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Do You Need Training to Be a Freight Broker?

There is a lot of conflicting information around the topic of training as a freight broker.  Should you go work under a brokerage to gain experience? Should you start by driving a truck? Should you go to school?  There are so many different ways we can gain information and experience, but what is the best way to get training as a freight broker?

A freight broker or agent does not need any formal training.  There are no degrees or certifications required to perform this work.  However, that does not mean one can be successful without some degree of freight broker training.

In this video blog we are going to put this question to rest once and for all and show you exactly how you should go about getting training as a freight broker or agent.

Do you need freight broker training?

Like we already established, the FMCSA does not require freight brokers or agents to have any formal training.  So, legally the answer is no, you do not need any kind of training to be a freight broker.

With that being said, Freight brokering and logistics in general is a complex and regulated industry, so to say you would be at a disadvantage.  

Freight broker’s need to learn a variety of laws and regulations surrounding the movement of freight and are putting themselves at risk for hefty fines and penalties not knowing them.

Because of this fact, it is highly recommended that if you have not gotten any formal training with brokering that you do seek some kind of assistance learning, whether that be from a paid class, a private mentor or a university.

Different ways to get freight broker training

There are a few ways to get freight broker training and set yourself up for success.  Some of these ways are longer than others and of course each method comes with its own pro’s and cons.

Working as an agent at a larger brokerage

This is the most recommended but least desirable way to get freight broker training.  This method involves signing on as an independent freight agent with a larger brokerage for a commission only position.  You as an agent receive back end support and some training from your “host” broker, as you learn to navigate the world of logistics in an independent capacity.

The Pros of this method are that you do not have any upfront costs to become an agent and do not have sole liability for any problems that may occur.

The cons are the learning process is longer because as an agent, you are still learning on your own.  You are usually required to sign some kind of a non-compete contract which may restrict you from leaving that company and taking your book with you.

University Training

As freight brokering is rising in popularity, certain universities have been offering freight brokering class programs as part of their curriculums.  Now, on the freight skills blog, we like to shoot you straight.  So we are just going to tell you that any of these programs are a complete waste of time.  Brokering can not be learned in a few weeks in a classroom.  Most of these courses are taught by people who either have never had success in brokering or never were a broker at all.

These programs are typically over priced and will often leave you with more of a hole in your pocket than knowledge in your brain.  

…Just don’t waste your time.

If you still feel like spending 2-3k on useless training to get a worthless certificate with a university’s name on it, don’t come back to this blog and say Luis didn’t warn you.

Free Mentoring

Free mentoring is the biggest scam plaguing the logistics industry. Let me tell you why because you are probably reading that and thinking “this guy is crazy”.

So let me explain.  

Seeking out free training is the biggest waste of time and money that you can subject yourself to. You see, the fact that you are not paying for it, is the biggest problem.  Here’s why.

  1. Free mentors have a habit of ghosting their pupils.  Why? Because they have no reason to answer questions.  Logistics is a very complex industry and no human being has time to answer a mentee’s day to day questions and problems about brokering.  It’s just not realistic.
  2. Free mentoring stops you from seeking real information.  When you are promised free mentoring, it may seem really attractive at first.  However once you make one of these imaginary deals with your “mentor” it is very likely that you will stop seeking anymore information from legitimate sources.  This puts you at a disadvantage because now, you are limited to learning only what your free mentor decides to teach you.  This holds you back.
  3. You can not hold yourself accountable with free mentoring.  When you pay for something, you pay attention.  It is simply not possible unless you have a supernatural level of discipline, you are much more likely to pay attention to something where you spent some money to invest in yourself.

Choosing the right place to invest in yourself, and the right people to invest with is the challenge.

A Self Paced Mentoring Program that Grows With You

Of all the mentioned methods of training, the best place to get broker training is with a proven broker coach and a continuously developing program that can answer all of the different questions and problems that arise on a daily basis.  

As a broker, you will learn very quickly that no day is ever the same.  Because of this, it is very important to have access to resources which will help you navigate these obstacles.  

On top of this, you need to have access to a broker coach who can confidently guide you through any problems you may encounter.

This is exactly what I have put together in the Freight Skills Academy

How to Vet Your Broker Coach

When vetting a broker coach to give you freight broker training, there are some questions you should ask them, and yourself about their qualifications in order to decide if they are right for you.

  1. Are they still in the industry: If you are getting training from a broker coach who is no longer in the industry, the writing is on the wall for you.  My question for all of these trainers is, “if you were doing so well with logistics, why don’t you do it anymore”  I respect that sometimes people pivot and do different things, but logistics changes every year, and if you are getting tutelage from someone who is not on top of those changes, you are at a disadvantage.
  2. Do they have a business you would like to have?  Before getting any type of training from someone, you should look at the businesses they have or that they had and see, is this the type of business that you want to build.  It is important because it takes reaching success for yourself in order to teach someone to reach that same level.  If you are getting training from someone who has a 10k/year brokerage, and you find yourself stuck to even get a load, it isn’t hard to pinpoint the issue.
  3. Do you vibe with their style? Every mentor/coach has a different style of teaching, and your like or dislike of that style will effect your growth.  It is important that a coach has a lot of free content so that you can get a sense and feel for their methods and style of teaching.  That’s why freightskills has a full youtube channel of free material that you can get instant results from.

Click to visit Freight Skills youtube.

Final Thoughts:

Hopefully this article helps you filter out the good and the bad when it comes to finding freight broker training.  While you don’t legally need any kind of training, it is much better for you to have somewhere to ask questions, get support and learn from. 

They say experience is the best teacher, but it’s also the slowest.  And while it may take you a while to find the right freight broker training for you, when you find something that works, it will be worth it. 

Now we may be biased, but at Freight Skills we created the number one freight broker training platform on the planet.  An interactive program and support community that is truly designed to grow with you.

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Luis Uribe

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