Railroad Freight Forwarder

Handle shipping and handling details for cargo moved by rail.
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Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
$22,000 – $58,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Railroad Freight Forwarders do?

Railways were one of the first modes of transportation. The Transcontinental Railroad changed how people traveled. It also gave businesses a new option when considering ways to ship cargo.

Today’s businesses still rely on rail travel to get merchandise, supplies, and products from point A to point B, but many don’t have the time, contacts, or resources to handle those logistics. That’s when they hire a Railroad Freight Forwarder.

As a Railroad Freight Forwarder, you’re the middleman between the shipper and the receiver. It’s your job to make sure the package (whether envelope or Iguana) arrives on time, in good condition, and within budget.

The first step in the process is to meet with the Business Owner, Shipping and Receiving Supervisor, or whoever is in charge. You ask questions and identify the customer’s expectations.

Next, you pull out your bulging address book and start making phone calls. Which railways travel to your desired destination? Who has a check in the “reliable” column? What company will agree on your customer’s price?

When you’re a Railroad Freight Forwarder, your contacts are your number one tool, so you constantly nurture those relationships.

Paperwork is another major aspect of the job. While you don’t typically work in international shipping (railroads don’t span the ocean after all), each state may have its own shipping requirements. In addition, the different types of materials must conform to federal and local regulations. Sure, it’s a lot of details, but your specialized knowledge is why your customers rely on you!

Should I be a Railroad Freight Forwarder?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • How to Become a
    Railroad Freight Forwarder

    Railroad Freight Forwarders generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Railroad Freight Forwarder-related education!
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