A freight broker is an intermediary between shippers and carriers. They don't take possession of the cargo, but instead facilitate communication between the sender and the carrier to ensure that delivery goes smoothly and that the cargo arrives safely and on time. A freight broker is a transportation intermediary, meaning they don't own the cargo being shipped or the vehicles used to ship it. Instead, they use their logistics expertise to connect shippers who need their cargo shipped to carriers who have the capacity available to ship it. The job of a freight agent is to make sure that cargo delivery is cost-effective and efficiently managed through communication and execution.
Not all freight brokerage agencies or carriers are reliable and of high quality, so intermediaries connect shippers to carriers and then help navigate and coordinate the many moving parts of the supply chain. This provides convenience to each shipper, as it saves them the time they would spend directly coordinating and selecting a carrier. When evaluating a freight agent's performance, it's important to consider their skills. Freight agents must work to cultivate these skills, as well as ensure that companies comply with industry standards. This prevents shippers from finding carriers on their own, planning transportation and route logistics, communicating with drivers, and tracking their own cargo. Once a shipping agent has found a reliable carrier for your cargo, they will plan the shipment and manage everything from start to finish.
By using a network of regional, national, and international transportation companies, a freight agent is able to provide the truck and trailer capacity that each shipper needs to take their cargo to its destination. When looking for a freight forwarding agency, it's important to consider more than just brand recognition or who works in your region. A freight broker training course isn't required to obtain a freight broker license, but it can be very useful for familiarizing yourself with the industry and starting off on the right foot.