Almost all of our prospective students attend our freight broker training with the ultimate goal of becoming a freight broker. For many of them, however, that goal is months or years down the road. This is why we have a number of students with plans to work as a freight agent before being a freight broker. These students decide to work as a freight agent first for various reasons. A few reasons being: costs of becoming a freight broker, continuing overhead costs of operating a freight brokerage, risk of starting a new business, the desire to gain experience before being a freight broker, and the benefits of having a brokerage manager who can answer the agent’s questions and who will be responsible for reviewing and approving the agent’s load paperwork. Working as a freight agent before becoming a freight broker does have some advantages. But, all prospective students need to be aware that attending a freight broker class doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to find placement as a freight agent.
Becoming a Freight Broker Agent
Here’s a hard truth: most freight brokerage firms will absolutely require experience and a verifiable book of business before they will even consider contracting a freight agent. Most freight brokerage firms will NOT contract a freight agent who has zero experience as a freight agent, even if they have had training. There are two big reasons why freight brokers require previous freight agent experience: time and money.
It costs a brokerage time and money to take on agents. Plus, all freight agents are expected to secure their own shipper customers. In most cases, the brokerage will not be giving you loads to move. Freight agents without any experience are simply an expense with only a possibility of revenue to a freight brokerage. And, unfortunately for unexperienced freight agents, most freight brokers only want to contract with agents who are a sure bet for increasing their profit.
Freight brokerages also consider the cost of having their managers oversee unexperienced agents. Even with the best training, most people will have questions or need some sort of guidance when they start prospecting potential shippers for the first time and when they actually move their first few loads. Unexperienced agents also tend to make rookie mistakes. Those mistakes often require the help of a brokerage manager. Freight brokerages pay their contracted freight agents anywhere from 50% to 80% of their load profit in commission. At these commission percentages, freight brokers need all of their agents to bring in revenue and minimize administrative expenses.
Freight Agent Opportunity Versus Guaranteed Freight Agent Placement
Given all of this information, I hope you are now starting to see exactly why placement should be very important to any freight broker training student who wants to start out as a freight agent. True placement doesn’t mean a list of potential brokerages to interview with. Placement doesn’t mean a few brokerage reps will show up to speak during your class. And, placement doesn’t mean that you’ll have an opportunity to submit applications for freight agent contracts. All of those scenarios will leave the freight broker training graduate with no guarantee of agent placement. Without the guarantee of freight agent placement, it’s very possible that you’ll never even be given the chance to gain experience as an agent. Without a guarantee of freight agent placement, it’s likely that you won’t be able to secure a freight agent contract.
If you don’t think these are real concerns, if you’ve been told you’ll have no problems finding a brokerage to work for after training, then please take the time to start prospecting brokerages before registering for a freight broker class. Find out for yourself how “easy” it will be to find agent placement with no experience and no guaranteed placement from the school.
Freight Broker Training WITH Guaranteed Agent Placement
The reason why we guarantee agent placement to our freight broker training graduates is because, with most freight brokerage firms, unexperienced agents are rarely offered placement. While we do teach all of our freight broker training courses at the broker level, we understand that some of our students want to work as freight agent before becoming a freight broker. Since Transport Training held its’ first class in 2002, we’ve worked very hard to ensure that we have the ability to guarantee agent placement to the graduates of our freight broker classes. If placement is important to you, make sure that the freight broker school you attend guarantees freight agent placement.