Before you start any new business, you may want to take some courses in business management. Good policies and business standards are constantly changing, and it’s important that you keep your knowledge current.
The business of freight brokering is essentially the act of working as an intermediary for the movement of goods on behalf of a client by a transportation firm. There is very little in the way of merchandise sold in most countries that was not shipped by way of truck. Haulage firms will pay top dollar to anyone who can connect them with clients. The clients also find it advantageous to pay a small fee to locate brokers to help move their merchandise.
Experience in the industry and a decisive business plan are key. Generally the experience can be anything from having worked as a truck driver, to simply processing administrative paperwork. The business plan is what is king.
There are four key steps you must take to start a successful truck broker business. First, you must determine the regulations and restrictions in the geographical area where you wish to work. The next step is deciding whether you intend to be a general brokerage firm or if you will aim for a niche market. The third step is locating carriers in your chosen area for your market. The fourth step is advertising your service.
Truck brokering doesn’t have as many restrictions these days as it had in the past. However, you should still check with your local department of transportation for guidelines on what you are allowed to do, state by state.
When it comes to working as an intermediary for shippers and transporters you must decide exactly with whom you wish to work. What are the needs in your area? For example, will you be aiding in the movement of retail merchandise or dangerous chemicals, or are you located in a large rural area that requires freight brokers for produce and agriculture?
Choose your niche wisely. If you try for too wide a market you may end up unable to deliver the necessary contacts. Shippers and freight carriers will look for someone with more experience in their specific markets.
Locating carriers to haul merchandise is simple enough, but will require a lot of time spent making phone calls and discussing the business. You have to sell the carriers on your ability to get them more work that is worthwhile to them financially and which will bolster their reputations.
Finally, you will need to advertise your company. There are many free methods of advertising, including flyers and posting in online forums. Other, innovative marketing methods are taught in online marketing and business courses. However, if you’re serious about this business the best methods include starting your own website and placing ads in niche-oriented periodicals.