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Top 10 Freight Associate Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for freight associates, including those that are most beneficial to the industry.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications for a freight associate are important in the job market because they demonstrate that an individual has the knowledge and experience necessary to handle a variety of tasks related to the shipping industry. Having certifications prove that someone is qualified for the position, which can make them more attractive to employers. Additionally, certifications can provide freight associates with additional skills and knowledge that can help them be more successful in their roles. Furthermore, certifications can also help a freight associate increase their earning potential as they provide evidence of their expertise in the field.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Freight Associates and explains how they can help to further a freight associate's career.

What are Freight Associate Certifications?

Freight associate certification is a program designed to provide individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful freight associates. The program covers topics such as shipping, receiving, inventory management, customer service, and transportation logistics. It also includes training in safety protocols, which can help protect workers from potential risks when handling freight.

The certification can be beneficial for those looking to enter the field of freight associate or those already employed in the industry but wanting to gain more knowledge and experience. By completing this certification program, individuals will have a greater understanding of how the industry works and can therefore better serve their employers and customers. Additionally, having a freight associate certification may make an individual more attractive to potential employers and increase their chances of being hired or promoted within the company.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research all freight associate certification requirements before beginning the application process, as different states and employers may have different requirements. Additionally, look into any continuing education or recertification requirements that may be necessary to maintain your freight associate certification.

Related: What does a Freight Associate do?

Top 10 Freight Associate Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Freight Associates today.

1. Certified Freight Associate (CFA)

Certified Freight Associate (CFA) is a professional certification program designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful in the freight industry. The CFA program is administered by the National Association of Certified Freight Agents (NACFA).

The CFA program consists of two parts: an online course and an exam. The online course covers topics such as freight regulations, customer service, and pricing strategies. It takes approximately 10 hours to complete the course. After completing the course, applicants must pass a proctored exam in order to receive their certification.

To get certified, applicants must pay a fee of $195 USD. This fee covers both the online course and exam fees. Once certified, individuals can use their CFA designation on business cards, resumes, and other documents to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the freight industry.

The CFA certification is valid for three years after which it must be renewed by taking an additional online course or retaking the exam. Renewal fees are $95 USD for members of NACFA or $145 USD for non-members.

2. Certified Logistics Professional (CLP)

Certified Logistics Professional (CLP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of logistics professionals. It is administered by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (AST&L). The CLP program focuses on developing and recognizing the competencies needed for successful performance in logistics-related positions.

The CLP program consists of two parts: a written exam and a practical application. The written exam covers topics such as supply chain management, inventory control, warehouse operations, transportation management, customer service, and more. The practical application requires candidates to demonstrate their knowledge through case studies or other projects.

The entire process typically takes between 6-12 months to complete depending on the individual's experience level. Candidates must first register with AST&L in order to take the exam. After registering, they will receive study materials which they should use to prepare for the exam. Once they have passed the exam, they can then submit their application for the practical application portion of the program.

The cost of obtaining a CLP certification varies depending on whether or not you are an AST&L member. Non-members must pay an initial fee of $250 plus an additional $100 for each year that they maintain their certification status. Members pay an initial fee of $150 plus an additional $50 for each year that they maintain their certification status.

3. Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)

Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) is a professional certification program offered by the APICS organization. The CSCP certification is designed to help supply chain professionals gain the knowledge and skills needed to manage global supply chains in today’s complex, ever-changing business environment. It is the only supply chain certification that covers all aspects of the global supply chain, from strategic design to tactical execution.

The CSCP program consists of three parts: a comprehensive online course, an exam, and ongoing continuing education requirements. The online course consists of 12 modules covering topics such as supply chain strategy and design, customer relationship management, demand planning, order fulfillment, inventory management, logistics and transportation management, and sustainability. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering the material presented in the course.

It typically takes about six months to complete all three parts of the CSCP program. However, this can vary depending on how much time you have available for studying and taking the exam.

To get certified as a CSCP professional you must first register with APICS and pay a fee which varies depending on your membership status. After registering you will be given access to the online course materials which you must complete before taking the exam. Once you have passed the exam you will receive your official CSCP certificate and be eligible for continuing education credits each year in order to maintain your credential.

The cost for becoming a Certified Supply Chain Professional varies depending on whether or not you are an APICS member prior to registering for the program; non-members pay $1,495 while members pay $995 USD plus applicable taxes at current rates.

4. Certified International Freight Forwarding Specialist (CIFFS)

Certified International Freight Forwarding Specialist (CIFFS) is a professional certification program designed to provide freight forwarders with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their field. The program is administered by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and is recognized worldwide as a benchmark of excellence in the freight forwarding industry.

The CIFFS certification is achieved through a combination of online learning, classroom instruction, and an examination. The online portion consists of 10 modules that cover topics such as air cargo operations, customs regulations, international trade law, and logistics management. The classroom portion consists of two days of intensive training on the same topics. Finally, the examination tests knowledge acquired from both the online and classroom portions.

The entire process takes approximately three months to complete from start to finish. To get started, applicants must first register for the program with IATA and pay a fee of $1,500 USD. After registration is complete, applicants will receive access to the online course materials which they can begin studying at their own pace. Once they have completed all 10 modules, they can then register for the two-day classroom session which will be held at an IATA-approved training center in their region. Following successful completion of both components, applicants must then pass an exam administered by IATA in order to become certified as an International Freight Forwarder Specialist (CIFFS).

The cost associated with obtaining CIFFS certification includes a one-time registration fee of $1,500 USD as well as any travel costs associated with attending the two-day classroom session if it’s not available locally.

5. Certified Customs Brokerage Specialist (CCBS)

Certified Customs Brokerage Specialist (CCBS) is a professional designation that is granted to individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of customs brokerage. A CCBS is an individual who has completed a specialized course of study and passed an examination administered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The CCBS designation indicates that the holder has achieved a level of knowledge and proficiency in the area of customs brokerage, which includes understanding applicable laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and practices related to importing goods into the United States.

It typically takes about two years to complete all requirements for obtaining the CCBS designation. To become certified as a CCBS, one must first obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with at least 24 semester hours in courses related to international trade or customs law. Additionally, applicants must complete at least three years of full-time experience working in either customs brokerage or international trade operations within five years prior to applying for certification. Once these requirements are met, applicants can then register for and take the CBP-administered exam.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on where you take it; however, it typically runs between $200-$300. Additionally, there may be other costs associated with obtaining your certification such as application fees or membership dues with professional organizations related to international trade or customs law.

6. Certified Transportation and Logistics Manager (CTLM)

Certified Transportation and Logistics Manager (CTLM) is a professional certification offered by the American Society of Transportation & Logistics (AST&L). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to effectively manage transportation and logistics operations.

The CTLM certification program consists of two parts: an online exam and a practical application project. The online exam covers topics such as supply chain management, transportation management, logistics planning and operations, customer service, safety and security, financial management, technology applications, and more. The practical application project requires candidates to develop a plan for improving an existing transportation or logistics operation.

The CTLM certification process typically takes about six months to complete. Candidates must first register with AST&L and pay the associated fees before taking the online exam. Once they pass the exam, they must then complete their practical application project within six months in order to receive their CTLM certification.

The cost for the CTLM certification program varies depending on whether you are an AST&L member or non-member. For members, it costs $995; for non-members it costs $1,495.

7. Certified Global Trade Professional (CGTP)

Certified Global Trade Professional (CGTP) is a professional certification program offered by the International Trade Council (ITC). It is designed to recognize and promote excellence in global trade management. The CGTP program is an internationally recognized certification that provides individuals with recognition of their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the field of international trade.

The CGTP program consists of three levels: Certified Global Trade Professional (CGTP), Advanced Certified Global Trade Professional (ACGTP), and Master Certified Global Trade Professional (MCGTP). Each level requires a different set of qualifications, including education, experience, and professional development activities. To become certified at any level, applicants must pass an exam administered by the ITC.

It typically takes between six months to one year to complete all requirements for the CGTP certification. This includes completing coursework or self-study materials, attending workshops or seminars, and passing the required exams.

To get certified as a CGTP, applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria such as having a minimum of two years of relevant work experience in global trade management or related fields; having completed at least 40 hours of approved training courses; and passing the ITC’s written examination.

The cost for becoming certified as a CGTP varies depending on the applicant's country of residence and other factors such as whether they are taking part in any special offers or discounts. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000 USD to become certified as a CGTP.

8. International Air Transport Association Cargo Agent Certification (IATA-CAC)

The International Air Transport Association Cargo Agent Certification (IATA-CAC) is a certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of cargo agents working in the air cargo industry. The IATA-CAC is awarded to individuals who have successfully completed an approved training course and passed an examination.

The IATA-CAC certification program typically takes between 4 and 6 weeks to complete, depending on the level of prior experience and the amount of time dedicated to studying for the exam. To get certified, individuals must first register for an approved training course with an accredited IATA Training Center or School. After completing the training course, they must then pass a written examination that covers topics such as air cargo regulations, customs clearance procedures, dangerous goods regulations, and freight forwarding operations.

The cost of obtaining an IATA-CAC certification varies depending on the type of training course chosen and other factors such as location. Generally speaking, however, it can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 USD to obtain this certification.

9. National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America Certification (NCBFAA-CCF)

The National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Certification is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and experience in the customs brokerage and forwarding industry. The NCBFAA-CCF certification is a voluntary program that requires applicants to demonstrate their understanding of the customs regulations, international trade laws, and other related topics.

In order to obtain the NCBFAA-CCF certification, applicants must pass an examination administered by the NCBFAA. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as customs clearance procedures, import/export regulations, international trade agreements, and more. The exam typically takes about four hours to complete and is offered twice per year.

To be eligible for the NCBFAA-CCF certification, applicants must meet certain requirements such as having at least two years of experience in the customs brokerage or forwarding field or having completed an approved educational program in this area. Additionally, applicants must also submit a fee which covers the cost of processing their application and administering the exam. This fee varies depending on whether applicants are members or nonmembers of NCBFAA but typically ranges from $150-$400 USD.

Once applicants have successfully passed their examination they will receive an official certificate from NCBFAA recognizing them as certified customs brokers or forwarders with advanced knowledge in this field. This certification can help individuals stand out among their peers when applying for jobs or seeking promotions within their current organization.

10. American Society of Transportation and Logistics Certification in Freight Forwarding and Logistics Management (ASTL-CFFLM).

The American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL) Certification in Freight Forwarding and Logistics Management (ASTL-CFFLM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of freight forwarders and logistics professionals. The ASTL-CFFLM is an internationally recognized certification program that provides individuals with the credentials to demonstrate their expertise in freight forwarding and logistics management.

The ASTL-CFFLM consists of four core courses: Introduction to Freight Forwarding, International Trade Law, Logistics Management, and International Transportation. Each course is offered online or through classroom instruction. The courses are designed to provide students with the knowledge needed to become successful freight forwarders and logistics professionals. Upon completion of all four courses, students receive an official ASTL-CFFLM certificate from the American Society of Transportation and Logistics.

It typically takes approximately three months to complete all four courses required for the ASTL-CFFLM certification. The cost of the program varies depending on which type of instruction you choose (online or classroom). Generally speaking, online instruction costs less than classroom instruction. Additionally, some employers may offer tuition reimbursement for employees who pursue this certification program.

In order to obtain the ASTL-CFFLM certification, individuals must pass a comprehensive exam that covers all four core courses in addition to other topics related to freight forwarding and logistics management. To be eligible for the exam, applicants must have completed all four core courses within two years prior to taking the exam. The cost of the exam is $400 USD per attempt; however, if you do not pass on your first attempt you may retake it at no additional cost within six months from your initial test date.

Do You Really Need a Freight Associate Certificate?

The short answer is no. A freight associate certificate is not a requirement for most jobs in the freight industry, although it can be beneficial to have one. It can provide you with a competitive edge when applying for certain positions, and many employers will recognize the value of a certificate in the field.

However, if you are looking to secure employment as a freight associate or are considering pursuing a career in the field, then obtaining a certificate may be beneficial. This is because certification demonstrates an understanding of the fundamentals of freight procedures and processes, as well as an awareness of federal regulations that must be followed by those working in the industry. Additionally, having this type of certification shows employers that you are committed to your profession and willing to go above and beyond basic job requirements to ensure success and safety.

In conclusion, while it is not necessary to obtain a freight associate certificate before entering the workforce in this field, there are many advantages associated with doing so. Those who choose to pursue this course of study will benefit from having an edge over other applicants when applying for positions as well as developing their knowledge base and skillset necessary for success within the industry.

Related: Freight Associate Resume Examples

FAQs About Freight Associate Certifications

1. Q: What is a Freight Associate Certification?

A: A Freight Associate Certification is an industry-recognized certification program for individuals who work in the transportation and logistics industry. The program provides comprehensive training to help freight associates develop their knowledge and skills in areas such as supply chain management, operations, customer service, safety and compliance.

2. Q: How do I become certified as a Freight Associate?

A: To become certified as a Freight Associate, you must complete approved educational courses and pass the certification exam. You can find more information about the certification process on the American Logistics Association website.

3. Q: What are the benefits of becoming a certified Freight Associate?

A: Becoming a certified Freight Associate can give you an advantage over other applicants when applying for jobs in the transportation and logistics field. It also allows employers to recognize your qualifications, making it easier to move up in your current job or switch jobs within the industry. Additionally, it can provide you with greater job security and higher pay potential due to your specialized knowledge and experience.

4. Q: How long does a Freight Associate Certification last?

A: The certification is valid for three years from the date of issue, after which you must renew your certification by completing additional coursework or passing an updated version of the exam.

5. Q: Is there any age limit for taking the Freight Associate Certification Exam?

A: No, there is no age limit for taking the exam; however, applicants should have basic math and English language skills as these will be tested during the examination process.