Virginia Freight Broker Training
Interested in becoming a Virginia freight broker? If so, you’re about to enter a field that’s crucial to the transportation of goods across America. Why? Because shippers and carriers count on brokers to make the arrangements needed to move goods effectively. In Virginia, freight brokers help support a network of more than 7,000 goods exporters. Together, those exporters ship over $18 billion dollars in products on an annual basis.
By providing quality services to shippers and carriers, you can bring in an income that may reach as high as six figures a year. Even better, you can accomplish your earning goals while working out of your own home. Here’s what Virginia residents need to know to open a freight broker business.
What it Takes to Become a Virginia Freight Broker
To work as a freight broker in Virginia, you must graduate high school or demonstrate an equivalent level of learning. If you meet this basic educational requirement, you can begin the process of getting your credentials.
The first thing you’ll need to do is register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Authority, or FMCSA. This agency, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, will issue your business a USDOT number. The USDOT is your business’s one-of-a-kind identifier. It will accompany all of your broker transactions.
However, a USDOT number is not all you need. You must also fill out an FMCSA application for your freight broker’s license. Your application must include three things:
- Insurance paperwork for your business
- A list of process agents for your business
- $300 to cover the cost of your application filing
Under FMCSA rules, your insurance paperwork must show coverage for a total of $75,000. Acceptable documents in this amount include both surety bonds and trust fund agreements.
You might not be familiar with the term process agent. People with this title represent businesses in court during the resolution of legal matters. They accept liability for any business conduct under question. At a minimum, you need one process agent to serve as a representative in Virginia courts. If you like, you can take on this responsibility yourself. If you also operate in other states, the FMCSA will require you to name an additional agent for each of them.
Once you submit your fee and application, you’ll receive your broker’s license in a month or two.
Job Training for Virginia Brokers
All you really need to open a Virginia freight broker business is your USDOT number and broker’s license. However, without proper training, you don’t have much chance of developing a successful operation. Effective training will cover every topic of interest to working brokers. That includes:
- How your business will interact with shippers as well as carriers
- How to follow best practices for effective management of your business
- How to keep your business free from legal problems
- How to use the essentials of marketing to benefit your business
Looking for top-notch broker training in Virginia? One of your best bets is the 180-hour course created by ed2go and Brooke Transportation Training Solutions. This course, taught by real-life industry professionals, covers every area of concern for newcomers to the field. In-state institutions featuring the Brooke/ed2go program include:
- Norfolk State University (Virginia Beach)
- Virginia Wesleyan University (Virginia Beach)
- University of Richmond
- Tidewater Community College (Norfolk)
- Piedmont Virginia Community College (Charlottesville)
- Germanna Community College (Culpepper)
- Southside Virginia Community College (Alberta)
- George Mason University (Fairfax)
- Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals (Falls Church)
- Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (Clifton Forge)
No matter where you live in Virginia, you’ll likely find a provider within reasonable driving distance.
Just insert your zip code to find freight broker/agent training near you.
You can also further your training by taking the steps needed to get a freight broker certificate. This voluntary step will mean extra coursework. However, it will also provide you with advanced instruction and a higher profile for your business. Industry professionals view the Certified Transportation Broker credential from TIA as the most desirable certificate available.
How Much Can Virginia Freight Brokers Earn?
Virginia freight brokers earn a bit more than the national average at roughly $66,500 a year. However, this figure does not include any added income from broker commissions. Top brokers can expect to increase their income by tens of thousands of dollars through commission fees. You’ll start at a significantly lower earning level when you first open your business. Still, you should bear in mind that, with time, your income may far exceed $100,000.
The Best Places to Start Your Virginia Broker Business
Since brokers work with shippers and carriers, it makes sense to locate your business near these essential partners. That usually means setting up shop near a population or manufacturing center. In Virginia, these centers include:
- Virginia Beach
- Newport News