How to Become a Freight Forwarder: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Become a Freight Forwarder: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you looking for a change of pace in your work? If so, the freight moving business is an excellent place to start. One of the most viable job options in this field is a freight forwarder.

There are two primary types of freight forwarders:

  • Freight Forwarder of Property
  • Freight Forwarder of Household Goods

Each of these positions involves arranging interstate transportation for people’s property and baggage. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll have to follow a similar process to become a forwarder.

If you’re curious about how to become a freight forwarder, look no further! In this article, we’ll give a brief breakdown of how to enter this field.

Getting Started as a Freight Forwarder

When you want to land freight shipping jobs, you’ll have to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. To get started, check out the FMCSA registration document here.

When you register with the FMCSA, you’ll obtain an interstate operating authority. The authorities designate this with an FF number for forwarders.

While you can register through print documents, it’s usually easier to start online. You will need to pay a fee for the authority application, which amounts to $300.

Fortunately, freight forwarders don’t require a USDOT number. This feature makes them an exception from most other freight workers. However, if you plan on being an interstate motor carrier, you will need a USDOT number.

What to Do After Getting Your Freight Operations License

When you get your grant letter, it means you’ve been approved to work as a freight forwarder. With that approval you’ll receive your FF number. Once you do, you’ll use the information to get your operating authority.

Although you may have gotten your FF number, you may not have the official freight forwarding license. Instead, you’ll have to wait until your official registration arrives.

While you wait on your official registration, you can start working on the insurance process. The cargo insurance requires you to maintain certain minimum levels.

These minimums include keeping $5,000 for the loss of or damage to any property you carry on a vehicle. The second minimum requires $10,000 for the loss of or damage to a customer’s property.

You’ll also need to take out bodily injury and property damage insurance. Additionally, you’ll need environmental restoration coverage in case you have to operate commercial motor vehicles.

The Freight Broker Bond

One of the final requirements for getting an FF number from the FMCSA is to acquire a surety bond. This bond amounts to $75,000 in total.

This bond functions as a contract between your freight forwarding company, the FMCSA, and surety that provides the bonding. This bond serves as a guarantee to the relevant authorities that you’ll comply with any necessary regulations.

So long as you comply, the amount shouldn’t bear down on you. It’s not something to spend time worrying about.

Where to Look for Work

Once you get your freight forwarder license, you have to find a place to work. Several freight shipping companies are ready to hire new workers.

We at Yep! Commerce provide top-notch services for clients across the country. If you’re interested in working at a freight forwarding business, check out our services today!

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