How To Become A Freight Agent

09/09/2020

How To Become A Freight Agent

So you want to become a freight agent? How do you get started? What can you do to be successful in your new venture? Because of the reputation that the Authorized Agent Program at Trinity Logistics has, we are often asked how to get started in the industry.  We’ve put this article together to help you kick off your freight agent business. At Trinity, we only partner with experienced agents, but we understand the importance of being knowledgeable from the start.

Getting Started: Education

Educating yourself on freight brokering will benefit you immensely when it comes to opening an independent freight agency. Not sure where to begin? Let’s start with square one.

The best way to get started in the industry is to work side by side with someone already successful!  Working alongside another agent is a great way to gain experience. Having the ability to witness day-to-day operations will help prepare you for what to expect when you choose to open your own agency. Regardless of how many classroom and textbook hours you spend on transportation, nothing will prepare you like working in the field. Working for an agent, or as an employee for a freight broker to gain the hands-on experience needed to be successful is a common factor for successful agency owners.

An imperative part of your training is to know and understand all the aspects that are involved in the freight brokerage business. Sales, dispatching, claims, and more are essential to being able to provide customers and carriers the service needed to build a great business.

Enrolling in freight agent training courses can help you build on any knowledge you currently have, while also educating yourself more on new topics. Should you want a more formal education, freight broker training courses are available for you online, like TIA CTB (Certified Transportation Broker). Although these courses are helpful, you do not need them in order to get started in the business.

Plan Ahead

When you start your own agency, you are officially a business owner. That title comes with a lot of responsibility. One helpful tip is to formulate a solid business plan that maps out the goals of your agency. This plan should be an outline of the direction that you expect to take this business. Although goals are targets that are ever changing as you progress, you have to know where you want to be to know how to begin. 

Be prepared to do your research. We advise that you talk with your accountant about taxes, records needed, benefits of incorporation, insurance, employment laws, etc. Use your education and past experiences to your advantage to build a great agency. It’s always safe to plan ahead so that you are able to save yourself more time and money later on.

Partnering with a 3pl

After planning out your goals, doing your business research, and educating yourself on the industry, you are ready to partner your agency business with a licensed broker! While this is exciting, there are still a few more details you should take into account before choosing the best third-party logistics (3PL)  partner for your agency.   

  • Agency Support – To begin, you should look to partner with a company that has a support team with time to help you with individualized questions. You’ll also want to search for a company that has Agent networking opportunities within it. This will give your Agency the ability to foster new relationships and grow.
  • Continuing Education: Staying stagnant won’t get you very far in this industry. One of our own agents, Lyn Hollingsworth, said that her biggest tip is to remember that change is constant. Her advice is to never become complacent. Brokerage is fast paced and ever-changing. Work with a company that is keeping up with trends and doing their research on what to anticipate next. A company that provides Agents the opportunity to continue learning and growing is a company worth working for.

Finally, we’ll leave you with some words of advice from Lyn Hollingsworth:

“Never stop looking for leads and trying to bring in new accounts. This business is unpredictable and we can lose a customer at any time for any reason. Sometimes I’ll be super busy and think I have too many customers and too many shipments to move and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then suddenly I’ll have a really slow week and realize I need to get back on the phone! Somehow it all evens out.”

 Getting started as an Authorized Freight Agent may seem difficult, but as long as you are good at building relationships, multitasking, and solving problems, a career as a freight agent may be just right for you. Though we don’t take on new freight agents into our program, Trinity is always interested in talking with agents that have established themselves in the industry.

Looking to learn more about Trinity Logistics Authorized Agent Program?

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Author: Victoria Dalton