A freight agent plays an integral role in helping items to get from one point to another. The agent is an independent contractor who connects people who are looking to have freight shipped with freight shipping or transporting companies. This is an in-demand job, with the industry as a whole expected to grow over 5% from 2018 to 2028. As such, you may be looking at how to become a freight agent. Here are some tips to help you start your career as an independent freight agent.
Attend a Freight Broker Training School
If you’re interested in starting a career as an independent freight agent, you should look for a freight broker or agent training school or course. You can even find these courses online. These types of courses are designed to teach you the terminology that’s used in the industry and what you need to successfully work in the industry. If you plan on advancing and working as a freight broker, these types of courses can also prepare you for the licensing you need in order to operate in that position.
Talk to a Tax Professional About LLC Versus Sole Proprietor
Once you are sure that working as an independent freight agent is right for you, you should talk to a tax professional. There are tax benefits to working as a sole proprietor and there are benefits to obtaining an LLC for your business. A tax professional can explain some of these differences to you and help you determine which option is right for you. From there, you can go about obtaining an LLC and/or getting a tax ID number.
Obtain Licensing, Insurance, and Bonds
The next step in starting a career as an independent freight agent is to obtain any licensing, insurance, and bonds that you may need. It’s extremely important to note that the types of licensing, insurance, and bonds that you may need can vary depending on the city, county, or state you are working in. You will need a business license and you will need insurance. If you are offering strictly freight agent services, you likely won’t need bonds. But, if you plan on acting as both an agent and a broker, you will need broker bonds. You’re required to find out what licensing, insurance, and bonds you need based on where your business is operating and what states you do business in.
Join an Independent Freight Agent Network
At this stage, you now have all the training and requirements to start working as an independent freight agent. One of the best things that you can do for yourself when you’re just starting out is to join an independent freight agent network. These networks allow you to interact and communicate with others in the same position as yourself. You can learn together, share clients or customer information, and bounce ideas or questions off of each other. This tool can be invaluable, especially for those just starting out in the industry.
Start Advertising Your Services
The final step to take to successfully launch your career as an independent freight agent is to start advertising your services. Your business cannot thrive or grow without any clients or customers. You need to network yourself to both those who have items to ship and transport and those who transport freight and goods. As such, you need to strategically advertise without overspending. Creating a simple website and utilizing social media are two of the most efficient and effective ways to start spreading the word about your new business.
AI has changed many industries, and unfortunately, has left many people scrambling to find new employment as there jobs have been replaced by this technology. Fortunately though, there are many industries that are continuing to boom and where you can turn to if you’re looking to find an in-demand job that isn’t expected to go anywhere in the near future. One of these jobs is an independent freight agent. Follow the steps above to start on the path for your future and become a freight agent.