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. 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.
When we use the phrase “shipping expert” at FreightCenter, it’s 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 suitable carrier for the service your shipment requires. Make sure that any special assistance you need has 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 working day at FreightCenter. You’ll be impressed.
A Freight agent’s annual income can vary between hourly pay, salary, and potential bonuses or commissions. If the pay 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. The earnings can be more with commissions or bonuses. Earning possibilities are unlimited. Even inexperienced account managers can earn six figures after getting bonuses. The earning potentials are limitless.s and many advancement opportunities.
Many freight brokers need to coach and hand-hold their shippers. This hand-holding is done to build a relationship with the customers. It is also done to personalize the shipping service for them. Agents need to work with every shipper, even those customers who rarely ship or that only have a single shipment. Many FreightCenter customers choose us because of the unique combination of technology and natural human intelligence we offer.
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.
Customers who regularly ship quickly learn the importance of having 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.
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.
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 conducting the actual 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.
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 agents and brokers often need clarification or clarification. The significant difference is being licensed and who has liability. For example, a freight broker is licensed through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Freight Brokers are legally responsible for the cargo on some level. Freight agents, on the other hand, are not licensed and are not liable. Also, freight agents are less concerned with a client’s credit and if they can get credit approved. Freight agent oversees their clients’ logistics and is not challenged with the back-end operations of running a business. Freight agents, in short, manage their shippers and the agent’s employees only.