Freight Agent?

by Matt Brosious

What Is A Freight Agent?

The answer is pretty simple. A freight agent is an intermediary between a freight carrier and shippers that need to move freight. Agents are sometimes independent contractors for a more prominent firm. They are also another name for the freight account manager. FreightCenter agents play a crucial role in the industry by coordinating freight movement from origin to destination. For the most part, Agents support the shipper. In short, they deal directly with shippers and do much of the leg work needed for a particular shipment.

FreightCenter Agents

The phrase “shipping expert” at FreightCenter is about one of our many freight agents, AKA National Account Managers. These are the men and women who review your quote forms, confirm that the carrier you choose is the right one for the service your shipment requires, make sure that any special services you’re going to need have been selected, and verify with you that all the information you’ve provided is correct. Freight agents make supply chains more efficient and effective by acting as your business’s virtual shipping department. Take a behind-the-scenes look at a freight agent’s day at FreightCenter.

You’ll be great. A Freight agent’s annual income can vary between hourly pay, salary, and potential bonuses or commissions. If the compensation is commission-based, it is based on the amount of money they handle or manage for the freight company or broker. On average, a freight agent’s annual earnings are around $60K nationally. Earning possibilities are unlimited. The profits can be more with commissions or bonuses. Even inexperienced account managers can earn six figures after getting bonuses. The earning potentials are limitless, and many advancement opportunities.

The Role

As an agent, the primary responsibility is to connect customers (shippers) with the most suitable carrier for their goods. Every shipment is unique and requires special attention to detail. Different carriers have varying requirements for shipping their products, and failure to comply can have severe consequences for your business, including fines and delays. For this reason alone, working with a logistics and supply chain professional is incredibly important. With the compliance issue being stated, accurate paperwork and documentation are also non-negotiable. Your agent will guide you on preparing bills of lading, customs forms, and insurance, among all other paperwork. Your carriers must know precisely what they are shipping, all the necessary details for their safety, and your shipment’s dignity. Your FreightCenter agent will ensure your shipment paperwork is completely kosher and error-free before submitting it. You can relax knowing that severe delays and fines can be avoided by partnering with our FreightCenter team for your shipments. 

As previously stated, agents work to connect shippers and carriers and are therefore also responsible for coordinating shipments. We help arrange the pickup, storage, and delivery and ensure clear communication. We relay critical information between shippers and carriers throughout the process, track shipments, monitor progress, and provide updates. Any issues or delays are communicated and addressed. Additional tasks include: negotiating freight rates, providing proper documentation, and ensuring shipment compliance. Working with a Freight Agent allows you to obtain the most cost-competitive rates. Agents have formed relationships with carriers and can work with them to lower costs without compromising on reliability or the overall quality of your shipping experience. Working with a FreightCenter agent will streamline your shipping process, allowing for efficient navigation amid a complex logistical environment. 

Personalized Service

Many freight brokers do not provide the personalized service of freight agents to work with all their shippers, including those who ship infrequently. Many FreightCenter customers choose us because of our unique combination of technology and real human intelligence. Freight agents work in two departments at FreightCenter, LTL (Less-than-Truckload) and TL (Truckload). Read more about the differences between these two departments in the blog post, Freight Quote Factors: Full Truckload vs. Less-than-Truckload.

Our account managers work in two departments at FreightCenter, LTL (Less-than-Truckload) and TL (Truckload). Read more about the differences between these two departments in the blog post, Freight Quote Factors: Full Truckload vs. Less-than-Truckload.

Building Relationships

Customers who ship regularly or semi-regularly soon learn the value of working and building a relationship with the same freight agent for each shipment. In an industry where details matter, and mistakes can be expensive, it’s essential to have a shipping expert on your side. You can reach one of our dedicated freight agents by calling 800.716.7608 or getting an instant freight rate quote (a freight agent will contact you shortly).

Do I Need Freight Experience?

Experience in the freight industry is not required to become a freight agent. It’s good to have some experience with logistics or transportation, such as knowing what freight trucks are and the difference between LTL and FTL. The exception would be if you wanted to become an independent agent and operate independently. As an independent agent for a parent company, you will need extensive experience, connections, and specific licenses and be appropriately insured and bonded.

How Does A Freight Agency Work?

Freight agents sell logistic services to shipping customers, and the parent company’s freight brokers invoice the shippers. The shipper or customer will receive the invoices and communicate with the parent company, even though the freight agency is doing the logistics work. The agreements vary between parent companies. The freight agency will benefit from its parent if the company’s reputation is positive. Usually, the parent company and freight agent split the gross margin, and the agency will get compensated based on the profit and revenue, or sometimes they will receive a commission. And it is vital to understand the details upfront. More often than not, they are treated as 1099 contractors. Being 1099 allows for more flexibility and encourages agents to manage their shipper business and be responsible for their finances and expenses, such as taxes.

How to Become an Agent

Being a freight agent is only for some. The person needs to have the applicable skill set to be one. Having interest, an initiative to grow your customer base, and excellent communication is essential. You must have excellent time management and be very organized. While one may think the most crucial part is having existing relationships with shippers and some industry experience, a person needs to research potential new shippers and be bold in establishing new relationships. To become a freight agent, you need an office, a computer, a phone, and an eagerness to grow your customer base and thus increase your business. An agent acts as the account manager to a shipper, often under a parent freight company.

Freight Broker vs. Freight Agent?

Freight agents and brokers often need clarification or clarification. The significant difference is being licensed and who has liability. Freight Brokers are legally responsible for the cargo on some level. For example, a freight broker is licensed through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). On the other hand, freight agents are not licensed or liable. Also, freight agents are less concerned with a client’s credit and if they can get credit approved. Freight agents oversee their clients’ logistics and are not challenged with the business’s back-end operations. Freight agents, in short, manage their shippers and the agent’s employees only.

Partner with a 3PL like FreightCenter

What’s a shipper to do to ensure a successful outcome? Partner with a third-party logistics company (3PL) like FreightCenter and get all the insight into how carriers ship your freight, including how they determine the shipping cost. Find the suitable carrier for the best rates with our extensive network of carriers and use our powerful TMS that streamlines the process for you.

Refrain from letting freight weight confuse you or keep you from shipping your cargo. Let our experts answer your freight shipping questions by calling us at 800.716.7608. You can also use our free online quote tool!

Why Choose Us For A Freight Quote?

  • Shipping Quotes anytime
  • Get Freight Shipping Quotes to anywhere in the U.S. & Canada.
  • Unbeatable discounts on your freight LTL, truckload, rail, air, and more
  • Automated Freight tracking, paperwork & invoices
  • Manage all quotes & shipments in one place.
  • 24+ years of logistics experience working for you!

Choosing FreightCenter

When you choose to work with us, you are choosing to make your shipping process seamless. Here are just some of the benefits working with our Third Party Logistics company will have on your shipping experience:

  • When you partner with FreightCenter, a premier 3PL (Third Party Logistics) company with over twenty-four years of experience within the logistics industry, you are choosing success. Over the decades, our team has dealt with nearly every shipment imaginable. There is no shipment process we cannot help you with!
  • FreightCenter employs a knowledgeable staff always willing to learn and grow with industry changes and advancements. We are ready to answer any questions you have throughout the entire process!
  • We act as the middleman between you and your carrier; you do not have to worry about playing phone tag with your trucker. Your agent will directly communicate with you and your carrier, delivering any necessary information or updates between you. 
  • We secure the best transit carrier and route for you at the best price. There is no need to spend hours figuring out the logistics or searching for a worthwhile deal. 
  • We make it easy to ensure your shipments by guiding you toward the best providers. Whether you need full or partial coverage, we have you covered!
  • We arrange the pickups and drop-offs while also making sure to track each shipment in transit. This ensures that you know where your packages are every step of the way! 

Now what are you waiting for? Call FreightCenter to set up your account and discuss your shipment. We are ready to answer your questions and provide solutions! Our team looks forward to partnering with you. 

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