How to Become a Freight Broker in Maine

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From the tremendous growth in online shopping to groceries and clothing getting to the retailer, a freight broker was involved.

Every day, products are shipped across the country and even around the world.

This requires a lot of coordination for the supply chain to operate smoothly.

This is where a freight broker comes in as a middleman to coordinate between the manufacturers with the products and the shippers that get them where they need to go.

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What Do Freight Brokers Do?

Essentially, they coordinate shipments whether they come by trucks, planes, boats, or trains.

In handling the logistics, you need to be able to communicate clearly and pay close attention to detail.

Keeping products incoming and outgoing shipments running smoothly can be stressful at times.

But this is necessary for the whole process.

If you like a fast-paced environment, this may be a great career for you.

Many find the work very rewarding.

Skills Needed to be a Freight Broker

There are several skills that are necessary to be successful.

These include:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good organizational skills
  • Understanding of supply chain processes
  • Understanding of customs and tariffs
  • Ability to handle paperwork such as bills of lading and invoices.

Requirement to Start Working as a Freight Broker

There are no educational requirements to work as a freight broker.

However, employers are looking for prospective employees with a high school diploma or GED.

There are several steps that you need to take to fulfill all the requirements.

The first is registering with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) through the Department of Transportation.

This lets you get your broker authority license. You will also need a DOT number and a Motor carrier number (MC).

Educational Programs

There are no programs located in Maine.

However, there are schools that offer online training for freight brokers.

Some employers may allow you to learn on the job, but you will be better prepared if you take appropriate coursework to understand the industry, develop the skills needed and your role.

Employers will always prefer applicants with an educational background.

Programs to Consider

  • Eastern Iowa Community College has a six-month-long online training program. There is even a flexible start option, so you can begin coursework following enrollment. 
  • Borough of Manhattan Community College has an online training program that covers everything needed to become a freight broker. This includes laws related to transportation to marketing your business.

Getting Your Licensing and Certification

Every freight broker must have a USDOT number and an MC number.

These government numbers identify you as a freight broker.

There are additional government numbers if you decide to expand your skill set and ability to handle different types of transportation.

For example, you might get a Cargo Tank (CT) number from FMCSA.

Another requirement is a surety bond of $75,000.

If you have good credit, this will cost 1 – 5% of the bond.

This protects you from bodily injury or loss of or damage to property.

Salary and Career Prospects

In 2018, Maine had 240 freight brokers.

This growth has been about 20 new jobs each year.

Through 2028, it is anticipated that the growth will continue by about four percent.

The national average salary is $43,770.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that the average salary in Maine is $51,210 or $24.62 on average in 2020.

Top earners as freight brokers in Maine is $78,310.

Shipping Cycles in Maine for Freight Brokers

The peak seasons for freight brokers are around the holiday season.

This means that mid-August to October is busier than other times of the year.

Also, manufacturers contribute to the higher shipping load as they close out the year.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Portland $47,418
Lewiston $46,937
Bangor $43,936
South Portland $47,418
Auburn $46,937
Brunswick $47,001
Biddeford $47,194
Sanford $48,393
Augusta $45,196
Scarborough $47,418

Regional Salary in Maine

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Lewiston-Auburn, ME50$51,390$24.71$79,600$37,110
Portland-South Portland, ME100$57,760$27.77$92,130$39,730
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Cargo and Freight Agents, OCC Code 43-5011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to work as a freight broker. Do I have to work for someone else?

Not necessarily but working for another company can help you build your skills as an agent.

It will also allow you to take coursework to become a freight broker.

At that point, you could open your own business.

Also taking the time to work for someone else relieves some of the pressure and allows you to complete all requirements and coursework in about a year.

Where are the best locations to find freight broker positions?

The best places to start looking for jobs as a freight broker are going to be larger cities.

This includes Portland, South Portland, Auburn and Lewiston.

Larger, busier areas will have more attractive job opportunities.

Salaries may also potentially be better.

Can I work as a freight broker from home?

This is an option that you can explore.

On the Eastern Iowa Community College website, there is information about the potential of working as a Freight Broker from a home-based business.

This is not the industry norm, but it is possible.

How stressful is it to work as a freight broker?

As mentioned, this work may not be for everyone because it is very active.

Attention to many details is required and the ability to communicate well is necessary.

Also, keeping up with any changes in transportation laws and industry trends is part of the job.

Freight Broker Info by State

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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