Freight Broker Training in Michigan
Freight brokers are indispensable players in America’s supply chain of manufactured goods. That’s because they stand in the middle ground between shippers and carriers, making sure that freight moves smoothly across the country. Brokers also benefit from some major perks, including high earning potential and the ability to run their businesses from home.
Michigan offers serious opportunities for freight brokers. With yearly goods exports of more than $55 billion, it ranks near the very top for all states in the U.S. Michigan is also a robust center for manufacturers of all sizes. For brokers, these figures add up to one thing: a constant supply of potential customers. With that in mind, let’s examine what it takes to run a profitable broker business in the state.
What You Need to Become a Michigan Freight Broker
To open a freight broker business in Michigan, you must go through a certain set of procedures. These procedures come from the federal government and are the same nationwide. The responsible federal agency is called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Authority, or FMCSA. This agency operates under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The FMCSA requires all prospective freight brokers to graduate high school or get a GED. The agency also requires you to apply for two things. First, you must obtain something called a USDOT number. All brokers, shippers and carriers need one of these numbers to do business. They allow the government to keep track of who does what in the goods transportation industry.
To work as a Michigan freight broker, you must also get your broker’s license. The FMCSA requires that you do three things to complete this process:
- Demonstrate that you have adequate insurance coverage
- Designate process agent(s)
- Pay an application fee of $300
You can meet the insurance requirement by obtaining a $75,000 surety bond. As an alternative, you can obtain a trust fund agreement in the same amount.
Process agents accept legal liability for your business’s actions should you ever end up in court. You have to have one of these agents for your base of operations in Michigan. In addition, you must have one in any other state where you intend to open for business.
Freight Broker Training
It’s vitally important that you get some kind of broker training before you solicit customers for your business. This step can make all the difference between financial stability and ruin. To fully prepare, your training should cover four basic aspects of the freight broker industry:
- The day-to-day role that freight brokers play in goods transportation
- The steps that successful brokers take to manage their businesses
- The laws and regulations that apply to broker businesses
- The ways that brokers can advertise their businesses and grow their clientele
You can go through broker training in a variety of settings. In Michigan, some of the best programs are offered by Brooke Transportation Training Solutions. In collaboration with ed2go, Brooke has set up a 180-hour course that serves as a complete guide for new brokers. What’s more, you’ll receive instruction from seasoned professionals who truly know the industry. Available locations for the Brooke/ed2go course include:
- Monroe County Community College (Monroe)
- Mott Community College (Flint)
- Delta College (University Center)
- Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant)
- Montcalm Community College (Sydney)
- Glen Oaks Community College (Centreville)
- Jackson College (Jackson)
With so many options, there’s a good chance you’ll find a course near you.
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In addition to going through a thorough training program, many new brokers seek out professional certification. Why? A certificate from the right organization can affirm your standing as a trustworthy business owner. Many industry experts regard the Transportation Intermediaries Association as the most respected source of certification.
Earning Potential for Michigan Freight Brokers
Michigan freight brokers enjoy one of the industry’s highest average salaries at roughly $78,000 annually. The typical broker in the state also takes home an additional $28,000 in annual commissions. At the start of your career, your income won’t reach these lofty levels. However, you can reasonably anticipate six-figure earnings as you build your business.
Top Locations for Freight Brokers in Michigan
Metropolitan Detroit is perhaps the number one location for Michigan freight brokers. That’s due to the region’s status as a population and manufacturing center. Brokers can also find success in other metropolitan hubs such as:
- Grand Rapids
You can also find freight broker training in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio.