Freight broker training courses in Houston are a great introduction to freight brokering in Texas.
These courses cover the basics of freight brokering, including marketing to find clients, freight brokering software, and the freight broker licensing process. Essentially, all the knowledge someone needs to become a successful freight broker.
If you've ever thought about becoming a freight broker in Houston, Texas, here is what you need to know about licensing and freight broker training courses.
What Are the Prerequisites to Become a Freight Broker?
To become a freight broker, you will need a freight broker license and a thorough understanding of how to complete freight broker duties.
Freight Broker License
This license issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is required to legally operate as a freight broker. To complete the application for your freight broker authority, you will need:
- A USDOT Number: Obtained through the Unified Registration System on the FMCSA website.
- Insurance: Once you receive your MC number from the initial steps of the application, you'll need to obtain insurance. Your insurance company must file the appropriate forms on your behalf.
- A Surety Bond: Every applicant needs a Freight Broker Bond in the amount of $75,000. Keep in mind you will only pay a small percentage of the bond's total amount to get the bond. Get a free quote today.
- BOC-3 Processing Agent: Submit form BOC-3 (Designation of Processing Agents) to both the FMCSA and the State of Texas. You need an agent for each state you plan to operate in.
See How to Become a Freight Broker in Texas for detailed license application information.
Freight Brokering Knowledge
Freight brokers must know how to give rate quotes, build a network of trusted transporters, generate invoices, market their brokerage, gauge changes in the shipping industry, and much more. There are two main ways to gain this know-how.
- Experience: Hands-on learners often benefit from diving into another job within the same field —freight forwarder, dispatcher, truck driver, freight agent, etc. These jobs teach the ropes of the shipping and transportation industry and look good on a freight broker resume.
- Education: Larger freight brokerages often seek applicants with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as Business Management. However, there are no formal education requirements to become a freight broker, and many enter the field with only a GED. That being said, enrolling in a freight broker school or training program can give those entering this career a leg up in the industry. It shows potential employers an applicant is serious about becoming a freight broker.
Which Skills Are Required to Be a Successful Freight Broker?
It takes more to become a successful freight broker than a license—it also takes a specific set of skills.
- Communication Skills: A freight broker is the main line of communication between their client (shippers) and the transportation company. Knowing how to clearly and effectively communicate both verbally and in writing is imperative to avoid misunderstanding, communicate needs, and keep all parties accurately informed.
- Negotiation Skills: It is in a freight broker's best interest to negotiate the highest price with their client and the lowest price with the transportation company. Why? The difference between the two is part of how a freight broker gets paid. The larger the margin, the higher the profitability.
- Computer Skills: Much of a freight broker's time is spent on the computer. It is how they communicate with clients, using truckload boards and specialized programs to find transportation, track and trace shipments, etc.
- Financial Management Skills: This includes basic bookkeeping, invoicing, and generating rate quotes, as well as basic accounting to ensure the probability of a brokerage.
- Marketing Skills: Sales techniques and other marketing tactics are how freight brokers build client relations and their list of transporters. For those starting their own brokerage, advanced marketing techniques play into a freight broker business’ profitability, can help identify niche markets, and overall establish the business' corporate identity.
- Literacy Skills: Freight brokers are required to fill out paperwork frequently, such as carrier packets for trucking companies. Additionally, they need to stay on top of reports related to changes in transportation law and the shipping industry.
For more information and other answers, see What Does a Freight Broker Do?
Thinking of becoming a freight broker but missing some of the skills above? Don't fret! A good freight broker training program can help you fill in the gaps. Continue reading for our top recommendations.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Freight Broker License in Houston, Texas?
On average, it costs upwards of $2,000 to get a freight broker license in Houston, Texas. See a breakdown of freight broker licensing costs below.
$300 – Freight broker license application fee
$400 -$2,000 – Business insurance
$750 - $3,750 – Freight Broker Bond
If you opt to do freight broker training school, it will cost an additional $1,000 - $3,000 (price varies for across schools and course formats).
How Long Does It Take to Become a Freight Broker?
It takes approximately 2 - 3 months to become a freight broker.
Factors that affect the length of this process include:
- Freight Broker Training Course: These elective courses can help get your career off the ground and run a couple of months on average (with some being study-at-your-own-pace). If you want to enroll without delaying your freight broker licensing, apply for the license while taking the course. If you time it right, you can have your license by the time you complete the course and be ready to jump into your new career.
- Paper vs. Online Application: When applying for your Texas freight broker license through the FMCSA, the online application processes much quicker. This application will email you an MC number within a day to proceed to the next step in the application. In contrast, your MC number with a paper application takes 4-6 weeks to arrive in the mail.
- Employment Type: If you decide to open your own brokerage, you'll need time to get your business up and running (business registration, sourcing equipment, finding clients, building a network of transports, etc.). Whereas working for an existing brokerage, you won't need to worry about these tasks.
How Much Does a Freight Broker Make in Houston, Texas?
Freight brokers in Houston, Texas have a salary of $45,000+ on average. Freight brokers with superb negotiation skills or those that run their own brokerage tend to make more.
Want to know how freight broker salaries in Texas compare to other states? Check out our Freight Broker Salary Guide.
What Are the Top Schools to Train for Freight Broker Jobs in Houston?
Texas Tech University
Offers an array of top-rated freight broker training programs, including Spanish freight broker training, a basic course, and an advanced course. As far as course delivery, they offer in-person, virtual, and online freight broker training.
Atex Freight Broker Training
Their live training is in El Paso, but they also offer home study, self-paced internet, and telephone courses. You'll learn through a combination of videos and a training manual. Plus, you'll get handouts—some of which you can customize to use in your business.
University of Houston
This freight broker course is perfect for those with busy or unpredictable schedules. It is 100% online, at your own pace, and covers both freight broker training and freight broker agent training.