In our online world, we expect items purchased to arrive the next day or a few days later. Very few of us actually sit down and think about the logistics of getting parcels shipped internationally in a matter of days. A lot of work goes into this sort of thing and it’s a very valuable industry.
One of the key players in the international shipping trade is the freight broker. Without freight brokers, goods would be delayed, deadlines would not be met, and parcels would not get where they need to go.
But what is a freight broker? Well, the answer’s quite simple: A freight broker is essentially just a middleman, working between shippers and carriers.
They do not take possession of freight themselves. Instead, they facilitate drop-offs and collections with carriers, ensuring parcels are sent to the right places and carried by capable shipping firms.
It’s for this reason that you could say that freight brokers power modern businesses. International shipping relies on freight brokers.
This post plans to explain a few things that you may not have known about freight brokers and their jobs.
What Do Freight Brokers Do?
As mentioned in the introduction to this article, freight brokers are responsible for acting as middlemen, arranging shipments, and ensuring they are dispatched to carriers and then taken directly to customers on time.
A freight brokerage has a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, if they make mistakes, parcels could go missing.
Mistakes made translate to lost deals. Nobody is going to want to work with a freight broker who has lost people’s parcels in the past.
Freight brokers have to be right every single time and cannot make any mistakes in the course of their jobs.
Freight brokers make the lives of businesses and shipping companies much easier, as neither has to worry about working out complicated shipping routes and plans.
Instead, parcels are delivered directly to carriers, sent to their hubs for sorting, and dispatched out to customers.
Customers get their parcels much more quickly, too. Instead of having to wait for complex route plans to be drawn up, customers just have to wait for an experienced freight shipping team to get their parcel to them.
Shipping companies and businesses are able to streamline parcel deliveries thanks to freight brokers.
Can Anyone Become a Freight Broker?
In answer to this section’s titular question: Yes, anyone can become a freight broker. The global shipping industry is going from strength to strength.
More parcels are being transported internationally than ever before in human history.
People are ordering online instead of going into brick-and-mortar stores, meaning freight brokers are being given a lot of work to do! If you want to become one, first think about getting your freight broker license, then learn as much about the industry as you possibly can. Becoming a freight broker is not easy.
As mentioned already, the job is highly complex, and an entire industry relies on such individuals. Mistakes can be devastating.
Just like how the internet is powering modern business, it’s also making it easier than ever for people interested in specific careers to find work.
You can take an online course in freight brokering and learn about the different aspects of the job, as well as what freight brokers actually do.
You can then, after obtaining a certificate and a license, start looking for work. Always research companies you’re applying to work for prior to sending applications, just so you can be sure that they treat their employees well.
The Benefits of Freight Brokers
1. Save Considerable Money
One of the main advantages for businesses working with freight brokerages is that they save them considerable amounts of money.
Arranging transportation routes could be very expensive. Businesses and couriers no longer have to do this, as freight brokerages ensure that parcels are taken from A to B.
Of course, if you are a business owner or a courier company and want to find a freight broker, you need to do extensive online research and find one with good reviews, a solid online star rating, and lots of experience.
2. Save Lots of Time
Another advantage of freight brokers is that they save businesses and couriers a lot of time.
Throughout this post, mention has been made at various points to the fact that freight brokers save businesses and couriers the trouble of having to create routes and plans.
All they have to do is arrange for the broker to pick the parcels up and have them sent on to their final destination.
If you run a business or a courier company, brokers are the best people to get in touch with if shipping efficiency concerns you.
3. Shipping Expertise
It is a freight broker’s job to make sure that parcels arrive at customers’ houses on time. They therefore have a lot of shipping expertise.
Even couriers do not have as much expertise in shipping as the average freight broker does.
This is because freight brokers know about the industry on many different levels. They are used to negotiating with courier company bosses, e-commerce stores, and even low-level couriers.
Shipping expertise is something that freight brokers need in order for them to be successful, which is why they’re so good for businesses and couriers to work with.
4. Highly Efficient
It is not hard to see that freight brokers make shipping parcels much more efficient for retailers, couriers, and consumers.
Achieving efficiency should be the main concern of all business owners. By making their businesses more efficient, they are able to save themselves time and money.
Saving time and money means they can invest both of them into other things. Having more money to invest means businesses can focus more on marketing, hiring new staff, or improving their products.
5. Business Partnerships
When a business works with a freight broker, they get to make a lifelong partner. Making business partnerships is an integral part of networking.
Networking is how businesses are able to get their name out there and make new connections.
Freight brokers are able to put businesses and retailers in touch with shipping couriers, so they also get to benefit from making connections with new businesses they have never heard of or dealt with before.
A freight broker will be able to tell retailers which couriers are best in their area.
6. High Flexibility
Flexibility is something that you need to spend a lot of time thinking about as a business owner.
If you are not flexible, you are never going to achieve financial success. Being too rigid in business can be disastrous.
You need to be able to alter and modify your behavior according to the circumstances at hand.
One of the benefits of working with freight brokers is that they tend to be highly flexible, meaning they can adapt to your working situation.
They’ll be able to find you new couriers to work with if the ones they have recommended are not suitable and they will also be able to tailor their plans and prices to customers.
7. Parcel Deliveries
If customers do not receive their parcels on time, they are not going to buy from your business ever again.
People have high expectations when it comes to parcel deliveries nowadays. Most people want parcels to be delivered in a few days.
Very few people are going to be happy to wait weeks unless it is a large parcel coming from a foreign country.
By working with a freight broker, your parcel will be delivered exactly and efficiently.
You will therefore never have to worry about losing business because of slow parcel deliveries. If a broker’s delivery times are not quick, find another.
8. Minimal Shipping Errors
Ever had to arrange and negotiate shipping a parcel delivery to yourself, directly with couriers, you will know that mistakes happen.
Courier companies make mistakes quite often, in fact. This is especially true for couriers who work directly with businesses and do not go through freight brokers.
When you work with a freight broker, you never have to worry about mistakes being made again, mainly because your broker will ensure you are compensated if they do occur, and they’ll also oversee operations, ensuring that there are minimal errors.
9. Focusing On Other Things
As mentioned above, when you hire a shipping broker, you can focus your time and money on other things.
In modern business, marketing is absolutely essential. If you have not already invested money into marketing, perhaps now’s the time to.
Marketing can help you to spread awareness of your business and to bring it to the attention of consumers interested in your niche.
Make sure that you hire the most experienced marketing team that you possibly can if you are going to outsource marketing (and have not done so already).
A company’s reviews can tell you if it’s worth working with or not.
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The bottom line
Freight brokers power modern business. If you are a business owner and have to have parcels shipped to customers on a daily basis, you need a freight broker.
Freight brokering is also a great line of work to get into if you want a lifelong career that’s stable and has great options.