How to Become a Freight Agent

To become a freight agent, you need a customer base, relevant experience, an office, a computer, a phone, and eagerness to own your own business. A freight agent works with freight brokers under a parent freight company.

What is a Freight Agent? 

A freight agent connects carriers and shippers to move freight. A freight agent is an independent contractor who supports a parent freight company and works for a freight broker advantages. Freight agents work directly with customers as liaisons and sales agents. Freight agents find jobs for truck drivers and find truck drivers for shipments. 

What is the difference between a freight agent and freight broker?

Freight agents and brokers are often conflated or confused. The major difference is licensure and liability. A freight broker is licensed through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and is legally responsible for the cargo. A freight agent is not licensed or liable. Unlike freight brokers, freight agents do not have to be concerned with a client’s creditworthiness. Freight agents oversee the fundamentals of logistics. Freight agents also maintain client and employee relationships. To learn more about freight trucking agents, visit the First Star Logistics’ guide

Freight Agent Salary

Freight agent salaries can vary between hourly, annual, or commission. If the pay is commission-based, it is tied to the amount of money that the freight agent brings in for the freight broker. The average freight agent salary is just over $58,000 nationally; however, with commissions, the earning possibilities are unlimited. Even inexperienced freight agents can earn upwards of six figures with commissions and many advancement opportunities. 

How to Become a Freight Agent

To become a freight agent, a person needs to have the interest, initiative, and applicable skill set. Excellent communication, time-management, and organization skills are necessary to become a freight agent. While it is helpful to have existing relationships with shippers and some relevant industry experience, all a person needs to do is research freight companies, find the ideal partner, set up an office, and possibly hire employees. 

Can I become a freight agent without any experience? 

While many people have experience with transportation and logistics, experience in the industry is not required to become a freight agent. It is possible to become a fully independent freight agent. However, fully independent freight agents need extensive experience and connections as well as the appropriate licenses, bonds, and insurance. With the support of an excellent parent company, it is possible to become a freight agent without any previous experience. A parent company will have an extensive network of carriers and oftentimes parent companies have in-house brokers. Additionally, the parent company establishes most of the infrastructure and holds cargo insurance, issues credit, invoices customers, manages collections, pays the carriers, and oversees claims.

How does a freight agency work? 

Freight agents sell logistic services to the shipping customers, and the agents are invoiced by the parent company’s freight brokers. The customer receives all invoices and communication formally from the parent company, even though the freight agency is conducting the actual logistic work. The agency benefits from the parent company’s reputation and is kept safe by the parent company’s insurance. The parent company and freight agent usually split the gross margin and/or compensate based on commission. The policies vary between parent companies, and it is important to understand the details up front. Freight agents are paid as 1099 contractors which allows for flexibility and usually necessitates that freight agents work with an accountant to manage their business finances and taxes. 

Freight Agent Opportunities

The best freight agent opportunities offer high commissions, weekly pay, advanced software, nationwide services, an extensive network, a sign-on bonus, 24/7 support, and low customer saturation. Many freight logistics enterprises offer some of these perks, but only one company offers all of them. First Star Logistics is the industry leader in freight agent opportunities. With over 60 years of experience leading the freight logistics field, First Star Logistics is a trusted partner and employer. The company has a dedicated management team that provides training, support, and business growth opportunities. There are many benefits to owning and running a freight agency business. Very little money is required to open a freight agency business, the overhead is low, and with the right parent company, the earning potential is significant. Anyone can be a freight agent! Working as a freight agent with an excellent parent company ensures that you’re working with experts so every detail is optimized and executed to high standards. Work as a freight agent can be fulfilling, enjoyable, efficient, and growthful. To learn how much money you can make and take the next step with your career, connect with First Star Logistics today!