How to Become a Freight Broker in South Carolina – Get Your License
Freight brokers in South Carolina are responsible for moving goods around the country. They act as middlemen between shippers and carriers, setting up shipments and ensuring they run smoothly.
The freight broker industry is proliferating, and you can be a part of it sooner than you think. There are plenty of employment opportunities, but you can also start your own freight brokerage as well. It’s a career with much flexibility.
What Are the Duties of South Carolina Freight Brokers?
Freight brokers take orders from clients needing to ship goods across the U.S., usually by truck but sometimes by train. They connect these clients with appropriate carriers and take care of all the details so their clients don’t have to.
It starts with taking the order from a client, getting all the details of their shipping needs, and determining their budget. The freight broker maintains a database of carriers and connects each client to the right one for the job.
They arrange all the details of the shipments and manage the paperwork, including bills of lading and invoices. The freight broker isn’t done once the shipment leaves. They track it as it moves, update the client on progress, and troubleshoot any problems that arise.
Once the shipment is complete, the broker closes out all the details, sends invoices, and ensures that everyone gets paid. Another thing a freight broker may do is work with carriers with empty spaces in their trucks. They help them find companies shipping goods to fill out the load.
This kind of work requires much attention to detail and good organizational skills. You also need to know how to use the software involved and communicate well with people.
How to Get Licensed as a Freight Broker in South Carolina
South Carolina does not regulate freight brokers. This is done through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You don’t need any specific education or degree to get licensed. Still, it helps to complete a program that walks you through this process:
- The first step is to apply to the FMCSA for a DOT number.
- Next, you’ll need to purchase at least $75,000 worth of coverage in the form of a surety bond or a trust fund agreement.
- You can then designate a process agent, either yourself or someone else, using the FMCSA form BOC-3.
- Complete the FMCSA freight broker license application and submit it with the required $300 fee.
It should take four to six weeks from the time of your final application to get your license. In addition to a license, you may want to earn a professional credential. The Transportation Intermediaries Association offers a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) to verify your skillset.
Freight Broker Training Programs in South Carolina
A freight broker training program is a great way to get started in this industry. You don’t need a degree or credential at all. Still, these programs teach you the essential basics of working as a freight broker and help you through the licensing process. Two schools in South Carolina offer an online program:
- University of South Carolina, Aiken. Register through the continuing education department for this 100% online course. Complete it at your own pace and learn everything from transportation law to sales skills.
- Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College. This technical college also has an online career program for learning to become a freight broker.
Career Outlook and Salaries for Freight Brokers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 95,600 people worked as freight brokers in 2020. The BLS expects the number of jobs to grow by 10% over the next several years. Growth in South Carolina is even stronger, at 12%.
The median salary across the U.S. is $43,770 per year and $21.04 per hour for freight brokers. In South Carolina, salaries are a little lower than the average. The median annual salary here is $41,510.
Starting out as a Freight Broker in South Carolina
Freight brokering is an active, flexible and exciting career. You can start your own business and work independently. You can also find many companies hiring licensed freight brokers throughout the state. Here are some recent examples of job listings from Indeed.com:
- Freight broker, Allen Lund Company, Charleston
- Carrier sales representative, Transportation Insight, Charleston
- Carrier account manager, 5J Logistics Services, Fort Mill
- Freight broker/agent, Hire the Winners, Columbia
You’ll find most jobs available in Charleston. You can work as a freight broker from anywhere as an independent broker.