How Much Will I Make as an Independent Freight Agent?


How Much Will I Make as an Independent Freight Agent?

A frequently asked question among new Agents is, “How much money can I make as an Independent Freight Agent?” The good news is the earning potential for talented Freight Agents is truly unlimited. You have your own book of business, manage your own time and ultimately, control your own salary. 

It’s important to say working as an Independent Freight Agent is not an easy task. Many factors contribute to your business’s success and your income. The most important factor is how much effort you are willing to put in to build and grow your business. Other factors include your level of experience, gross revenues from your book of business, the profitability of those customers, your business structure, and the support and technology offered to you by your freight broker

How Does an Independent Freight Agent Get Paid?

You might be wondering; how does an Independent Freight Agent get paid? Independent Freight Agents are contract workers paid through commissions via 1099 from their licensed freight broker, based on the gross margin or net revenue they produce. 

Your commission rate will depend on the freight broker with whom you work. Industry standards range from around 50 to 70 percent of gross margins paid to you with the rest kept by the broker to cover their cost of operating expenses, technology, and any support services they provide to their freight agents.  

What’s the Average Salary for an Independent Freight Agent?

It’s nearly impossible to give concrete numbers on exactly how much annual revenue you should expect. This figure depends on several factors such as your experience, the size of your book of business (your customers), and the amount of time and grit you are willing to devote to the success of your business. 

It’s estimated that Freight Agents newer to the industry earn an average of $30,000 to $50,000 per year in commissions. However, some more experienced Freight Agents have been known to earn anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000 or more per year. Ultimately, determining your business plan and how much effort you are willing to put into your business will decide how much earning potential you have. 

Let’s look at a scenario example for more insight into an Independent Freight Agent’s pay.

Let’s say we have an Independent Freight Agent generating two million annually in gross sales with an average margin per shipment of 15 percent. This would yield that Freight Agent an annual income of $180,000, assuming a 60 percent commission rate with their freight broker. If you compare this to the median U.S. family income of $78,500 for 2020, you can see how being an Independent Freight Agent can be quite a lucrative career!  

Don’t Forget About Your Other Benefits

Money certainly holds a big value, but we know it isn’t everything. Working as an Independent Freight Agent has many other benefits outside of pay. The biggest benefit may be flexibility. Since it’s your own business, you can work from home and choose how successful you’d like to be.

Not to mention the help your freight broker offers you. By working as an Independent Freight Agent, you don’t have to worry about operating costs, licensing fees, insurance, or anything else that you would otherwise need as a freight broker. Of course, every freight broker is different in what they offer you, so make sure you do your research before signing up to partner with any company.

Do I Have to Work with a Freight Broker?

Yes, this is an absolute requirement as an Independent Freight Agent. As an independent contractor, you are not licensed to be held liable for the transportation of any shipment. Therefore you need to work with a freight broker. They are registered and licensed through the FMCSA to arrange transportation and be held liable should any problem arises. 

Make It Easier to be Successful

In any business, your success or failure correlates to your skills, planning, resources, and hard work. Make sure you have the support and technology you need to make it easier to be successful. 

By becoming an Authorized Agent with Trinity Logistics, you can gain more time to focus on your customers and generate more revenue, while we take care of everything else. We have best-in-class technology available for you, your customers, and carriers, and a whole Team ready to serve you and your growing business. 

To learn more about how Trinity Logistics’s Authorized Agent Program:

Call at 800-846-3400 x1908, 

Email, or


Author: Holly Cooper