Transportation Agent

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Transportation agents work as sub-contractors, often providing services under the auspices of a freight broker or freight logistics company. As independent contractors, they have access to the use of the agency's name, liability insurance, and bonds. They set their own hours and conduct their business on their own terms. At the same time, they benefit from the parent company's larger customer base and technology.

Becoming a Transportation Agent

Usually transportation agents are qualified to become independent contractors because they bring with them an established customer base and established carrier contracts. In most cases, agents must have at minimum a place to work, a fax machine, a computer, and a telephone. Most freight brokers have a list of minimum qualifications that must be met by applicants before they will be accepted as contractors.

Potential agents must be prepared to demonstrate their experience in the freight industry and their general knowledge about current trends and procedures. They must be self motivated, with a desire to increase their earnings and the ability to work independently. Because of the earnings potential and the need to protect the integrity of the parent company, references are almost always required.

A Great Relationship

The right partnership is profitable for both parties. It is up to the agent to follow the guidelines set forth by the broker and to act in an ethical manner at all times. It is up to the broker to live up to the promises made to the agent because that will cement relationships with the shippers and carriers the agent brings to the mix. On-time payments, solid documentation and reporting, and support are key elements.


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