Looking for a New Career Path? Find Out How to Become an Independent Freight Agent

If you’re looking for a new career path, becoming an independent freight agent could be the perfect option for you. Freight agents are responsible for arranging shipping and delivery of goods for their clients, and with the proper training and certification, you can become one too.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to become an independent freight agent.

Who Are Freight Agents?

Freight agents are responsible for the shipment of goods by land, sea, and air. The job entails not only getting the cargo to its final destination but also arranging customs clearance and tariffs/duties and booking a transport vehicle.

Freight agents work with cargo owners, shipping companies and transport providers to provide logistical support for shipments.

If it sounds hectic, don’t worry. The job does often involve a lot of paperwork and time seated behind your computer, you can do much of the work from home or your own office.

You’ll be working closely with freight brokerage firms while simultaneously managing your clients’ business, so good business and communication skills are needed.

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What Skills Do I Need?

To become a successful independent freight agent, you’ll need business acumen, an aptitude for technology, and good people skills. Freight agents need to build relationships with clients, suppliers and transport providers alike. They also need excellent negotiating skills to get the best possible rates for their clients.

Freight agents should have strong troubleshooting skills as things are likely to go wrong at some point. A problem could arise even after your client has paid you, so it’s essential to resolve these issues quickly and efficiently.

Additionally, you will need to be aware of all the regulations, costs and processes involved in getting goods transported whether it’s arranging sea freight from China to America or air freight from Europe to Africa,.

How Do I Become an Independent Freight Agent?

Before becoming an independent freight agent, you’ll need at least two years of experience in shipping or logistics, preferably with a company that knows the industry. You’ll also need a thorough knowledge of customs regulations and tariff/duties of importing and exporting products. It’s a good idea also to get training in business, logistics or shipping.

What Are My Employment Options?

Freight agents can work for a freight forwarder, an ocean shipping company, an airline, or as an independent agent partnering with a freight brokerage company.

They may also choose to specialize in one aspect of the industry. Freight agents may be involved in just one step of the process or contribute to it from start to finish.

Winding It Up

Good freight agents should be capable of arranging shipping and delivery of goods for their clients. They should also have excellent communication skills and the ability to work well under pressure. Additionally, you will need to be aware of all the regulations, costs and processes involved in getting goods transported

However, to be an independent agent, you will need to get the necessary licenses to practice, get experience under your belt, and possibly research markets to find suitable clients. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.