Freight Broker Earnings: How Much Money Can A Freight Broker Make?

Researching freight broker earnings potential was an important part of my research before launching my freight broker business in 2003.

I realized quickly that becoming a freight broker or freight agent can be very lucrative opportunity in the right hands.

But before we dive into all that, it’s important to note that becoming a freight broker or freight agent is not some pie in the sky instant path to riches!  

While there are a lot of opportunities in the logistics industry and good freight brokers and freight agents are in high demand, becoming a freight broker is not some get rich quick scheme. 

I view it more as a get rich slow type of business, rather than an instant path to riches!

Like any business, success or failure is directly correlated to the skills, planning, resources and hard work of the people running it. 

This is especially true for any new business, and a new freight brokerage firm is no exception. 

FREE REPORT: 4 Reasons Why Top Freight Brokers Earn More!

For those new to the freight industry and who don’t know what a freight broker is, a freight broker helps connect businesses that need products and goods shipped with reliable motor carriers.

Licensed broker plays a crucial role in the efficient movement of freight throughout the United States and around the world. 

Understanding Freight Broker Earnings: Exploring Various Scenarios.

Answering the simple question of how much a freight broker makes is not as easy as it might seem. A freight broker’s income is influenced by a variety of things. 

To make sense of this question, it is helpful to divide freight brokers and agents into three categories: 

  1. The W-2 Freight Broker
  2. The Licensed Freight Broker 
  3. The 1099 Independent Freight Agent 

The W-2 Freight Broker Pay

When working as a salaried employee at a freight brokerage company, the W-2 Employee usually gets a set salary and performance-based bonuses or commissions. 

Freight broker pay can be very different based on the company, commission structure, etc., but according to Freightwaves, the median freight broker pay in 2023 is $40,000 salary + 13.2% commission on gross profits (1).

This means if the W2 broker brought in $2,000,000 in sales with a 15% profit margin, they would earn:

$2,000,000 in gross sales x 15%

$40,000 salary + $39,600 in commission

= $79,600 estimated income

NOTE: The higher the profit margin the higher the W-2 freight broker pay will be.

The Licensed Freight Broker Pay

Licensed brokers who own their own freight brokerage business, have the ability to earn a higher salary. Freight brokers typically earn between 10% to 30% profit margins on a shipment, depending upon the mode of transportation, the complexity and distance.

If a licensed freight broker does $2 million in sales with a 15% profit margin, they generate $300,000 in gross profit margin. However, this is before business expenses like rent, salaries, and other costs are deducted.

Business costs can make a big difference in the net income freight brokers earn while running their own brokerage.

This means if the freight broker brought in $2,000,000 in sales with a 15% profit margin they would earn:

$2,000,000 in gross sales x 15%

= $300,000 gross profit – business expenses

= $150,000 to $200,000 estimated Income

NOTE: The higher the profit margin the higher the licensed freight broker pay will be.

The 1099 Independent Freight Agent

As 1099 workers, freight broker agents work as independent contractors and get paid a commission for the deals they bring in – they don’t receive a regular salary.  

If they brought in $2 million worth of sales at a 15% profit margin and their commission rate was 70%, they would make $210,000. This income can change based on the commission rate they agree to and any extras or bonuses the brokerage company they work for offers.

This means if the 1099 freight agent broker brought in $2,000,000 in sales with a 15% profit margin and 70% commission rate they would earn $210,000 in gross freight agent commissions.

($2,000,000 in gross sales x 15%) x 70% commission

= $210,000 in agent commission – business expenses

= $100,000 to $150,000 estimated income

NOTE: The higher the profit margin the higher the independent freight agent pay will be.

Top 10 Licensed Freight Brokers and Their 2023 Gross Revenue

  1. CH Robinson: $15.828 billion
  2. Total Quality Logistics: $8.745 billion
  3. Coyote Logistics: $5.2 billion
  4. Worldwide Express/GlobalTranz: $4.9 billion 
  5. Landstar System: $3.995 billion
  6. Mode Global: $3.465 billion
  7. Echo Global: $3 billion
  8. RXO: $2.929 billion
  9. Uber Freight: $2.8 billion
  10. J.B. Hunt Integrated Capacity Solutions: $2.386

Above, I’ve listed the top 5 freight brokers by revenue in 2023 Transport Topics Top 50 Freight Brokerages rankings.

First, please let me state for the record that these are the top freight brokerages in the United States and are not the norm or average. Also, remember that the numbers above are gross revenue, not net revenue. 

The fact is, the freight brokerage business is very fragmented with thousands of brokers and the majority of freight brokerage firms does less than $5 million per year in sales. 

It’s important to note that while gross revenue is great, the key lies in running a profitable and sustainable business.

FREE REPORT: 4 Reasons Why Top Freight Brokers Earn More!

How To Increase Your Freight Broker Earnings in 2024

The best way to increase your freight broker earnings is to focus on the different ways and the different levels you can pull to maximize your earnings. 

Expanding your client base and growing your own book of business, you can earn a higher commission rate. 

By increasing the profitability of those customers, through the implementation of a variety of computer software designed to make you better or faster at your job, you can increase your average total compensation you make per working hour. 

Tips To Increase Your Freight Broker Earnings in 2024

  • Expand Your Client Base
  • Negotiate Better Rates
  • Optimize Operational Efficiency
  • Specialize in Profitable Niches
  • Offer Value-Added Services
  • Continuous Learning and Training 
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Build Strategic Partnerships
  • Manage Your Finances Better
  • Seek Customer Feedback

Bottom line, becoming a freight broker or freight agent can be very lucrative but like I said at the beginning, this is not a get rich scheme. However, with the proper training, a good plan and hard work there is a wealth of opportunity available even for new brokers. 

For more details on how to become a freight broker check out How to Become A Freight Broker in 7 Simple Steps!

If you enjoyed this post or have questions, reply below with your comments. I always enjoy your feedback!

To your success,

Dennis Brown


Owner, CEO

Dennis Brown the freight broker, is the owner of and former CEO of Logistic Dynamics, Inc. (LDi) one of North Americas fastest growing logistics providers. Dennis has over 25 years of hands on experience as an entrepreneur and is widely regarded as an expert in logistics, freight brokerage, business growth strategies and B2B sales and marketing. Dennis became a freight broker in 2003, as a one man operations with NO industry experience . He went on to do over $200 million as a freight broker, eventually selling the freight brokerage to spend more time with his family. Dennis Brown has trained over 10,000 students, in 16 different countries, how to become a freight broker or freight agent. Many of his students have went on to build highly successful and highly profitable freight broker businesses.

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