The freight forwarding companies are profitable because even though many carriers contract with trucking companies to transport the goods, many truck shipments in the United States are handled with the freight corridors.
For example, him freight agent It works as an intermediary between the shipper who has the goods to transport and the carrier who can move the freight. Below you will read the steps you must follow to start your business successfully.
The configuration of freight forwarding companies
When you think of freight forwarding companiesIf you want to start your own business, first of all you should think about how to set up that company, for example:
The structure of the business
Decide on the legal structure of the business, thinking about whether it will operate as a sole proprietorship, a limited liability corporation, or a partnership. It is best that you contact a lawyer or an accounting agent so that they can advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Authorization to operate
Keep in mind that as a freight forwarder in interstate commerce, you must request an authorization to operate from the authority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, for which you will use the Unique Registry System.
Well, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the division of the United States Department of Transportation that is responsible for regulating interstate commerce and ensuring compliance with safety rules.
In turn, you must pay $ 300 as part of the application processing, which will take between 3 to 6 weeks for that processing to take effect.
Choose a process agent
You must choose a process agent, who will be the representative to whom you can deliver the court documents in the case of a legal process against a carrier or broker, as you must designate a process agent in your state.
At the same time, keep in mind that some companies offer general coverage, which designates a process agent in each state of the United States, for which they must send a BOC-3 form to the Federal Administration of Motor Carrier Safety.
Surety or trust fund
You must have a bond or trust of 75 thousand dollars that works as a bond from which you are sure that you have assets or cash to cover that amount of money.
Bail bonds can be obtained from an insurance company that will present the corresponding documents to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
You must complete the unified carrier registration and pay an annual fee. Consider that the fee can be $ 76 per year, but it depends on each state.
Be sure to ask all inquiries in your state about the requirements to establish and operate a business in that state.
Set up your office
You can set up your office at home or in a physical space outside your home, but you will need at least a phone and a computer.
Make a budget considering fixed expenses such as telephone, water, electricity, internet, insurance and taxes in addition to the rental value of the physical space if you do not establish the home office and the payroll and benefits expenses if you hire employees.
Contact the shippers who need the services you offer.
Search for carriers
Identify good carriers and who are willing to transport.
Determine an appropriate rate for each load, for which you can use software to help you with current rates.
Insurance and bonds
In addition to obtaining a bond for $ 76,000, you also need general liability insurance that covers liability and cargo for a minimum of $ 750,000, for this contact an insurance agent of commercial lines and review the additional requirements of Your state.
Registration with the Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation or DOT, is the regulatory body of freight companies. You must obtain a DOT number through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and register with the interstate operating authority, which is known as an MC.
And even as you open a new business, you may need to enter the probation program called the New Participant Security Assurance Program.
It is an 18-month program that is responsible for reviewing the personnel of a company, to determine the criteria of driving, drugs and safety. If you complete it successfully, you will receive the DOT number.
Freight transportation service
If you want to dedicate yourself to the cargo transport service, it is understood as the physical transport of cargo and merchandise, which can be by land, by air or intermodal ship.
Land transportation can be done by truck to carry cargo from the place of origin to the seaport or airport and then to its destination.
Start a minifille business
You can also start with a miniflet company, for which you will need trucks for fast loading to transport medium-weight merchandise, but you must always hire responsible employees in addition to knowing the territory where you will carry out the transport, although the vehicles should have GPS to be able to offer an agile service and surpass your competition.
How to be one of the best freight companies
If you want to stand out among the freight forwarding companies and be one of the best follow these tips:
- It offers interesting discounts for the client according to the type of load.
- It offers safe, punctual transport at a good price.
- Offer the best experience in cargo transportation for the benefit of your customers.
- See yourself as a supplier or partner to your client.
- Understand the needs of your customers and determine the type of transport and the services you can offer them.
- Make clear with your clients your responsibilities and what the client’s responsibilities are.
- Show your customer that you have experience in the type of shipping they need.
- Join freight forwarding associations because you will demonstrate financial strength and that you are a member of a reputable association, therefore you can handle shipping with care.
- Show that you have cargo insurance, since it will be important to highlight it because you can issue insurance policies for shipments in case of theft or damage to the merchandise you transport.