How to Become a Ship Broker
A ship broker helps transportation companies manage their shipments by arranging cargo to reach their destination. The broker may work with an airline, train, on trucking terminals or shipping docks. A broker determines routes, prepares documents and arranges for pickup. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*Net), a ship broker is also known under the job title of cargo and freight agents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2008 Occupational Employment Statistics Survey Program, the national average salary of a cargo and freight agent was £25,239. The BLS reveals that employment is projected to grow much faster than average with job prospects expected to be good through 2018.
Get a high school diploma. According to the BLS, ship brokers require no more than a high school diploma or a GED.
Learn certain tools and technology. According to the BLS, employers look for candidates who are comfortable working with computers. According to O*Net, other tools and technology used on the job include hand trucks or accessories; laser printers; radio frequency scanners; and wrapping machinery. A ship broker may use software, such as inventory management software; mobile location-based services software; brokerage software; spreadsheet software and word processing software.
Gain the skills necessary for the job. Office skills, such as typing, record-keeping, filing and other clerical skills are important, according to the BLS. Knowledge in transportation, customer service and the English language are useful for the job, according to O*Net.
Gain experience. According to O*Net, a transportation clerk is a recognised apprenticeship that can be useful in gaining experience toward becoming a ship broker. Some job candidates are hired directly to become ship brokers and learn through on-the-job training. According to the BLS, ship brokers typically receive informal training upon being hired. Entry-level ship brokers may begin with basic tasks, such as reviewing items to be shipped and making sure that addresses are correct.