Becoming an independent freight agent is a great way to be your boss and make money working from home. Many people would love to work as freight agents for a company, but they don’t know how to get into the industry.
You may not know how to become an independent freight agent. How do you find clients? How do you prove yourself worthy of their business? How do you navigate the work process?
Keep reading to understand who independent freight agents are, what they do, and how to get started on your career as an independent freight agent.
Who Are Independent Freight Agents?
When most people think of freight, they imagine big trucks. However, many companies work with freight agents who use their cars to transport goods for businesses.
As an independent freight agent, you can offer your services to a different industry or even work for one company at a time. The job duties will vary depending on whether you work for one company or offer your services to different companies.
What Do They Do?
The duties of an independent freight agent vary greatly. Some people work for themselves, and others work for a single business. Freight agents that work for themselves work by offering their services to different companies with shipping needs.
The most common kinds of freight include furniture, appliances, and clothing. A freight agent may pick up items from other businesses or warehouses and deliver them to clients who purchased them.
Sometimes companies will hire courier services to transport goods that are smaller than a truck can handle. Other times, independent freight agents will be employed by courier companies to transport these smaller shipments themselves. Freight agents also pick up and deliver larger shipments to businesses that don’t have the equipment available to handle them.
Here are the top 3 steps to know about becoming an independent freight agent.
1. Prepare for Your Freight Agent Training
Before you sign up to be an independent freight agent, you should prepare yourself for your training. You will need to know how to drive a standard and manual transmission. Most companies that offer training will teach new agents the fundamentals of freight transportation and how it works.
There is also more advanced training that can be learned depending on what company hires you. These classes may include safely operating commercial vehicles, DOT regulations, and the importance of loading and unloading goods correctly.
2. Apply For Broker Authority
Freight agents need to apply for broker authority. If you are already an independent contractor, this step may not be necessary. Some companies will hire freight agents who have insurance and authority to drive company vehicles. Once you receive your jurisdiction, you can contact different businesses that offer shipping services.
3. Get Some Certification
Even if you have your authority, business owners will likely want their agents to be certified. Becoming a Certified Professional Logistics Associate gives independent freight agents the tools needed to excel in this industry.
You can get your certification by taking a nine-hour course that will walk you through different laws and procedures you need to know about when working in the industry. With this certification, businesses will trust you because you have passed a test that verified your knowledge.
To Sum It Up
Freight agents play an essential role in keeping companies moving. It’s not hard to find work in this field, but finding the right freight agent job can be challenging. Start by preparing yourself for your training and broker authority; then, you can start applying for jobs.