The American trucking industry is growing. In fact, over 60% of all freight in the US is moved by trucks. One of the most rapidly growing jobs within the industry is the role of Independent Freight Agent. But, what does an Independent Freight Agent do? If you’re curious to learn the job description and hear from someone who is successfully doing it, keep reading.
What It’s Like
Kevin, one of Kopf’s talented Independent Freight Agents, describes his role this way.
“Number one, I secure customers. I make solicitation phone calls and send emails to secure accounts that need help shipping their truckloads of product across the country. Once I secure the customer, my role is basically to provide pricing on these shipments and then find carriers to haul the shipments. Then I facilitate the appointments to make sure everything runs smoothly. Once these shipments are delivered, I profit from the difference.”
To put it another way, Independent Freight Agents are business owners, have their own customers, and work on commission from their home or office under the authority of a licensed Freight Broker to coordinate freight shipments. As their name implies, they are independent contractors.
Independent Freight Agents work as intermediaries between shippers and carriers to arrange logistics services. They negotiate rates, book shipments, and manage logistics on behalf of their clients. Cold calling, networking, and lead generation are an essential part of an Agent’s typical day.
Often, the terms Freight Agent and Freight Broker are used interchangeably, but they are actually different roles. Unlike a Freight Broker, a Freight Agent doesn’t have their own operating authority and legally can’t arrange the movement of freight on their own. This takes the legal and financial burden off an Agent and makes it easier to get started in this career.
The Kopf Difference
Kopf Logistics Group is a freight brokerage with the proper licensing, insurance, and financial backing that Independent Freight Agents need to succeed. We offer strong business office support to our agents and provide a generous 70/30 commission split. Kevin recognized Kopf was different from other brokerages right away.
“For me a big selling point with Kopf is the fact they don’t have a huge agent network. I’ve worked at other freight brokerages that have an agent program and they were totally saturated. I would basically have to make five phone calls before I could actually talk with them. But with Kopf, I don’t have that. I can basically call anyone at Kopf and there’s a 99.9% chance they’re available. They’re a great group of people. They’re direct and they’re honest. They have an awesome accounting staff that does a great job. They answer questions quickly. Whether I need proof of delivery or customer requests for some kind of paperwork, I get that back pretty quickly.”
In addition to 24/7/365 office support, Kopf also provides Agents with the tools they need.
“They definitely have a lot of pricing tools. I can see a lot of what the market trends do because they have different access to applications and software programs. McLeod is a software program they purchased and I use that to build all my loads, to set up carriers, send rate confirmations, and anything business-related.”
Kopf is also different because we are a brokerage and trucking company.
“I haven’t touched on the fact they own trucks. That opens a lot of doors to accounts. A lot of times you’ll call accounts and they’ll say ‘Oh, you’re a 3PL, you’re a freight brokerage. Sorry we only work with asset only companies.’ Well, Kopf has trucks. They do have assets so that makes that conversation go a little easier.”
And perhaps most importantly, Kopf’s roots are strong.
“Leroy and his father Kenny, who founded Kopf, are phenomenal people. It’s a family faith-based company. They’re honest. That’s a big deal in this industry. Honesty from whom you’re representing and honesty from whom is paying you is a big deal.”
In essence, an Independent Freight Agent’s job description is to find customers and secure loads, secure carriers and ensure shipments are delivered smoothly. This is a desirable career within the transportation industry and more Agents are needed as the demand for freight continues to rise. Additionally, Kevin explained how partnering with Kopf, a strong brokerage committed to seeing their Freight Agents succeed, has been crucial to his success.
Are you interested in working as an Independent Freight Agent with Kopf? You will need a computer with high-speed internet access, a copy of your state domiciled business registration, a federal tax identification number and Microsoft office products. Apply here or give us a call at 574.349.5600 to get recruited today.