Starting a Freight Brokerage Business
This short article gives you a run down of the things you need to know prior to setting up your own freight brokerage business. Gain insight on the industry and its rudiments. Know what freight brokerage business is. Know the skills and requirements to manage a freight brokerage business.
Mammoth is a word that best describes the range and scope of the freight industry as a whole.
Everyday, everywhere, asset owners mobilize their cargoes from point A to point B. In essence, the freight broker functions as a bridge between the shippers and the movers. They find means and ways to unite shippers and their load with carriers and their empty container trucks thereby enabling the transport of cargo from one location to another. As a reward for this effort, freight brokers receive a commission for every deal they close.
Becoming a Freight Broker
Some brokers get agents (contractors that act in their behalf) to work for them. Agents are useful particularly in cases where the geographic range of the brokerage operation is extensive. Agents are most often than not, home based. There is not much they require to start-up; a phone, a computer with internet connection, a fax machine and that’s about it.
Ask any freight broker and they will say that the best way to understand and learn the technical aspects of the freight industry is to gain some sort of work experience from a shipper, carrier, or both. Aside from acquiring a working knowledge of the trade, this will also help you beef up your network. Note that the key to success in freight brokering is the quantity and quality of one’s contacts.
Even better, try to secure a position as an agent since an agent’s job is very similar to that of a broker. The only difference is that the latter is the one in charge of the bills.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Once you feel that you have the necessary knowledge and you are ready to venture and start your own freight brokerage business, your next step is to choose your market niche. Tip: It is better to be prudent at this point.
Tailor fitting your marketing thrust towards a specific section of the market is a win-win for both you and your clientele. Your market will most likely get the service they need, at the same time this allows you to learn the ropes without feeling as though you are in over your head.
In choosing your market niche think about the types of shippers/shipments you want to deal with. Note that not all markets are the same, some are easy to handle while others require special attention—perishable commodities or oversized/heavy equipments for example.
Where, oh where?
The wonderful thing about the freight brokerage business is that you can run it from the comfort of your own home. The implication is that your start up cost is almost nil. Most freight brokerages began as a home based operation—eventually transferring to a commercial space after garnering a decent number of clientele.
When working from home, consider having a separate work area. This is infinitely better than working at, say the dining table, where surely disruptions galore. Make sure you have all the necessary tools and equipment within easy access. This will enable you to work more efficiently.
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