A day in the life of a freight broker

Freight brokers are a crucial part of the global shipping industry. By connecting shipping customers and carriers, freight brokers facilitate deliveries to ensure that goods reach their final destination. But what does a successful freight brokering agent do in their day-to-day routine? Here’s a look at a day in the life of a freight broker.

What is a freight broker? 

Freight brokers serve as an intermediary between shipping clients and the truck drivers that carry their product. They work with a network of carriers to find available trucks and get their clients’ loads to their destination on schedule. Freight brokers handle the logistics and scheduling of each shipment, and they negotiate rates as well. 

Freight broker work environment and schedule

Freight brokers typically work in dynamic and fast-paced environments, typically in an office setting. Some freight brokers run their own businesses and work for themselves, while others work for established brokerage firms. Many freight brokers work from home, as the demands of the job can easily be handled over the phone and internet. Their work schedules can vary, with many brokers working regular business hours from Monday to Friday. However, due to the nature of the industry, flexibility is essential and many start work early in the day to get shipments out as efficiently as possible. Start times usually range between 7:30 and 9 AM. Brokers may need to accommodate different time zones, urgent requests, and unforeseen challenges that arise during transportation. This can result in occasional early mornings, late evenings, or weekend work to ensure smooth operations and client satisfaction.

Day in the life of a freight broker

Freight brokers tackle a variety of challenges throughout the day. Here’s what a typical schedule looks like:

Start by checking your phone and email

The first order of business for any freight broker is to check whether clients have left any voicemails or emails regarding shipments. Shipping emergencies sometimes happen overnight, and you’ll need to address these before you get started for the day. 

Reach out to shipping customers

The next step is to reach out to the retailers and manufacturers you work with to see what their shipping needs are for the day. These calls are an opportunity to confirm existing loads and schedule any new ones that have arisen. 

Post loads online

Once you know which loads need to be scheduled for the day, you’ll need to post those loads online to find drivers for them. The easiest way to do this is by using a transportation management system, or TMS, to assign loads to drivers already in your network. You can also use broker load boards to find new drivers. 

Book carriers for the day

After posting your loads online, you’ll typically spend an hour or two finalizing carriers for them. Brokers juggle calls and messages from multiple carriers negotiating prices, talking through key details, and confirming the shipments. This needs to be done relatively early in the day to ensure that shipments go out on time. 

Work on lead generation and prospecting

A good freight broker is always growing their business. Once you have your loads set up for the day, it’s time to work on generating leads and reaching out to them. This is also a good time to assess your current marketing strategies and make improvements. 

Check in with your carriers and update your clients

Once your loads have left, it’s important to check on them periodically throughout the day and provide your clients with status updates when necessary. An easy way to do this is by using driver GPS trackers, which are often included in TMS systems. Providing updates for your clients helps build trust, and it also gives you the opportunity to correct any problems as soon as they arise. 

Getting started as a freight broker

In order to become a successful freight broker, you’ll need strong organization and problem-solving skills, and you’ll need to be able to juggle a variety of tasks at once. You’ll also need to be able to communicate clearly and navigate many different types of shipping technology. If you’re working for yourself rather than a large brokerage, you’ll also need to handle your own sales and marketing (if you’re looking for some tips, check out this post on 5 marketing strategies you need for your trucking business)

It's important to note that there is no specific education required to be a freight broker. A college degree might be helpful, but it isn’t necessary. If you’re looking for further education, there are freight broker training schools on the market to help you learn skills specific to the industry. 

The bottom line 

Whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience as a freight broker, a TMS system will help you manage every aspect of your operations, from quoting to scheduling shipments to customer service. If you’re ready to streamline your trucking business, be sure to check out Rose Rocket, the #1 rated TMS on the market. 

More from Rose Rocket

unlock the fulL Potential
of your business with platform

Join our network of 100,000+ brokers & carriers for free today.

Get started free

Insights to your inbox

Get the best and latest in trucking management delivered straight to your inbox!

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

You can unsubscribe any time, no hard feelings. Privacy policy.