Frequently Asked Questions of Prospective Freight Brokers and Freight Agents
We highly recommend that before you choose to attend any broker or agent training that you read the following information. These questions and answers may help you in making an informed decision.
Property Broker is the correct terminology for many names used in the business to identify what we do. Truck Broker, Freight Broker, Load Broker, Freight Agent, Transportation Broker or simply Broker or Agent are all interchangeable terms synonymous with ‘Property Broker’. An active FMCSA registration to operate as a Property Broker allows a third-party to arrange pick-up and delivery of a Shipper's product by a Carrier without ever having physical control of the shipment.
You must submit your Freight Broker Registration application to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) through their Unified Registration System. Upon receiving your pending US DOT number you’ll also need to meet the additional requirements of proof of financial responsibility by posting a $75,000 Surety Bond or $75,000 trust fund, filing your BOC-3, and filing a yearly Unified Carrier Registration.
Freight Brokers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The Freight Broker registration with the FMCSA allows us to make arrangement for the transportation of freight anywhere within the United States. So, no, you will not need a separate freight broker’s license for each state.
The FMCSA charges $300.00 to apply for a registration with an operating status of a motor property carrier, motor passenger carrier, freight forwarder or freight broker. The FMCSA does require all new applicants to complete their registration application online through their Unified Registration system. No new applications by mail.
If you’d like, a Freight Movers School filing specialists will file for your Freight Broker Registration on your behalf with the FMCSA for $450.00 (includes the $300.00 fee charged by the FMCSA). Plus, our course graduates are eligible for one Freight Broker Registration filing service included in their course cost ($150 value, filing service does not include the $300.00 fee charged by the FMCSA).
You must post a BMC-84 surety bond or BMC-85 trust fund of at least $75,000. The amount you pay for your bond or trust fund depends on a number of factors including the type of bond you choose and the programs provided by the financial institution you choose to use.
A BOC-3 form is provided by a process agent. It’s a blanket form of coverage that designates a representative in each individual state upon whom court papers may be served in any proceeding brought against a motor carrier, broker or freight forwarder. A BOC-3 form and filing is usually priced between $25 to $150, depending on the process agent providing the form.
U.S. Bureau of the Census County Business Patterns indicate that agricultural and manufacturing businesses are growing exponentially every year. Today, it is estimated that there are close to a million shippers in the U.S. Needless to say, there is a very large market for brokers and agents. It has recently been estimated that freight transportation cost in the U.S. is well over the multibillion dollar range annually and is rising. The amount of freight being moved by third parties, such as freight brokers, is currently estimated in the 20-30% range and growing. More shippers are using brokers & forwarders each year since it is usually much less expensive for a shipper to use an outsource, such as you and me, than to fund and maintain an in-house staff functioning as a transportation department. Employee-related costs are usually the most expensive part of any business operation. Paying a broker on a performance-only basis is the trend of the future with many shippers.
A broker is the owner of his or her own company. They are required to meet all legal requirements (FMCSA Registration, Bond/Trust Fund, BOC-3) to operate as a broker.
An agent works under the umbrella of the registered broker and typically receives a commission percentage of the brokerage fee.
Yes! In fact, when starting your business, it is recommended that you start from a home office to keep your expenses low while you grow and expand your business.
The following are the basic office tools required for either broker or agent startup:
- High speed and reliable internet access
- Fast and reliable computer
- Fax machine or digital fax service
- Landline telephone or VoIP service (with excellent call quality) with at least one line dedicated for voice calls
- Essential broker tools services, like a load board, rate calculation tool, and broker software
Freight brokering is an excellent business and the agents and brokers that are successful are making anywhere from $40,000.00 to upwards of six figures per year, depending upon the decision to work as an agent or broker. As well as, whether to operate a home-based business versus a larger office with employees. This business is based on contacts and relationships. It takes time to build contacts and relationships and turn them into paying customers. Sometimes, it can take six months or longer to establish a solid customer base to see a profitable income, but it can be done in less time. Overall time lengths vary primarily on the individual’s determination and desire to succeed in this business.
Currently the answer is “Not yet”. Soon, the FMCSA will be establishing new rules requiring brokers to show proof of knowledge or have relevant experience. However, whether training is required by law or not, the reality is that the failure rate for those who attempt this business without freight broker training is high. In order for a broker to be successful in any industry (stock broker, real estate broker, etc.), formal training is a must. Freight Mover School will prepare you to perform broker duties in a profitable, ethical manner, giving you the tools needed to be successful in the field.
Freight Movers School or (FMS) will arm you with the necessary knowledge you need to succeed in this business and we will motivate you to become a true professional in the field. Freight Movers School is the number one trainer of freight brokers in the nation. We have earned that position by training scores of future brokers and agents and delivering training that consistently exceeds student expectations. Our instructors have a combined experience of over 40 years in the transportation industry and hold college degrees with extensive classroom training experience.
Freight Movers School, LLC is the one of the very few freight broker training schools licensed by a State Department of Education. We are an Accredited “A+ Rated” member of the Better Business Bureau, and corporate sponsors of OOIDA. We are pleased to provide our training in association with some of the largest names in transportation such as FML, GetLoaded.com, TruckloadRate.com, AscendTMS, Pacific Financial Associates, JW Surety Bonds, XFactors, ContingentCargo.com, & PC Miler. We also work with the Department of Labor through Vocational Rehabilitation and the Workforce Investment Act.
While there are many training companies offering freight broker training, and some at cheaper prices, this is an instance where you truly get what you pay for. Be sure to do your homework before agreeing to attend any school, including Freight Movers School. When talking to a school’s representative ask about credentials, associations, placement guarantees, brokerage practices, instructor qualifications, and business standings. You are embarking on a new career; if you want to be successful seek out the best training, not the cheapest.
At FMS, we offer our students comprehensive training followed by the guarantee of freight agent placement. We also offer graduate perks, like unlimited graduate support and discounts on rate calculation tools. While all of these are great benefits to attending our training, the greatest benefit is the education we offer combined with our emphasis on honesty, integrity and service.
Transport Training of America, Inc., dba Transport Training International, held its first freight broker training course in Prattville, AL in 2002. We have since expanded to include class locations in Dallas, TX and Atlanta, GA. In 2009, Transport Training transitioned over to Freight Movers School, LLC. Our instructors hold college degrees. They not only have extensive teaching experience, but also over 40 years of transportation experience.
Not only does FMS offer unlimited support to those who decide to be brokers, in addition, we guarantee freight agent placement in a licensed freight brokerage firm. As an agent, you do not have to obtain your FMCSA registration, bond/trust or BOC-3, so startup costs are lower, plus you can still work from home. Moreover, the brokerage will help you take care of the typical mistakes made by individuals new in the field. You will receive phone and email support from brokerage management, assistance with paperwork and common load problems, and many other advantages. Most importantly, the brokerage allows you to take any customer (shipper) you obtain while working as an agent with you when you decide to become a broker – they are your client to keep.
Yes! And the instructors should be actively engaged in brokering freight. How can an instructor teach something they don’t do themselves? When a school tells you they are affiliated with a brokerage ask for the brokerage name and US DOT # or MC # so you can check their FMCSA registration or authority and make sure it is current.