Job titles can all sound very fancy, don’t you agree? They don’t really give too much of a hint into what the job we’re talking about actually is or what it entails, and in many general cases, job titles are designed to give a rather confusing overview of a position!
If you’ve done any research into the freight industry, you’ll know that this is about transportation of goods from one place to another, i.e. from a supplier to a customer, but when you add the word ‘broker’ onto the end of it, it all gets confusing!
No, this is nothing to do with insurance, but it is about liaison, and it is about organisation skills.
A freight broker is a middle man/woman, someone who liaises the transportation of a good from a supplier, i.e. the person selling the goods, to the customer, i.e. the person who has bought them.
A lot of the time, especially now that we are all buying items online, the customer doesn’t live anywhere near the supplier’s warehouse, so it can often mean long-distance delivery to get the goods, whatever they may be, from there and to the customer’s home.
Of course, in some cases, that can be an international deal, and that will complicate matters even further, because you have international customs and borders to deal with, and a lot of red tape.
For all of this to work smoothly, there needs to be someone coordinating everything – this is what a freight broker does. If you need a more visual explanation of this whole area, check out online sources such as Freight Broker Bootcamp, which has a tonne of advice and tips.
Overall however, the key functions of a freight broker are:
- To receive orders from suppliers, in order to transport goods to a customer who has made a purchase
- To liaise with transportation companies, ascertain availability
- To create a contract to ensure the correct and prompt delivery to the customer, as well as organising the rate which the broker will receive, as well as how they are going to be paid
- To confirm acceptable of the goods and to confirm delivery – good customer service
- To network for new transportation companies to work with
- To market their services to ensure new transportation companies want to work with them
- To remain competitive in a very tough environment
- To coordinate international deliveries (if applicable) and deal with customs and border paperwork
- To liaise with other freight personnel, to ensure the whole procedure runs easily
- To keep business records up to date and in accordance with law
Of course, every job has a few ad hoc duties which aren’t on this list, but overall, these are the general duties that a freight broker deals with.
No day will ever be the same as another, as problem solving is a key feature of a successful person in the market, as well as being able to speak to many different people on a daily basis, networking and organising for much of the day.
Is a Freight Broker Really Necessary in the Freight Industry?
You could argue that suppliers and transportation companies could save cash if they cut out the middle man/woman, and whilst there is some logic to that argument, the fact remains that someone has to organise everything, otherwise it will all fall apart, and there would be more problems than successes.
A freight broker basically adds a cog to the wheel, but it is a cog that needs to be there to ensure stability. Head online and log onto Freight Broker Bootcamp to see exactly how important the role of freight broker is in this whole industry.
This particular role isn’t the only one you will come across if you venture towards this as a new career, because there are specialised personnel who deal with certain other deliveries, such as import and export brokers; these are dedicated people who deal with the red tape of cross border and international deliveries.
Whilst as a freight broker overall you will probably deal with this, the import and export specialist is an important cog in any large business who deals with multi-national customers. Basically, this also ensures that there are no undue holdups at custom borders, because taxes haven’t been paid, or because there are any problems with the paperwork.
Any type of freight broker basically ensures a smooth transaction for a customer purchasing a good that needs to be delivered to them, be it locally, nationally, or internationally.