The rise of online shopping and the business-to-business industry has dramatically increased the rate of cargo shipping in the United States. Keep in mind this is an industry that was already enormous and vital to the economy. Now its importance can’t be underestimated. This has increased the need for freight agents to facilitate communication between shippers and truck drivers.
If you are interested in making a career change to an independent freight agent but don’t know where to start, let this article serve as a guide. Continue reading below to get a complete understanding of the average freight agent’s workday. If you see it as a potential fit, you can then start your journey to become an independent freight agent today.
Cold call potential clients
Working independently means you have to find your clients, although a good freight broker will certainly help you generate leads. You have to become comfortable being rejected and pitching yourself to succeed as an independent freight agent. This should be done multiple times throughout the day to build up a substantial client base.
Call clients first thing in the morning
Once you have your client base, you can start the daily process of the independent freight agent. It’s standard procedure to call your clients to ascertain their shipping needs first thing in the morning. During these hours, shippers finalize their orders and calculate their needs.
Your job is to call them and offer them available trucks and cargo space. If you have proven your delivery times, the shipper will contact you ahead of time.
Get relevant details from the shipper.
This step is crucial, as you will be relaying the information to the truck driver, and if anything goes wrong because it got lost in translation, you might lose the client. Ascertain all the relevant details such as shipping size, handling instructions, etc.
You will also ascertain the estimated cost of the delivery to pay the driver, gas, expenses, and yourself.
Reach out to available truckers
Once you have all the information from the shipper, the next step is to connect them with a driver. Over time you will build a database of reliable drivers that you can count on to get the job done. There are also internet forums where freight agents can post jobs to available truck drivers.
Use both of these methods to fulfill all your orders. Remember, accurate communication is vital, be very specific on what the job entails, and make sure your drivers know what they should be doing.
Keep in Contact Throughout the Delivery
The job doesn’t stop once the driver is in route for the delivery. You must remain in contact with them. Make it clear to the driver that they should contact you if any problems should emerge, as soon as they pick up the shipment and as soon as they drop it off.
Do it all over again
Now the process repeats, ideally, you’ll have multiple orders in the various stages of the delivery process. Being a successful independent freight agent means keeping busy, so you should be prepared for the constant communication between truck drivers and shippers. Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the daily life of an independent freight agent, and if it sounds like something you would want to do, contact a broker today.