Over 70% of goods are transported from one location to the next, creating an ongoing need for professionals in the transportation industry. Over the last year, the freight brokerage portion of the marketplace has steadily increased, not only in the number of freight brokers in operation but also in terms of revenue generated. And despite some concerns over digital disruption in the space, freight brokerage businesses are slated to continue their growth well into the next several years. With more than 13,000 freight brokers currently working as transportation liaisons for customers and drivers, there are ample resources available to help sustain and grow brokerage businesses, all found easily online. Here are the top go-to online resources useful for freight brokers in this booming economy.
Blogs and eBooks
Getting into the freight broker business isn’t terribly difficult, but it does require some know-how regarding how to establish a viable company, how to remain compliant, and recognizing where the transportation industry as a whole is headed. There are several online resources that make this necessity a simple task through easy-to-read blogs and eBooks offered at no cost. One of the most helpful eBooks for new freight brokers can be found here , as it lays out the step by step process to becoming a freight broker, including legal requirements, training, and marketing advice. Similarly, blogs like this one offer thought leadership articles on how the industry is shifting and recent news that all freight brokers should be aware of.
Webinars and Podcasts
While written information is often helpful in keeping an eye on freight brokerage news and getting an idea of how to create and maintain a freight brokerage business, print resources aren’t for everyone. Fortunately, there are several webinars and podcasts that make getting information a breeze on the go. Cerasis has put together a short list of podcasts for industry professionals, which can be found here. In addition to some longer form content, LogisticDynamics offers several webinars directed toward freight professionals that are easy to follow along with and free.
Remaining compliant in an ever-changing industry is a challenge, but online resources make that task less daunting. There is a short list published here, but to get more specific, freight brokers can go directly to regulatory agencies to get the most up to date information. These resources often include the Department of Transportation’s website, USDA’s marketplace updates, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.
Freight brokers may also want or need a connection with their transportation community, and the Internet provides an easy way to see what others are doing to run successful businesses. Community forums like the Freight Broker Forum run by Truckers Report or the Freight Broker Agent Forum operated by Indeed are great places to start and connect with other brokers. Social media also has several groups focused on freight brokers, including this Facebook group. Each of these community forums is easy to join and simple to keep up with as new discussions get started.
Another cumbersome aspect of being a freight broker is finding the right leads to help the business remain active and profitable. Lead generation resources are available across the online community, including this annual list of truckload and less-than-truckload shippers along with contact information that has been vetted and qualified. Similarly, this site offers a more open forum for brokers and shippers to post and find leads in simple, fast way.
Being a freight broker requires some degree of business acumen, including an understanding of business structures, how to develop a business plan, getting access to affordable funding, and ongoing training to keep the business in compliance. If you’re just getting started as a freight broker, gathering invaluable information from the Small Business Administration’s website is a smart place to begin. There are countless articles about owning and operating a business, as well as interactive tools to help design and update business plans.
In addition to establishing sound business principles, freight brokers whether new or experienced may need access to funding to keep the business afloat. There are several factoring companies operating online that provide quick financing to freight brokers in need, many of which can be found here. Finally, ongoing training is a necessity in the freight brokerage business. Both free and paid training courses can be found online, all which provide varying levels of education to stay up to date with compliance and industry trends.
Working as a freight broker can be a profitable endeavor, even with today’s changing landscape of the transportation industry. However, it takes an understanding of how to get out of the gate quickly and successfully, along with ongoing support and education from top online resources to keep the business moving in the right direction.