How to Become a Freight Broker in Vermont – Get Your License
What is a freight broker? Freight brokers serve as intermediaries between a client who needs transportation for their products and a shipping company. Although it sounds relatively straightforward, the job is complex. Brokers need to have a great deal of knowledge and a vast network of professional contacts.
Freight brokers do a lot more than contact a shipping company to move the merchandise from one place to another. They are involved in every facet of the shipping process, including logistics, vetting carriers, and knowing the regulations and laws for various shipments. When a manufacturer contacts a freight broker, they trust them to handle every detail and ensure there are no delays or problems with the load. They do this to ensure that the product gets to its destination in a safe and timely manner.
Typical job duties of a freight broker include:
- Negotiating shipping contracts
- Tracking the product throughout the transportation process
- Advising clients on transportation options and payments
- Estimating shipping costs for clients
- Invoicing and receiving payments
Requirements for Vermont Freight Brokers
At a minimum, freight brokers in Vermont will need to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Before opening a freight brokerage, you also need to obtain a Federal Motor Carrier (MC) number and a USDOT number through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). To qualify for MC and USDOT numbers, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Fill out an application on their website
- Provide proof of insurance coverage in the amount of $75,000
- File form BOC-3 to name designated process agents (more information on designated agents can be found here)
- Pay a $300 fee
Once you have filed your application, you should expect it to take between four and six weeks to process. When you have received your MC and USDOT numbers, you will be qualified to operate as a freight broker.
Training for Freight Brokers in Vermont
Although specific training in the field isn’t a requirement in Vermont, you would be wise to have a handle on how a freight brokerage works before investing a lot of money to get your brokerage up and running. Freight brokers often complete on-the-job training working for another agent to learn the ropes of the business. However, there are training programs available online and in-person for those who wish to get started without being tied to another agency. A few potential programs for Vermonters include:
- Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, VT
- Champlain Valley BOCES in Plattsburgh, NY
- Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, VT
- River Valley Community College in Claremont, NH
Wage Expectations and Projections for Growth
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), freight brokers in the state of Vermont reported an average annual wage of $40,470 in 2020. However, salaries in the state varied widely, with the lowest-paid brokers making $26,460 and the highest-paid reporting salaries as high as $58,830. Those who own and operate a brokerage agency overseeing more than one agent may have additional opportunities for income as a business owner.
Job openings in the field are projected to grow over the long term. In fact, according to Projections Central, freight brokers can expect an estimated 7,200 more job openings in 2028 than in 2018, a 7.5 percent increase over ten years.
Opportunities for Freight Brokers in Vermont
Freight brokers have opportunities wherever there is merchandise to be moved. If you plan to set up a business, you will want to consider what types of companies are in the area you wish to serve. Ideally, a freight broker will have access to several local manufacturers who have products in need of transportation. You can build a lucrative business and find long-term success in your new career with careful planning.