The 4 Steps to Starting a Freight Brokerage

As things stand, the freight brokerage industry is valued at $49 billion dollars but is projected to increase to $80 billion dollars by 2025.

The freight brokerage acts as the middleman between shippers and carriers, ensuring the shipment tasks are completed correctly and error-free through communication. However, a broker is still needed even though many shippers have established good relationships and communication with carriers.

All of this points to freight brokerage being highly lucrative. Follow these steps to get off on the right foot and continue to grow smoothly for many years to come.

Freight Brokerage: What Does It Do?

In order to start a freight brokerage business, you will need to have expertise in the industry. Freight brokers have many duties, but the most important one is ensuring that all freight arrives safely and on time.

A freight broker will: 

  • Choose reliable carriers;
  • Make sure shipments are safe;
  • Deliveries in a timely manner;
  • Communicate better with freight transportation services.

It is almost every company that routes freight of some sort may need your services as a freight broker, resulting in a higher chance of profit than doing other self-employment.

Plan Your Business for Success

Business planning is crucial to success, not only for the short-term but also for future expansion, since it outlines your service, how you will achieve profit, and your marketing strategy.

You might not be able to write a business plan by yourself. But with the help of a business plan template, you will be able to create a customized freight broker business plan that will ensure good beginnings.

Business plans are essential for entrepreneurs starting a business, but many entrepreneurs do not have one when they start, which leads to problems in the operations and management stages of their business.

Choose a Legal Structure

A newly founded business may be structured in a variety of legal ways depending on your current needs. If you want to micromanage every aspect of your business, a sole proprietorship is the best choice, but you will be responsible for repaying any loans you secured if the business goes belly up.

As an alternative, LLCs are the best choice if you want to minimize the risks associated with your business. Having said that, you should speak to a lawyer before deciding between these two structures, who can explain the benefits and disadvantages of both structures, as well as how each works.

In addition, if you do not have the necessary startup funds, you can always go with a partnership structure. However, you will not be an owner, but rather a co-owner, and your decisions won’t be as informed.

The IRS website has all the information you need to register your freight brokerage so that you can earn income legally. Nowadays, the IRS website is easy to access.

Last but not least, you must register with the Unified Carrier Registration. Registered carriers pay an annual fee of approximately $70 to $100.


In order to operate in interstate commerce, freight brokers must obtain brokerage authority from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This is the department responsible for regulating interstate commerce and safety.

Additionally, last year the FMCSA mandated that all freight brokers have a surety bond worth $80.000, which can be obtained through an insurance agency working with the FMCSA.

Business Growth

It’s never too early to think about expanding and growing your business once all the legal hassles are gone and your business is fully functional. When you provide quality services, you will always get new customers, but it is a good idea to go the extra mile and give them incentives to work with you.

If you partner with a digital marketing agency that specializes in freight brokerage, you can establish a brand that is recognizable among the many freight brokerages in the United States.

Spread the word about your brand on LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as your website, which should include pricing information and contact information.


With a solid business plan, you will be prepared for any hurdles you come across on your business journey. A freight brokerage business can be extremely lucrative but it won’t come without some challenges. 

Furthermore, making sure your company is legally protected is crucial to ensuring that your company functions as intended. Finally, when it comes to marketing, make sure you build a powerful online presence that is tailored to the needs of your business.

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