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Day in the Life of an Independent Freight Broker

If you’re thinking about starting a career as a freight broker, you might be wondering what the day in the life as a freight agent is like. Fortunately, with as many as 8 in 10 people working from home, you can experience flexible hours and the ability to design your own daily routine. The main job of a freight broker is to coordinate with carriers, drivers, and customers to arrange the delivery of cargo from one point to another. Below are some key insights into what it’s like working as an independent freight broker.

1. Working From Home

Many freight brokers start their day by logging into their computer and checking emails. This is the most common way to stay in contact with customers, carriers and other stakeholders. After this, the broker will then begin to search for loads and carriers that meet the specific criteria of their customers. This process can take some time and requires a keen eye for detail.

Loads are typically secured by the broker, either through calling or emailing carriers and drivers directly. They must negotiate rates and determine if a carrier can meet the delivery needs and specifications of the customer.

2. Negotiating Rates

Once the broker has identified a carrier that meets the needs of the customer, the broker will then begin to negotiate rates. This is a key skill for freight brokers and requires strong communication skills, as well as an understanding of the market rates for different types of loads. Currently, freight rates are at an all-time low due to the pandemic and other supply issues, so brokers must be especially adept at negotiating competitive rates.

Once a rate is agreed upon, the broker will then book the shipment and provide the necessary paperwork to both the customer and carrier. This includes bills of lading, invoices, and other documentation that must be filed with each shipment.

3. Customer Service

Freight brokers must also provide excellent customer service throughout the entire transaction. This means answering questions, providing updates on delivery status, and resolving any issues that may arise. This can require a lot of communication and problem-solving, so it’s important for brokers to have the patience and willingness to go the extra mile for their customers.

Some of the many customer service tasks freight brokers will need to do include:

  • Updating on shipping times: A broker must stay in touch with both the carrier and the customer to make sure that the shipment is delivered on time.
  • Updating on paperwork: The broker will also need to keep track of all necessary paperwork, such as bills of lading and invoices.
  • Resolving disputes: There may be times when a delivery runs into problems or disputes arise between the customer and the carrier. The broker must be ready to mediate these disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to maintain a good relationship with both parties.

4. Finalizing Loads

Once the load is delivered, it’s time for the broker to finalize the transaction. This includes invoicing the customer, disbursing payment to the carrier, and filing any necessary paperwork.

Being an independent freight broker is a challenging but rewarding job. With the right combination of organization and communication skills, anyone can succeed in this role and make a living helping customers deliver their cargo around the world.

The Bottom Line

Having your own business as an independent freight broker also means you can work from anywhere and set your own flexible hours. This allows you to design the daily routine that works best for you, while still providing excellent customer service and negotiating competitive rates. With the right skills and a bit of hard work, you can make an impact on the freight industry while running your own business.

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