One of the most popular questions we hear is whether or not training is required in order to become a freight broker. Until 2011, the answer to that question was, “No, it’s not legally required’. Then, along came MAP-21. Today, the short answer to the freight broker training requirement question is, “Not yet.” However, soon, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will propose new rules for freight brokers regarding the registration requirements.
When MAP-21 was signed into law in 2012, freight brokers, along with the rest of the trucking industry, had to prepare for more than a few changes. This piece of legislation was truly a big deal to freight brokers; with most of the brokers’ attention being focused around a single portion of the law. Since it was the most talked about newly added requirement specific to brokers, all active freight brokers quickly became aware of the increase to our legally required insurance amount from $10,000 to $75,000. There were disagreements, to say the least, within the transportation industry regarding this sizable increase in insurance. But, within a little more than a year of the law being signed, the $75,000 insurance rule was created and went into effect in October of 2013.
Even though it’s not quite as hot of a topic as the insurance increase, MAP-21 also brought freight brokers another important requirement that will soon become a reality. This change will directly affect the freight broker registration, otherwise known as the freight broker license or freight broker authority. The FMCSA registration application process determines whether or not a broker is to be able to legally broker freight within the United States and it’s mandatory for all freight brokers.
Freight Broker Training or Sufficient Experience
MAP-21 updated the registration requirements to ensure that those registering as freight brokers possess adequate experience to be considered qualified and also are fit to act as a freight broker. Specifically, as per Section 32916 of MAP-21, each broker must retain an individual, as an officer of the company, who “has at least 3 years of relevant experience; or provides the Secretary with satisfactory evidence of the individual’s knowledge of related rules, regulations, and industry practices.”
What does this Requirement Mean for Freight Brokers?
Since the FMCSA hasn’t yet proposed the rule changes related to the training or experience requirement for freight broker license, unfortunately, we don’t really know how the FMCSA will actually define relevant experience or evidence of knowledge. What we do know is that this requirement is a part of our current federal transportation laws and it will eventually affect all freight brokers. Nevertheless, long before MAP-21 was even proposed, Freight Movers School has always stressed the importance of knowledge and learning how to appropriately broker freight. For years the question to us was, “Why should I complete a freight broker training course?” Our loud and clear response was and still is, “How does a person effectively perform the daily tasks of any job if he or she has never been trained? And, without true knowledge of the skills needed, what are your chances of success?”
If you aren’t familiar with the many aspects of MAP-21, we’d recommend downloading a complete version of MAP-21 in a printable PDF format.