How to Become a Freight Broker in Louisiana
When new loads arrive at shipping companies, there may be a need for a responsible carrier to transport these loads to their destinations. Freight brokers use research techniques to make the best connections between shippers and available carriers, ensuring that both parties fit well together. Part of this job function includes the responsibility of communicating expectations clearly between carriers and shippers so that both are on the same page. To keep things running smoothly, freight agents will often work with brokers as independent contractors who communicate directly with customers and handle organizational responsibilities.
Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Louisiana
You will only be eligible to work as a freight broker in the U.S. if you meet national regulations. However, there are no statewide regulations to follow before becoming a freight broker. National law requires that you earn a high school diploma or GED and obtain a government-issued Broker Authority license before practicing.
In any career field, there will be multiple paths you can take to achieve your idea of success. Freight brokers can choose to enroll in post-secondary education programs, complete internships or apprenticeships, earn certification or find seasoned professionals who are willing to act as mentors. You may be able to build a lucrative career without taking advantage of any of these options, but that may not be the wisest decision. Taking advantage of the learning opportunities available to you could very well be the push you need to fast-track your way to success.
Louisiana Schools for Freight Brokers
Completing a training program is one of the most common ways that people decide to sharpen their skills. Each program below was designed with both new and skilled freight brokers in mind.
- Load Training offers ive-day, in-person training sessions in the cities off Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix. Areas of study include how to create a truck availability database, how to respond to inquiries from carriers and shippers, and much more. Online courses are also available and can be taken from anywhere in the world.
- Brooke Transportation Training Solutions also offers both in-person and online courses. Qualifying veterans are invited to attend courses free of charge, and all students receive assistance with job placement after completing courses. Training is available for new and experienced freight brokers.
- Freight Movers School is also based online, while in-person courses are available exclusively in Texas and Georgia. Areas of study will include brokerage basics and sales improvement.
Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Louisiana
If you wish to become a freight broker in the U.S., you will need to follow the licensing requirements set by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
To obtain your Broker Authority license (also known as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license), you will first need to register your company as a business. Next, you must obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number. Finally, you’ll submit this number, along with an application and application fee of $300, to the FMCSA.
Applications are typically processed within four to six weeks. It is important to note that all freight brokers are expected to carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.
You can become a Certified Transportation Broker if you are interested in earning official credentials. This exam is offered exclusively through the Transportation Intermediaries Association.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data in 2017 that stated that freight brokers in Louisiana earned an average hourly income of $18.45, or $38,380 annually. The highest paid freight brokers in this state earned more than $62,000 during the same year.
The BLS also indicates that there were about 520 freight brokers working in Louisiana during 2016. By 2026, this number is expected to jump to 600, signifying a 16.5 percent expansion in the job market during this 10-year period.
Working as a Freight Broker in Louisiana
Cities with high populations are the best places for freight brokers to work, due to the fact that these places will have large amounts of freight distribution. In Louisiana, these cities include New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
As people continue to shop online, the job market for freight brokers will continue to expand. Those who are new to the field will do best working at a brokerage company with a proven track record of success. After spending some time working with brokers who are experienced, you may choose to go into business for yourself. Doing so will require tenacity, resilience and confidence. Do your best to develop and refine these qualities while working for a brokerage company, so that you can begin your journey as an entrepreneur in a way that lays a solid foundation for your success.