Becoming a Freight Broker

The Trucking Blog. Over the last view weeks I have seen quite a few advertisements for companies offering broker training to professional truck drivers.

Although this seems to be a new idea, actually the idea gets it’s origins from early trucking. Before the advent of the large, commercial giants of the industry, if you drove a truck, it was your job as a driver or owner of the truck to get your own load. Today load boards at truck stops and fliers posted on a bulletin board are relics of the past. With the internet, cell phones and pda’s, finding a load is a high tech wonder.

I recently noticed a company advertising that a truck driver who was his own broker could increase his or her bottom line by 40%. This could be true, but what are the advantages and disadvantages to being your own broker? With the new hours of service rules, it could make sense that a driver has more time to look for a load. I typically get 6 hours of sleep on the road, this would give me at least 4 hours to look for a load. With my laptop and wifi at most truck stops, it isn’t a far fetched idea.

I think that the biggest advantage to being your own broker is that the driver could pocket the money a broker would make and add to the drivers profit. It sounds simple, but what are the drawbacks? My fear is that if every driver were to become their own broker, wouldn’t this drive down already low rates with competition between truck drivers to get a load? I would find this particularly true in areas such as the inland Northwest where finding a decent paying load can be an exhausting endeavor.

I think the key to being a successful owner-operator or independent trucker is finding a trustworthy, loyal broker with exceptional negotiating skills and talent for finding the good loads. I think if we reformed the broker industry and weeded out the sharks, we could all co-exist and benefit from one another.

I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, rebuttals, comments or questions to this idea.

JB
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10 comments

  1. James B. –
    My eyes always perk up when they come across anything related to freight brokering and truck drivers.

    I currently train individuals to become freight brokers and it’s all done over the telephone and internet.

    Of course I’ve always wondered what impact there will be in the industry with so many drivers becoming their own brokers. But, in my opinion, there will always be a good portion who elect NOT to become their own brokers. Many will take the plunge – and many won’t.

    I can say that I’ve got a real niche, especially for the convenience of providing training over the telephone and internet (it’s very comprehensive). And my customers are the best. I would say 98% of my clients are coming out of the trucking industry for one reason or another.

    I love what I’m doing and I feel I’ve made a very positive impact on the lives of many, many people. My business is doubling every year and I’m looking forward to helping these individuals from all over the country.

    Have a nice day!
    John D. Thomas
    Atex Freight Broker Training, Inc.

  2. James B. –
    My eyes always perk up when they come across anything related to freight brokering and truck drivers.

    I currently train individuals to become freight brokers and it’s all done over the telephone and internet.

    Of course I’ve always wondered what impact there will be in the industry with so many drivers becoming their own brokers. But, in my opinion, there will always be a good portion who elect NOT to become their own brokers. Many will take the plunge – and many won’t.

    I can say that I’ve got a real niche, especially for the convenience of providing training over the telephone and internet (it’s very comprehensive). And my customers are the best. I would say 98% of my clients are coming out of the trucking industry for one reason or another.

    I love what I’m doing and I feel I’ve made a very positive impact on the lives of many, many people. My business is doubling every year and I’m looking forward to helping these individuals from all over the country.

    Have a nice day!
    John D. Thomas
    Atex Freight Broker Training, Inc.

  3. Microsoft bundles products that compliment each other. A truckng comapnay and a brokerage are complementary products.

    A carrier should open a brokerage only if they currently have freight for their trucks .
    If a trucking company wants loads for their trucks they could simply use the Gold Book of brokers to get loads or go find some shippers.

    Only when a trucking company has more freight than capacity should they open a brokerage.

    Then the brokerage has to be set up as a seperate business all together with a broker
    MC number. (at the top of the auth it will have MC-B to indicate your a broker not a carrier).

    You can go to the FMCSA web site and do everything on your own. Look up “property broker”.

    I think the fee for the broker auth. is around $300.00 as long as you can get a 10k bond and proces agents (PA $40or 50 dollars.)

    If you do open a brokerage it is great for your shippers -now you can advertise that you have an asset based transportation company and a non-asset based company to better serve them.

    It is okay to tell your shippers that you also have a brokerage. In the old days a broker was a dirty word for carriers To the shippers, it is no big deal. All the big trucking companies have brokerages – they just call them 3pl’s.

    Your have to run your brokerage as a seperate business from the trucking company.
    Of cours you will have economies of scale, however, brokers and carriers have completely differnt regulations and laws and liabilities.

    So when your ready to either open a brokerage or be an agent for a broker you should get training for sure. No question.

    I would never tell a carrier I could add .40/mile with my training. It is simply not tue.
    If a carrier is running .40 cents under market then that carrier is already out of business.

    Just by doing a little reserrch on all the main transportation vendor web-based sites
    you can tell that most lanes have around a $.30 a mile spread.

    You don’t need training to know what the market rates are. You need to get a $20.00 a month subscription to C.Depot or one of those websites. They supply all that info.

    I have been fortunate to have what amounts to a focus group of drivers attend my career school where we teach people to be freight brokers and agents.

    I can honestly say the driver does all the work and gets the least amount of respect. I want every carrier out there considering this busiess to know the truth.

    This is a service business where you put the carrier’s and shipper’s needs together.
    It is important that you know this businiss takes 3-6 months usualy before you start making real money and that is if you work every day all day. It is not a majic
    solution. It is a stratgic business decision that traning can improve your learning curve.

    Being a Freight Broker or Freight Broker agent is a great career. Our economy and the role of the broker is evolving as we move into the information age. It is important to stay ahead of the curve. In this industry time is money and you have to do everything with a sense of urgency and you need a road map. That is where the training comes in.

    “The only thing worse than trianing your employees and they leave is not training them and they stay” ….Zig Ziglar.

    The Freight broker business is not a get rich quick deal. It requires you to continue to prospect for both shippers and carriers and requires a great attitude, you have to
    realize you will have your ups and downs and you need to focus on progress not perfection. Keep your cost as low as possible and serve your shipper and carrier
    as an extension of their office. Keep doing that and you can build a real career that you can do anywhere that you have internet.

    If your cash flow is not working with your trucking company then do not open a freight brokerage because it requires major cash flow.

    You have to pay the carrier first and on time and then bill the shipper. Turn around time on your money is at last 45-50 days.

    You should never use a factor if your going to open a brokerage. If you have to do that, then it makes more sense to be an agent for an established broker.

    My two cents,

    Jeff Roach
    President
    Brooke Transportation Training Solutions, LLC
    http://www.brooketraining.com
    http://www.justintimefreight.com

  4. Microsoft bundles products that compliment each other. A truckng comapnay and a brokerage are complementary products.

    A carrier should open a brokerage only if they currently have freight for their trucks .
    If a trucking company wants loads for their trucks they could simply use the Gold Book of brokers to get loads or go find some shippers.

    Only when a trucking company has more freight than capacity should they open a brokerage.

    Then the brokerage has to be set up as a seperate business all together with a broker
    MC number. (at the top of the auth it will have MC-B to indicate your a broker not a carrier).

    You can go to the FMCSA web site and do everything on your own. Look up “property broker”.

    I think the fee for the broker auth. is around $300.00 as long as you can get a 10k bond and proces agents (PA $40or 50 dollars.)

    If you do open a brokerage it is great for your shippers -now you can advertise that you have an asset based transportation company and a non-asset based company to better serve them.

    It is okay to tell your shippers that you also have a brokerage. In the old days a broker was a dirty word for carriers To the shippers, it is no big deal. All the big trucking companies have brokerages – they just call them 3pl’s.

    Your have to run your brokerage as a seperate business from the trucking company.
    Of cours you will have economies of scale, however, brokers and carriers have completely differnt regulations and laws and liabilities.

    So when your ready to either open a brokerage or be an agent for a broker you should get training for sure. No question.

    I would never tell a carrier I could add .40/mile with my training. It is simply not tue.
    If a carrier is running .40 cents under market then that carrier is already out of business.

    Just by doing a little reserrch on all the main transportation vendor web-based sites
    you can tell that most lanes have around a $.30 a mile spread.

    You don’t need training to know what the market rates are. You need to get a $20.00 a month subscription to C.Depot or one of those websites. They supply all that info.

    I have been fortunate to have what amounts to a focus group of drivers attend my career school where we teach people to be freight brokers and agents.

    I can honestly say the driver does all the work and gets the least amount of respect. I want every carrier out there considering this busiess to know the truth.

    This is a service business where you put the carrier’s and shipper’s needs together.
    It is important that you know this businiss takes 3-6 months usualy before you start making real money and that is if you work every day all day. It is not a majic
    solution. It is a stratgic business decision that traning can improve your learning curve.

    Being a Freight Broker or Freight Broker agent is a great career. Our economy and the role of the broker is evolving as we move into the information age. It is important to stay ahead of the curve. In this industry time is money and you have to do everything with a sense of urgency and you need a road map. That is where the training comes in.

    “The only thing worse than trianing your employees and they leave is not training them and they stay” ….Zig Ziglar.

    The Freight broker business is not a get rich quick deal. It requires you to continue to prospect for both shippers and carriers and requires a great attitude, you have to
    realize you will have your ups and downs and you need to focus on progress not perfection. Keep your cost as low as possible and serve your shipper and carrier
    as an extension of their office. Keep doing that and you can build a real career that you can do anywhere that you have internet.

    If your cash flow is not working with your trucking company then do not open a freight brokerage because it requires major cash flow.

    You have to pay the carrier first and on time and then bill the shipper. Turn around time on your money is at last 45-50 days.

    You should never use a factor if your going to open a brokerage. If you have to do that, then it makes more sense to be an agent for an established broker.

    My two cents,

    Jeff Roach
    President
    Brooke Transportation Training Solutions, LLC
    http://www.brooketraining.com
    http://www.justintimefreight.com

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