Specialise or Generalise
There are a number of specialties a freight broker can pursue such as heavy equipment, hazardous materials or perishable commodities. You can also choose to work with all general freight. Make some calls, search the internet, review the Chamber of Commerce directory in your area and see what competition you are up against in both the general and specialised niche markets.
The Legal Requirements
Register with the Federal Highway Administration by filling the application and obtaining a $10,000 surety bond. The Federal Highway Administration issues a MC Number and a permit. Then you will need to adhere to your particular state or county's business licensing policies. Depending on the expenses you can negotiate on such things as office rent, office equipment, load management software etc. You will need as little as $5,000 in start-up costs or as much as $300,000.
Networking with Drivers
It could take years to build relationships with truck drivers and get shippers to trust you with their freight. You will have to be persistent and professional at all times. When you meet a new potential contact, make sure they leave with a positive impression. Exchange business cards. Later send them an introductory packet that gives more background information on your business to piggyback on the positive impression you made in person. No formal education is necessary but a background in sales and marketing is helpful.
Networking with Shippers
You will have to get over any shyness you have about cold calling people and asking them for business. Trucking is an industry where many of the customers stick to what they have always done. They don't want to jeopardise their shipments by trying someone new when it's not necessary. You will have to work on building relationships from scratch, getting referrals from satisfied customers and meeting prospects. Use online freight matching systems and online load boards to help negotiate your way into brokering deals between shippers and drivers.