Business At A Glance
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Online Operation? No
Trucking plays a major role in the nation’s economy–according to theAmerican Trucking Association, those big wheels generated $346 billionin gross revenues in the most recently calculated year, employed morethan 9.5 million people and hauled 6.5 billion tons of freight.
And 77percent of all American communities rely on trucks as their sole sourceof freight delivery. If you’ve got experience in the industry, youprobably also know that it’s the freight broker who keeps those trucksrolling by arranging for delivery of consignments large and small.
Ifyou love the song of the open road but you don’t want to be on theroad, then a freight brokerage may be just the business for you. As afreight broker, you’ll work with manufacturers, wholesalers anddistributors who need to get their products across town or across thecountry with the help of trucking companies.
You can specialize in LTL(less than a truckload) cargoes or in containerized ones. Theadvantages to this business are that you can work from home and it’s anindustry that’s unlikely to disappear–transportation will always be anecessity.
A background in the transportation industry is importantbecause you’ll need not only hands-on experience, but also contacts inthe field. If you lack this experience, work for another freightbrokerage until you learn the tricks of the trade.
You’ll also needexcellent organizational and time-management skills and the ability toget things moving quickly.
Your customers can be manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors ofany types of goods and materials. You can also target companies thatexhibit at trade shows or conventions and need booths and displaymaterials moved to various sites.
Place ads in trade magazines and onimport/export Internet sites. Send sales letters and brochures tomailing lists of prospective companies. Ask for referrals fromsatisfied customers and industry contacts.
You’ll need to be licensed by the Office of Motor Carriers (a divisionof the Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation),and you’ll be required to carry a $10,000 surety bond or trust.
Thenyou’ll want a computer with the usual office software, a laser orinkjet printer, and a fax machine.