How to Become a Freight Broker in Rhode Island

Freight brokers are often a necessary component in the shipping process. When an item is ready for transport, carriers are responsible for getting the item to its intended destination. Freight brokers are expected to make strategic connections between shipping companies and available carriers. While an item is in transport, it is the freight broker who will communicate back and forth between the carrier and shipper, making sure the item arrives safely and on time. Typically, freight agents will assist in this process, working as independent contractors who handle more of the customer-facing components of the business.

Requirements for Becoming a Freight Broker in Rhode Island

To work as a freight broker in the U.S., you must follow national regulations. These regulations require all freight brokers to earn a high school diploma or equivalent and then obtain a government-issued Broker Authority license (also known as a Motor Carrier Operating Authority license). There are currently no state regulations in place for this career field in Rhode Island.

While there are no requirements to complete a post-secondary education program or earn certification, both of these options could be beneficial to the aspiring freight broker in many ways, including a possible increase in earnings. Additionally, choosing to complete an internship program could help sharpen your skills and prepare you for a rewarding career.

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Rhode Island Schools for Freight Brokers

Whether you complete a training program before applying for your license is up to you. If you feel it will help you achieve your career goals, consider one of the programs below:

  • Freight Broker Boot Camp is based entirely online and helps aspiring freight brokers develop the skills necessary to enter the field within just 30 days. For a payment of $98, students receive six months of full online access to training articles, financial strategies, workflow diagrams, negotiating methods and much more.
  • Brooke Training offers ourses both in-person and online. Veterans who qualify are invited to attend courses free of charge. Each student will also receive job placement assistance upon course completion. Areas of study consist of both basic and advanced brokerage techniques.
  • Freight Movers School also offers both in-person and online courses. New freight brokers will take the course on brokerage basics, while those who are advanced will take the course on improving sales. In-person courses are currently held only in Texas and Georgia.

Certifications for Becoming a Freight Broker in Rhode Island

After you’ve earned your high school diploma or GED, you will need to register your company as a business before applying for your license. Next, you will obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation number, which you will submit to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You will also need to submit an application and $300 application fee. After four to six weeks, you will know whether or not your application has been approved.

Keep in mind that all licensed freight brokers are required to carry a $75,000 surety bond at all times.

Those who are interested in earning certification may want to sit for the Certified Transportation Brokers exam, which is administered by the Transportation Intermediaries Association. This certification is completely voluntary.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

Freight brokers employed in Rhode Island earned an average hourly income of $24.28, or $50,510 per year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from 2017. If you wish to be among the highest paid freight brokers in this state, you can expect to earn more than $64,000 per year according to the same data.

BLS data also indicates that there will be 7 percent national growth in the job market for freight brokers during the 10-year period between 2014 and 2024.

Working as a Freight Broker in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the most densely populated city is Providence. This is the city where the highest paid freight brokers in the state will be found working. Due to its large population, this city will see more freight distribution than any other city in Rhode Island.

Freight brokers may work for existing brokerage companies, or they can choose to begin by starting their own brokerage. Cold-calling may be involved in order to create a strong database of shipping companies and carriers, and you’ll also have to sell yourself as a valuable asset to prospective clients. For this reason, working directly under an experienced broker may be ideal for those who are new to the field. No matter what you choose, be prepared to have some tenacity and resilience in order to succeed in this industry.