Why Do I Need A freight Broker?

It is conceivable to begin as specialist yet just like the case with anything, past experience, for example, time spent as a dispatcher would be useful in acquainting and understanding the intricate details of the coordinations business.Technically, per federal regulations, anyone can become a broker provided they are able to satisfy the following requirements outlined below. In order to get licensed as a freight broker with the FMCSA, these are the steps you’ll need to follow:

Steps to Become a Licensed Freight Broker

Establish a Business Structure

The first step to becoming licensed is for an applicant to determine how they want their company to be structured. It is highly advisable to consult with an attorney or accountant when making this decision, as they have the ability to weigh the positives and negatives of different business structures with the licensee. Whether or not an applicant decides a consultation is necessary, they will ultimately need to decide on one of the following three structures for their freight broker license:

  • Individual/Sole Proprietor
  • Partnership 
  •  Corporation 
  • Submit an OP-1 Form
    Once your business structure has been established, you’ll need to obtain a motor carrier number by providing the FMCSA with a completed   This is the initial application form that applicants submit to the FMCSA, which includes general business information (company type, name, address, type of operating authority, etc.) Under Section III for Type of Operating Authority on the OP-1 form, applicants should select either “Broker of Household Goods” or “Broker of Property (except Household Goods).” Applicants will also need to submit a $300 filing fee per each type of license they are applying for.If you are applying online for a motor carrier number, you can receive it immediately while those who opt to mail in their application may have to wait up to four weeks. The motor carrier number is required to proceed with the freight broker licensing process and grants the business officia l authority to operate. Once the motor carrier number has been issued, it is subject to a 10-day protest period. During this time, the application may be contested by another company. The applicant may continue the process of obtaining their freight broker license during the protest period.
  • Get a Surety Bond (BMC-84)

    Of all the steps involved for getting licensed, the surety bond requirement is oftentimes the most difficult. Many applicants are unfamiliar with surety bonds before learning they need one in order to become licensed. Additionally, the federal freight broker bond is also harder to obtain than other bond types. Approval for the bond is based on the individual applicant’s background among other factors since there is a higher degree of risk associated with the freight brokerage industry.

    Despite the confusion commonly associated with surety bonds, they are relatively straight-forward contracts used in many industries to ensure the entity that obtains the bond—the principal—conducts business in such a manner that they are compliant with all relevant rules and regulations. The obligee is the party requiring the bond and is able to make a claim should the principal fail to act in accordance with the terms and conditions established by the bond. The third party in the agreement is the surety, that issues the bond after receipt of a premium has been paid to them by the principal. The premium paid is a percentage of the total bond amount, which the surety guarantees to pay the obligee in the event of a claim. However, if a claim is filed and the surety pays any money to settle the claim, it is the responsibility of the principal—or freight broker in this case—to reimburse the surety for the money paid to satisfy the claim.

  • Select a Process Agent
  • The FMCSA defines a process agent as “a representative upon whom the court papers may be served in any proceeding brought against a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder.”

    In order to comply with every licensed freight broker is required to designate a process agent in each state in which it has an office and writes contracts. Once you have received your motor carrier number, freight brokers may appoint multiple process agents or they may opt to work with a company offering blanket coverage. This coverage allows one person to act as a process agent in multiple states. Regardless of how many process agents are appointed, the freight broker or designated process agent—on behalf of the freight broker—must complete and submit it to the FMCSA

  • Register the BrokerageTo start your legal operations as a freight forwarder, you have to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can consult the initial steps of the FMCSA  

    The registration with FMCSA actually entails obtaining an interstate operating authority, which is designated as an FF number in the case of forwarders. The applicable form is OP1-(FF)

    The best approach is to start your Restion online which will make the process much faster and easier . The fee for the operating authority application is $300.

  • Freight forwarders don’t need to obtain a USDOT number like most other freight professionals, but if you’re planning to operate as an interstate motor carrier, you will need to get one.

    After application approval

    When you get the approval on your application – called the grant letter – you will be provided with your FF number. You need this number to complete the next steps of getting your operating authority, especially for the insurance and surety bond, which are required. Even though you’ve gotten the number already, you may not start operations. You’ll have to wait until you receive the official registration.

    Once your FF number is issued, it’s published in the FMCSA Register, and any individual can file a protest against your registration within 10 days. Once this period has passed, your registration can be issued.

    In the meantime, you need to start the insurance process with your insurance company. You are required to maintain the following minimum levels of cargo insurance:

    • $5,000 for loss of or damage to property carried on a motor vehicle
    • $10,000 for loss of or damage to property

    The insurance provider has to file Form BMC-34 on your behalf within 90 days of the time when your application was entered in the FMCSA Register.

    You also need to get bodily injury and property damage insurance, plus environmental restoration coverage, in case you will operate commercial motor vehicles (CMV). Your insurance company needs to file form BMC-91 or BMC-91X on your behalf. If you don’t need that coverage, you have to select the waiver for it in the application form.

    Another step you need to take care of once you have your FF number is to designate a Process Agent for each state you operate in. You can do so by filing

what is a freight broker?

Cargo agents help shippers that need to move cargo from guide A toward point B by finding a bearer (trucking organization) that will pull the cargo for somewhat not exactly the shipper is happy to pay them… accordingly the term BROKER!

At the end of the day cargo representatives, now and then alluded to as burden agents, truck specialists, or transportation intermediaries, are for the most part center men that coordinate accessible shipper cargo with accessible trucks while winning somewhere in the range of 10% and 35% benefit per shipment.

What does a freight forwarder do

In short freight forwarders arrange for the transport of goods from one place to another. However, this process in reality is complex due to large amounts of calls and paperwork to be completed along with the regulations in place and the importance of maintaining low costs for you, the customer throughout the process.

Finding Rates

Freight forwarders first job is finding suitable rates for the customer using computer systems to work out the appropriate route for a shipment. It is important for the freight forwarders to take into account the potential perishable or hazardous nature of the goods being shipped as well as the desired punctuality of the shipment. The nature of the goods often dictates the cost of shipping, transit time and level of security to be applied.

Export haulage

The first physical stage is the movement of of goods to the forwarder, this is often a warehouse. The movement of goods to the forwarder is usually by road or rail. Forwarders often give you a choice of whether you would like this transport organised or if you will be organising it yourself. Both situations have costs involved and so it can often be simpler for the forwarder to organise this.
Export customs clearance

Customs formalities take place on all shipments. They are in place in order to meet the rules and regulations involved in global trade. The forwarder or appointed agent will organise the necessary documents and submit them the the relevant authorities. Customs clearance requires the forwarder or agent to have a customs license.
Alternatively, customs can be performed by a customs house broker appointed by you, the shipper. The customs house broker does not play any other role in the process but is the simplest method for clearing customs if you were not to use a freight forwarder.

Origin handling

There are many steps carried out by many different parties included in the origin handling. These steps are the responsibility of the freight forwarder or appointed agent. In short, cargo is received, inspected (tallied), planned for loading, consolidated with other cargo, stuffed into a container and moved to the port where it is loaded onto the ship.

Ocean freight

The freight forwarder and the shipping line has a contract of carriage for your container(s) and so the consignee is not subject to any direct interaction with the shipping line. The rate originally given to you the consignee will now be subject to multiple surcharges levied in the industry, such as bunker adjustment factor and currency adjustment factor.

Import customs clearance

The clearance of import customs can start before the cargo arrives at the destination port. Similar to export customs the freight forwarder organises the process. Export customs is a formality that involves the development of a declaration which is then submitted along with relevant documents which then enables authorities to register the customs duty on the shipment.
Import customs must be cleared before the cargo can leave the customs bonded area in the port of destination.

Destination handling

Almost exactly like the origin handling. This process involves the transfer of container from ship, unloading of the container and the preparation of the cargo for the collection by consignee to collect. The organisation of this stage is covered by the forwarder but it is important to note that the cargo will not be surrendered to the consignee until payment has been made. The payment can be made by either the forwarder or the consignee dependent on the terms of the agreed contract.

Import haulage

The final part of the journey is the delivery of the cargo to the consignee. This is performed by either the freight forwarder or a local transport company chosen by the the consignee.

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What To Gain By Becoming a freight broker?

  • No experience is necessary to get started!
  • Be a part to a $400 billion industry that is growing!
  • Run your business from home!
  • Very low start up cost!
  • Huge income potential!
  • Brokering doesn’t require employees!
  • Do business anywhere in the U.S. Canada or even International!
  • Easy to relocate, all you need is phone, internet and KNOW HOW!
  • You can always sell your business or pass it on to your family!
  • Easy and profitable add on to existing trucking operations!
  • And much more


An auto transport broker is part of the personal vehicle freight business industry chain. In the U.S., these broker companies must have proper licensing and authority from the FMCSA to be allowed to broker vehicles for customers. The individual or business that needs to move a car or other vehicle is the shipper; the shipper contacts a broker to have their vehicle shipped or transported. Once a broker is booked, the broker’s job is to find a carrier, which is the individual or company that actually employs drivers and operates the car transport equipment.

Brokers are employed because they have access to freight

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