Freight brokerage is the business of moving cargo from ports and dry docks all over the world. This is important as it is an essential leg of commerce as goods are transported across countries to consumers who are willing to pay good money for them. Freight brokers and agents make their living on the commissions earned from clients they find. Successful ones earn quite a bit. Becoming successful, as a freight broker, requires a lot of hard work, patience, information gathering, and aggressively tracking down possible leads. With a good work ethic and if you’re good at negotiation, you may consider a career as a freight broker.
Ask any successful freight broker and he’ll tell you the same thing: clients or customers are important because they’re the ones who’ll earn your commissions from. Below are a few helpful tips on how to track down possible clients or customers.
- Target market. The first thing to do is to identify the market you will be servicing. You have to figure out what kind of load / shipments you feel you can be enthusiastic working for and target that market. Basically, you’ll be specializing with that particular shipment and/or companies. Work hard enough and you’ll become well known in that field and become valuable to the companies you service and to their competition.
- Area considerations. Consider where you will be based before knowing which commodities or products you’ll want to move. Take a look around your area and learn which commodity is being produced and consumed in profitable amounts. Example if you live close to forests, you may want to get into moving lumber and building materials. If you’re close to mines, you should get into moving ores and minerals.
- Familiarize freight. There are many kinds of freight out there that have specific requirements to the goods being shipped. Conditions like refrigeration, dry van, flat bed and others make sure that the goods get to the consumers in pristine condition. You also have to be familiar with weight restrictions, transport conditions, routes, and other related issues when moving goods. After you decide what you will specialize in, you have to learn the conditions/requirements of transport before you can convince shippers and manufacturers that you’re the person they need to move their product.
- Make connections. Try to come up with a list of connections in the industry you’ve chosen to move products for. Attend industry parties, introduce yourself to CEOs, befriend employees, talk to suppliers of these companies, and do anything you can to build a network of contacts that could tip you off to opportunities. Making business connections without being too obvious in your intentions is a subtle art. Refine your technique in winning their confidence and trust. If companies are convinced that you have their company’s best interests at heart instead of the hefty commission you’ll earn from moving their product they may turn to you for their freight requirements.
Making your fortune as a freight broker isn’t as complex as it’s made out to be. As long as you’ve got good work ethic, generally likable and pretty sharp when it comes to business, you should be successful.