Freight Brokerage has the potential to yield high annual revenues with exciting profit margins!
Depending on various factors, including number of customers, volume of shipments, and profitability on those shipments, a freight broker can make between $50,000 (inexperienced) and $500,000 (very experienced) per year.
1-3 Years Experience: $50,000 - $100,000
4-6 Years Experience: $100,000 - $250,000
7-10 Years Experience: $250,000 - $350,000
10+ Years Experience: $400,000+
Factors that affect Broker compensation
Aside from experience alone, there are other contributing factors that play a role in how much freight brokers are compensated. Here are some of the most common things that will impact earnings for a broker:
Freight Agent Compensation
If you are interested in being involved in logistics but don’t want all of the responsibility of running your own company, there is a solution for you. By working for a brokerage, you can use their insurance, bond, and authority in exchange for a percentage of your revenue or profits.
A freight agent has the same job description as a broker, minus the headache of dealing with the day-to-day operations of the business. Due to these requirements, logistics professionals often turn to a position of lesser responsibility as an independent freight agent.
As an agent, you are not required to have a license and do not assume any risk of the client’s creditworthiness. You also are not required to have a bond, since your broker would be the one responsible for collecting/administering payment.
However, a broker is likely going to require some percentage of your revenue/profits, so it is a worthwhile investment for them to cover operational costs of having you on board. Aside from that, freight agents have the same tasks and responsibilities as a broker, they just mitigate the risk.
Freight Broker Agents can expect to earn somewhere in the realm of $25,000 - $50,000 (inexperienced) or $100,000 - $250,000 (very experienced) per year.
1-3 Years Experience: $25,000 - $75,000
4-6 Years Experience: $75,000 - $150,000
7-10 Years Experience: $150,000 - $250,000
10+ Years Experience: $250,000+
In most cases, brokers will seek out agents that work independently, where they are not obligated to pay the agent a base salary.
These agents often accrue a higher income, for they are granted much more aggressive commission splits, to compensate for the lack of base salary.
Freight Agent Commission Split
According to Freight Tec, companies within the industry offer commission splits that range from 25 – 70% being paid to the agent.
The amount of commission varies depending the third-party logistics company/freight broker you work for and how they structure their agent’s compensation. More often than not, companies will supply their Independent Agents within the ballpark of 50-65% commission. The compensation figure usually depends on company size, whether or not company is asset-based, and how many agents they already have in the field.
For example, Landstar is an asset-based broker with a large number of Freight Broker Agents working for their company. It is because of these factors that Landstar likely offers their agents a commission split that is on the lower spectrum of that range. Although the agent takes a lower commission, the upside is having the ability to put a customer’s freight onto one of their company-owned trucks rather than brokering the load out to a separate carrier (some customers only work with asset-based brokers).
On the other hand, working with a non asset-based broker of a smaller scale can often yield more aggressive profit-sharing compensation programs because they don’t have the massive overhead like that of a C.H. Robinson or a Landstar.
You can often expect a commission split between 60-75% depending on the company and how they developed the compensation structure.
Crack the top 10% in earnings
If you’re looking to become or already are a freight broker, you’re typically looking to earn as much money as possible within the scope of your capacity.
I can assure you that being in the top 5-10% of freight brokers in terms of revenue for your size company, will make the long hours and hard work worth it.
Ultimately, it depends on the experience, availability, and work ethic of the agent. To increase your customer base, check out these strategies to increase your customer pipeline by working on leads with a high rate of conversion!
Freight Broker Demand
The rapid growth cycle of the logistics industry has led to a rise in the number of freight broker agents. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will grow by 29% by the end of the decade, which is over double the 14% growth rate for other jobs.
With the increase in popularity within the position, there are often questions from people working in other fields about how to break into the industry.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple. For those who have been in the industry for a large portion of their professional careers, you can attest to this.
The world of freight brokering is very different from a traditional business setting, with lots of technology and jargon that must be thoroughly comprehended before committing to a career as a freight agent.
All the freight broker courses and training provide you with general knowledge of the tasks required for a freight broker/agent but cannot portray the level of persistence necessary to obtain shippers, know when to adjust rates to accommodate for market fluctuations, or when to get tough during negotiations with carriers to protect your profits.
Logistics Account Executive Salary
Like the idea of developing new business but don’t want to have to manage the entirety of your operation? Become a Logistics Account Executive and enjoy the freedom of being out in the field building a book of business!
According to a list of salaries from Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Logistics Account Executive that’s salaried will likely make around $3,500 – $7,000 in salary per month. In addition to salary, account executives may sometimes earn a commission or bonus off each load that is booked.
In my professional experience speaking with employees in this type of role, a commission could range between 5 – 25% commission per load they have moved (depending on overall compensation structure).
If an Account Executive has customers that are moving freight at a high volume, then there is room for bonuses/commissions to help pad the income a bit more. However, the more volume they are doing, the lower the actual commission percentage is per shipment that is covered.
Logistics Account Executives in the industry are earning somewhere between $55,000 - $125,000 per year.
Work Within Your Capabilities
As stated previously, there are a lot of different factors that can affect the income of a freight agent. One of the biggest factors is the compensation breakdown, which is ultimately decided by the broker.
The highest, most accommodating compensation plan is going to be the one that benefits you the most. Size, assets, and the company’s business model all play a role in determining the commission structure for agents.
A large, asset-based company can usually get away with paying their agents a lower commission because of they offset it with the trucks, a reputable name, and hefty financial backing.
As an agent, this may impede on some of your profits, so be sure to evaluate what is going to be the most beneficial to the financial health of your business.