Becoming a freight agent isn’t a long, extended career preparation path like being a doctor or being a scientist, but it does have a certain path people should follow to improve their success potential as an agent. There are certain aspects that make it easier to adapt to the industry. There are other elements that are learned as one begins to develop their competency in the field as well. So, for example, a freight broker doesn’t need to have been a trucker prior to starting to be a good agent, but the familiarity with commercial trucking work doesn’t hurt at all. In fact, it may give an agent an edge, but there’s a lot more needed to become a good agent as well.

If You Have A Trucking Background

Having a solid working background in the transport industry gives an immediate comfort level that a new agent can build on. That includes understanding how scheduling is applied, how trips are assigned, how transport schedules are met, and how drivers deliver their goods reliably. Again, these factors are not needed to be a good freight agent, but they do give an agent a head start versus the competition who are unfamiliar with terminology, nuances, industry cultures and regulatory aspects. However, that advantage isn’t permanent; it can be lost over time as a non-familiar agent gains his or her steam and catches up with background details. Then, the difference comes in skill, aptitude, people capabilities and persistence.

If No Trucking Background

How to become a freight agent without a trucking background is not impossible, but it does take more work. A new agent should expect to do a lot of studying of the transport and courier industry to understand how it works, how goals are met, challenges are addressed, and how to build network relationships.

Licensing & Regulations

Being willing to spend the time understanding regulations and compliance requirements as a freight broker is essential. The industry is controlled and specific requirements for everyone involved has to be met consistently. The sooner one accepts this fact, the easier time they have adjusting to and working in a regulatory environment. Various starting requirements include licensing to work with commercial transport scheduling as well as having a surety bond to cover professional mistakes.

In terms of business registration, that will come later. A rookie agent starts off first working for an experienced freight broker and learns the ropes underneath that person and their experience. The broker takes ultimate responsibility, so they also have the control of final transport decisions and commitments. The agent works as the broker’s proxy, setting up the relationships, handling the clients and couriers and connecting the two for the broker’s review and approval. A freight agent will also need licensure from the Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the federal government.

Once Hired, Focus On Developing

An agent must be hired by a broker to start his or her career. Once hired, the broker spends the day managing the information of client needs, contacts and networks to find customers who need orders met. They then match the client to courier who can address the need. This match fulfills the order, which the agent represents for the broker, and the client completes the transaction by agreeing to the commitment and the commission for the same.

Standout agents continue to then win clients both in confidence and new business by consistently handling orders as well as followup and support. As clients build their trust in the agent, and support from the broker, agents take on bigger and bigger orders, developing a solid career and account growth at the same time. it’s very much about the person and commitment. Again, background helps with getting started, but ultimately a person’s character and aptitude make the difference in success.

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