(+1) 9784800910, (+44) 020 3097 1639 [email protected]
Select Page

Written by Elma Steven | Updated on July, 2024

Find Out- Is Freight Broker Business Profitable?

The profitability of your Freight broker business depends on 4 important factors: Industry Prospects, Investments, Revenue Sources, Cost and Profitability. We have taken a deep dive to find out potential profitability from the Freight broker business. 

Freight broker Industry Prospects

The freight brokerage market size in 2023 was estimated to be $95,6 billion globally, with a projected CAGR of 7.16% by 2028 (researchreportsworld). In the United States, the freight brokerage market size was estimated at $16.58 billion in 2023 and expected to reach $24.75 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 8.35% during the forecast period (globenewswire)


  • Technology Infrastructure:
  • Computer Hardware: Desktops or laptops for your operations team, accounting and management.
  • Printers and Scanners: For handling documents, contracts and other paperwork.

Software Licenses:

  • Freight Brokerage Software: A comprehensive transportation management system (TMS) that supports freight brokerage operations, including load and route planning, carrier management, tracking shipments and invoicing.
  • Accounting and Office Software: Licenses for accounting software to manage finances, invoicing and payroll; and office productivity software for documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
  • Communication Equipment:
  • Phones and VoIP Systems: For communicating with carriers, shippers and clients.
  • Internet Setup and Networking Equipment: Routers, modems and possibly networking hardware to set up a reliable office network.
  • Furniture and Office Equipment:
  • Desks, Chairs and Office Furnishings: To equip your office space for staff.
  • Filing Cabinets and Organizational Systems: For managing physical documents and contracts, although efforts should be made to maintain digital records where possible.
  • Initial Marketing and Branding:
  • Website Development: Professional website setup costs, including web design and hosting services.
  • Promotional Materials: Business cards, brochures and initial digital marketing efforts to establish your brand presence.
  • Licensing and Certification:
  • Broker Authority (MC Number): Fees associated with obtaining your Motor Carrier (MC) number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • Surety Bond or Trust Fund Agreement: A USDOT number and a surety bond (BMC-84) or trust fund agreement (BMC-85) are required. The FMCSA requires a $75,000 surety bond for freight brokers.
  • Other Licenses and Permits: Depending on local and state requirements.
  • Training and Development:

Freight Broker Training Courses: Costs associated with any training courses or certifications you or your staff may need to effectively run a freight brokerage.

  • Initial Working Capital:
  • Funds set aside to cover initial operating expenses before the business starts generating consistent revenue. This includes money to cover carrier payments before receiving payments from shippers, ensuring cash flow stability during the start-up phase.
  • Insurance Premiums:
  • General Liability Insurance: Initial premiums for insurance coverage that protects your business from general business risks.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: To protect against claims of errors, omissions, or negligence in your brokerage services.

By accurately budgeting for these CapEx items, you can ensure that your freight broker business in Omaha is well-equipped to begin operations and navigate the competitive logistics industry. It’s advisable to conduct thorough market research and consult with financial advisors or industry experts to accurately estimate these costs and develop a comprehensive business plan.


  • Commission on Freight Transactions: The primary source of revenue for freight brokers is the commission earned on each freight transaction. This commission is typically a percentage of the total freight charges paid by the shipper, negotiated between the broker, shipper and carrier.
  • Volume Rebates from Carriers: Some carriers offer rebates to brokers who provide them with a high volume of business. These rebates can be negotiated as part of your carrier agreements and can serve as an additional revenue stream.
  • Consulting Services: Offering consulting services related to logistics, supply chain management and transportation solutions can attract clients looking for expert advice and strategies to optimize their shipping operations.
  • Freight Auditing and Payment Services: Providing freight auditing services where you review and audit shipping invoices for errors, overcharges and opportunities for cost savings can be a valuable service for shippers. Coupled with payment services, you can manage the entire freight invoice processing for a fee.
  • Technology Solutions: If you develop or license proprietary technology, such as a transportation management system (TMS) or freight tracking software, you can charge shippers and carriers for access to these tools.
  • Load Matching Services: Beyond traditional brokerage, offering a subscription-based or fee-per-use load matching service for carriers looking for freight can generate additional revenue. This can be particularly appealing for small carriers or independent operators.
  • Insurance Products: Partnering with insurance providers to offer cargo insurance and other related insurance products to shippers and carriers can add another layer of value to your services and generate commission-based revenue.
  • Value-Added Services: Offering additional services such as cross-docking, freight consolidation and deconsolidation, or warehousing solutions can address more complex logistics needs and attract a wider range of clients.
  • Training and Education: Providing training programs and workshops on logistics, freight brokerage operations and industry best practices can attract new entrants to the field and serve as a source of revenue.
  • Membership or Subscription Fees: If you operate a digital brokerage platform, charging membership or subscription fees for access to your network of carriers and shippers can generate consistent revenue.
  • Advertisement: Offering advertising space on your website or within your network to carriers, shippers, or other industry-related service providers can be a source of additional income.

By leveraging these diverse revenue sources, your freight broker business in Omaha can cater to a wide range of client needs, maximize income potential and build a robust business model that withstands market fluctuations and competitive pressures. Continuous market research and customer feedback will be key to identifying new opportunities and areas for expansion.

Cost of Services Sold

  • Carrier Payments: The most significant portion of your CoS will be the payments made to carriers for transporting freight. This cost varies with each job, depending on the distance, freight type and carrier rates.
  • Commission Expenses: If you employ agents or salespeople on a commission basis, the commission paid out on each transaction they broker would be considered a variable cost.
  • Technology Service Fees: Any fees associated with using third-party technology platforms or services that facilitate freight brokerage operations, such as Transportation Management Systems (TMS), load boards, or tracking software, can vary based on transaction volume or subscription levels.
  • Freight Insurance: Costs for purchasing insurance on specific loads or offering shippers cargo insurance as an added service. These costs can vary based on the value of the freight and the level of insurance coverage.
  • Transaction Fees: Fees incurred for processing payments, including credit card processing fees, ACH transfer fees, or factoring service fees if you utilize factoring to manage cash flow.
  • Load Matching and Posting Fees: Costs associated with using load boards to find freight for carriers or to find carriers for your shippers’ freight. While some platforms offer free services, premium features or memberships often incur fees.
  • Subcontractor Fees: If you outsource certain aspects of your operation, such as carrier vetting or compliance checks, to third-party providers, the fees paid to these subcontractors are variable costs tied directly to the volume of business you’re handling.
  • Claims and Disputes Resolution: Any costs incurred in resolving claims or disputes between shippers and carriers, including legal fees for mediation or arbitration, if not covered by insurance.
  • Referral Fees or Commissions Paid: If you pay referral fees to other brokers, agents, or third parties for directing business your way, these are direct costs associated with securing revenue.

Efficiently managing these variable costs involves negotiating favorable rates with carriers, optimizing the use of technology to reduce transaction and operational inefficiencies and carefully managing the balance between offering competitive rates to shippers while ensuring profitable margins. Additionally, building strong relationships with reliable carriers can reduce the costs associated with claims and disputes, further enhancing profitability.

Operating Expenses

  • Rent or Lease Payments: Costs associated with leasing office space for your brokerage operations. If you own the office space, this category would include any mortgage payments.
  • Utilities: Monthly expenses for electricity, water, gas, internet and telephone services necessary to maintain the operational efficiency of your office.
  • Salaries and Wages: Payments to permanent staff, including those involved in operations, sales, customer service and administration. This also includes payroll taxes, health insurance, retirement benefits and other employee-related benefits.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Expenses related to promoting your freight broker business to attract new clients. This can include online advertising, social media campaigns, website maintenance, SEO and traditional marketing materials like brochures and business cards.
  • Insurance: Premiums for various insurance policies, including general liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance and any other policies required to protect your business against potential liabilities.
  • Professional Services: Fees for services provided by external professionals, such as accountants, lawyers and consultants, who assist with various aspects of running the business, including financial management, legal advice and compliance with industry regulations.
  • Software Subscriptions: Ongoing costs for business management software, including Transportation Management Systems (TMS), customer relationship management (CRM) systems, financial and accounting software and any other software tools that facilitate business operations.
  • Office Supplies and Equipment: Expenses for office supplies (stationery, printer ink, etc.) and minor equipment (computers, printers, phones) necessary for the administration of your business.
  • Training and Development: Costs associated with ongoing professional development and training for you and your staff to stay updated on industry trends, regulations and technologies.
  • Travel and Entertainment: Expenses related to business travel for networking, industry conferences, client meetings, or other business development activities, as well as any entertainment expenses for hosting clients or business partners.
  • Depreciation: Non-cash expenses that account for the depreciation of long-term assets over their useful life, such as office furniture, computers and any other durable equipment used in your operations.
  • Technology and Communication: Costs associated with maintaining your IT infrastructure, including server costs, cloud storage fees and costs for communication tools and services.

Efficient management of these operating expenses is crucial for ensuring the profitability and long-term sustainability of your freight broker business. Implementing cost-effective strategies, such as leveraging digital marketing, optimizing administrative processes and carefully managing staff levels relative to business needs, can help control these costs and enhance your business’s financial health.

Related Articles:

Perfume Business Plan

Resort Business Plan

Dog Cafe Business Plan

Dialysis Center Business Plan

Cigar Lounge Business Plan

Box Truck Business Plan

Glamping Business Plan