This is a topic of conversation that will always have people who feel freight broker trainings are effective and those who feel it is nothing that can’t be discovered through research and trial & error. Often, you’ll find that there are more people who are opposed to the idea of attending freight broker schools because they feel they are taught by unqualified instructors or are just trying to sell a pipe dream to anyone they can afford to market to, without considering whether or not the person will actually be able to survive in a brokerage role. Before determining whether or not you are in need of a formal freight broker education or not, consider if freight brokerage is right for you. If you do not feel you are someone that embodies the character traits below, you may be setting yourself up for an unpleasant career move. On the other hand, if the character traits below do sound like you, then full speed ahead!
Five non-negotiable traits you’ll need in order to be a successful freight broker:
Understand the concept of freight brokerage and logistics & supply chain
Know how to use software and are well-equipped with technology
Have a good business sense and be a relationship-builder
Be task-oriented, a problem solver, and be comfortable working under tight deadlines
Not be afraid of hard work and long hours
What freight broker courses will teach you
How to get a broker authority
How much does it cost
What paperwork is required
What kind of software is needed
Schools will teach you the basics of freight brokering, so if you know nothing about it, I would suggest taking a course or conducting your own research to determine if you feel confident in handling the workload that comes with it (believe me when I say it is quite the workload).
Most freight broker classes teach you about some kind of software system but it may not be the one you end up using. Don’t skimp on your software just because you’re familiar with one already. If there is a better, more advanced software out there, go out and get it. It will be worth spending the extra time (and possibly money) to learn it now so you can work more efficiently when it matters. Your customers will appreciate the benefits of a good software system to keep a good flow of communication and nothing really matters more than that.
How to select a credible and legitimate freight broker training business
Contact the BBB
Contact the department of education and see if they possess proper licenses
Read online reviews
Join a freight broker Facebook group and see if anyone has attended courses themselves and has any recommendations
Reach out to brokers to see if they have had any success hiring trainees from a specific camp
What type of learner are you?
Ultimately, the moral of the story is freight broker classes work for some people, but may not work for others. It depends on the learning style of the person looking to start their brokerage and how they best absorb information. If you’re a very structured person by nature, a freight broker class may be something to look into. If you’re more of a self-starter/learn on your own type of person, then maybe stay away from any formal training and do your own research.
Those who can’t do… teach
A common expression in the freight brokerage business, or any business for that matter is “those who can’t do… teach”. And unless the instructors of the course have been or are actively freight brokers with a measurable amount of success, you may want to double check what credentials make your instructor qualified to teach the fundamentals of brokerage. Especially since freight broker training classes/courses are typically not cheap and trust me, you don’t want a cheap broker training course. Good brokers know the value they bring to the table and know how to price access to their knowledge appropriately. If a freight broker training course is unusually low compared to others, general consensus would indicate to probably stay away. Another red flag to watch out for are courses that don’t have any on-the-job or live training.
Don’t lose dollars trying to save pennies
Saving money on a freight broker course is no substitute for getting the necessary insight that a new person needs when entering the industry. I would rather overpay for the right instructor(s) and get information that I can use in my daily work than to pay less and receive lesser quality. While there are many successful freight brokers out there, there are even more who have not had success and gave up on their because of it. If you’re going to invest in an education, you might as well get the best of the best.
Most people will tell you that freight broker course are a SCAM. This is a reasonable assumption considering that if a freight broker is successful, then they don’t have time to dedicate towards teaching a class that will just create competition for themselves. Freight brokers work to help accomplish the shipping needs of their customers, which often means you’re working through the night and on weekends (can be upwards of 100+ hours per week). Logically speaking, that doesn’t give much time to allocate towards creating a curriculum, marketing their course, and consistently hosting 3-5 day trainings.
Look into becoming a broker agent
Another common belief is that freight brokerage companies don’t like to hire people who went to brokerage schools or took courses because they don’t consider them real experience. A lot of what is taught in freight broker training courses consists of how to obtain a broker authority, insurance, software, etc. All of which doesn’t necessarily need to be learned if one decides to go another route and work for a 3PL company as a broker agent. By electing to work for somebody else, you forgo the financial and legal responsibilities of having to acquire these things. Since you’re not having to deal with all of the responsibilities and risks of a broker, they will typically implement some form of profit-sharing to ensure they generate a return on their investment into your business.
Become a Broker Agent with Eagle Express (No Profit-Sharing)
Some 3PL companies, like Eagle Express, are beginning to disrupt the industry. Their programs that do not require broker agents to share their profits at all. Instead, they’ll receive all the perks that other brokers offer: authority, insurance, bond, software, factoring, etc. while keeping 100% of their commission on every load they move. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but it isn’t. The cutting-edge 3PL company is not on looking to leverage broker agents to make huge profits, but rather to hire quality industry professionals that can appropriately grow and represent the company’s core values they’ve worked so hard to establish and maintain. That’s why Eagle Express only takes 5% of the invoice to cover all of the overhead of the agent’s business. AGAIN, this isn’t a dream and it is not too good to be true. Most brokers will give up at least that to work with factoring companies and nothing else.
If you’re wanting to inquire about being a broker agent with Eagle Express, submit an application on our website → Begin Broker Agent Application