How to Become a Freight Broker in Pennsylvania


Freight brokers can earn substantial income through commissions on the freight they manage to move.  Freight broker is a versatile role that requires a range of different skills.

Education & Training

To get started in this role, consider one of the online training courses below:

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Get information on Freight Broker/Agent Training programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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How This Course Can Benefit You

You will gain invaluable industry insight and you will learn how to create a successful brokerage for yourself.  This information is especially valuable to those with little or no experience in the industry.

Graduates are invited to attend an exclusive brokers presentations event that connects you with opportunities in other agencies.

What Do You Learn?

  • Industry basics
  • Starting your own company
  • Business goals
  • Shipper and carrier packet set up
  • Software for operations management
  • Freight markets
  • Laws you need to know
  • Carrier and shipper contracts
  • Insurance
  • Accounting & records
  • Quoting jobs
  • Relationship development
  • How market and sell yourself
  • Negotiation

How Long is the Course?

It is 100 hours which can take 3 to 6 months depending on quickly you study.

How Much Does it Cost?

$1,900 which can be financed if needed.

monthly payment options

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Requirements for a Freight Broker License in PA

While there is no state-specific freight broker license in PA, all brokers must have a federal license through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

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After you complete your chosen training program, take the following steps to get the proper licensure for a freight broker job:

  1. Complete a Unified Registration System application to receive a U.S. Department of Transportation number.
  2. Purchase a Trust Fund Agreement (BMC-85) for $75,000.00 or a Surety Bond (BMC-84) to protect yourself from any claims that a shipper or carrier may bring against you for alleged unfair business practices.
  3. Designate a process agent for each state you plan to operate in by filling out a BOC-3 form.
  4. Pay the $300 non-refundable application fee for your FMCSA license.

License application processing usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks. Freight brokers looking to start their own businesses may need to take a few extra steps.

For example, some might become Certified Transportation Brokers (CTB) through the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) and establish a limited liability company or other legal entity for their businesses.

Although the state of Pennsylvania does not require a certificate or degree for this job, taking classes can give you a more thorough understanding of the industry and teach you some of the skills and practices you’ll need in this profession.

Salary Range

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for the state is $67,749 and $70,731 according to Indeed.

Here are a few more local salaries from ZipRecruiter:

  • Harrisburg: $72,270
  • Pittsburgh: $71,204
  • Philadelphia: $68,202
  • Reading: $64,609
  • Allentown: $63,800

Shipping companies usually pay brokers a regular wage, plus some form of commission for each carrier they find to deliver their products.

Remember, you can charge whatever you want for your services if you run your own freight broker business. However, you’ll need to make sure that your rates are affordable and competitive so you and the shippers and carriers you work with can still make a profit.

Job Description

What Do They Do?

A freight broker is the go-between for shipping and carrier companies. Along with negotiating prices and transactions for shipping various goods and materials, they arrange product pickup, plan the shipping route, track the shipment during transport, and maintain communication between the shipper and carrier to ensure safe, on-time delivery.

Knowing about various steamship lines, airlines, and truck lines is essential to doing this job. You also need exceptional communication, customer service, and accounting skills so you can build connections with different companies in the freight industry, find ways to cut shipping costs, and optimize your employer’s supply chain.

Freight Broker vs. Dispatcher

Both freight brokers and dispatchers negotiate the best rates and track shipments to ensure the delivery goes smoothly.

However, a dispatcher works for the carrier, while freight brokers are intermediaries between the carrier and the shipper. Brokers also receive a small fee or commission for their services, while dispatchers get paid a percentage of the motor carrier’s pay.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can expect to see the national demand for cargo and freight agents grow by about 10% by 2030. Experts also predict a 7% increase in freight broker jobs in Pennsylvania. You can take advantage of these career growth trends by applying to work at shipping companies with available positions or starting your own freight broker business.

Search Freight Broker/Agent Training Programs

Get information on Freight Broker/Agent Training programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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