The job of a freight agent looks very different than it used to. Modern technology has changed the landscape of the occupation. The abilities that were crucial in past years may not be as relevant today, and other capabilities may be more important than ever.
Here are a few specific skills to help freight agents function well in today’s environment:
- Ability to develop creative strategies – Ingenuity is essential for freight agents. They should be able to think outside of the box in laying out plans to get things done—often with limited time and manpower.
- Ability to maintain order – Most freight agents working independently. They make their own schedules, keep their own books, plan their own strategies, and manage their own finances. In addition, they must field a barrage of queries, requests, and orders on a daily basis. A freight agent will not survive in the field if they cannot keep their affairs straight and tidy.
- Ability to manage workload and employees – Strong management skills are essential for leading an efficient work team. Freight agents must exercise sound judgment in hiring employees. They must learn to delegate without micro-managing and to distribute the workload evenly.
- Ability to connect with people – Freight agents deal with a broad spectrum of people: clients, vendors, customers, and more. They must possess the skills to network well with others in order to get new clients and to keep current customers satisfied.
- Ability to grow a business – A successful freight agent can help their business thrive through strong negotiating powers, financial planning skills, and marketing know-how.
- Ability to multi-task – A freight agent nearly always has more on their to-do list than they can accomplish in a single day. A penchant for dovetailing tasks and keeping more than one project in motion without getting addled is essential.
- Ability to comply with regulations – There are many regulations governing the freight industry. A successful freight agent must be familiar with all of them and be willing to comply strictly with them.
Freight agents can stay on the leading edge of the industry as they continue to sharpen their leadership skills. No agent is perfect, but they can become better by the day as they continually work to improve in areas that are crucial to the position.