers, but it’s a good idea to complete a training program. It will teach you the basics of working in the industry and guide you through the process of getting licensed.

Two schools in Mississippi offer an online program for prospective freight brokers: Copiah Lincoln Community College and Mississippi State University. Both cost $1,895 and can be completed online in six months or less.

In either of these programs, you’ll learn how the industry works, the software used by many brokers, and transportation laws, contracts, and insurance. You will also learn how to get licensed in more detail.

Career Outlook and Typical Salaries for Freight Brokers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports strong growth for freight broker jobs. The growth is projected to be 10 percent over the coming years, leaving plenty of room for new brokers. In 2020, just 250 brokers operated in Mississippi.

In May 2020, the BLS reported a median salary of $43,770 per year for freight brokers across the country. Earnings vary widely by location but also by how you work. As an employee of a brokerage, expect a steady income. As an independent broker, you can set your rates and determine how much you work. Mississippi’s average salary was $43,130 in 2020.

How to Begin Working as a Freight Broker in Mississippi

As a licensed freight broker, you can start your own small business and work independently. You can also look for jobs with existing companies. Here are some recent examples of companies looking for brokers in Mississippi:

  • Virtual freight broker, TranMazon DOP, Jackson
  • Sales professional, freight broker, Sunteck TTS, New Albany
  • Carrier sales representative, Transportation Insight, Hattiesburg
  • Freight broker, Sunset Transportation, Inc., Tupelo
  • Carrier sales representative, Jones Capital, Hattiesburg

With just a few months of training and a license, you’ll be ready to work in this exciting industry from anywhere in Mississippi.