The movement of goods in the United States is highly dependent upon a wide network of coordinators, drivers and transportation companies. Many goods are transported through multiple channels, but most spend some time in a semi-trailer transported by a truck driver. Truck driver brokers make the connection between goods that need to be transported and the drivers who can perform the transportation services. Becoming a truck driver broker can be accomplished by creating your own firm, or by working directly for a transportation company.
Work for a transportation company. Most trucking companies, brokerage services and manufacturing companies rely on in-house logistical services to coordinate the shipping and transportation of goods. Each type of company has different needs based on their respective stage in the logistical chain, but the terminology, requirements and financial arrangements are similar and require brokerage abilities. You may need to accept an entry-level position in a transportation company to learn the basic transportation industry framework before moving into a full broker position.
Apply for a truck driver brokerage license. If you want to provide brokerage services independent of a transportation company, you must have a license granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to for brokerage authority. For standard brokerage services, you will need to fill out the Motor Property Carrier and Broker Authority application, which is known as the OP-1 form. Upon acceptance, you will be granted a motor carrier number. This is basically your transportation industry number.
Obtain insurance coverage. Independent brokers must have $10,000 worth of insurance coverage that is based on a surety bond or trust fund agreement. File your proof of insurance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to ensure your brokerage license is in good standing.
Become a process agent. To write transportation documents and act as an intermediary for goods, you must be a process agent. Process agents are the legal representatives for the transportation of the goods and are responsible for receiving court papers if any legal problem arises. Submit form BOC-3 along with a $300 filing fee to the Federal Carrier Safety Administration to become a fully licensed broker.
Find clients and goods for transportation and truck drivers who need transportable freight. If you have a background in the transportation industry, alert your contacts of your new brokerage services. Consider advertising your brokerage agency on freight load listings services, at truck stops and in industry newspapers. Once you have your first trucking clients, ensure efficient service, low downtime and competitive rates for all your truck drivers. If possible, try to secure routine loads with manufacturing companies or shipping warehouses and limit runs with no freight with one-off loads from freight brokerage websites.
Your brokerage services will grow through work-of-mouth advertising if you provide outstanding services and rates.