Freight agents work as independent contractors and manage the flow of goods. The work they perform is crucial to ensuring businesses have the items they need to remain operational since nearly all merchandise is shipped by truck. Those who are drawn to a freight agent career normally have certain characteristics that make them well suited for this line of work, thereby ensuring their success in business.
Before becoming an independent businessperson, most freight agents gain some industry experience working for a shipping agency or trucking company. This experience becomes invaluable when setting off on their own because they learn the ins and outs of the trucking industry. They will also learn a little bit about scheduling, trucking laws, and the types of carriers needed to haul certain goods. This knowledge pays off when starting a freight company since they will already be aware of any situations that might call for special equipment or scheduling procedures.
While working for a trucking company, many aspiring freight agents build up an extensive network of contacts. These contacts become valuable business leads once these workers strike out on their own. Since freight companies often find loads through word-of-mouth advertising or networking, having contacts in the industry is essential for anyone wishing to pursue a freight agent career. It can be especially important during slow periods when few postings are available on Internet load boards.
An experienced freight broker can be even more valuable if he or she specializes in coordinating the transportation of certain types of goods. Some goods that might need special consideration include refrigerated items, hazardous materials and oversized loads. Trucking companies are constantly looking for freight brokers who have expertise in handling these types of items, and will give preference to freight companies that have proven themselves to be industry leaders in those areas. Brokers who provide quality service and on-time delivery of specialized goods are also more likely to have their customers refer them to others.
Excellent Customer Service Skills
Part of becoming a successful freight agent requires having a good set of customer service skills. Communication between vendors and trucking companies is an essential part of the shipping process, and the freight broker is often the one who acts as a liaison between these two companies. Customers also appreciate agents who keep them informed of the status of their shipment and notify them promptly whenever unusual circumstances arise. Ensuring paperwork is in order and that contracts are signed promptly is another aspect of customer service that helps brokers gain and keep clients.
Freight agents should understand that establishing themselves in the business can often be slow going at first because they face stiff competition from brokers who are already established. With persistence, those who have the right set of skills will be able to overcome any obstacles that might be in their way, thereby ensuring their success as a freight broker agent for years to come. For more information please visit our website.