If you’ve been working in this industry for any length of time, you know that as a freight broker or 3PL business, your ability to meet your customers’ capacity needs hinges on the strength of your carrier relationships. Plainly put, if you can’t get the truck you can’t move the load. Amidst the current capacity crunch, carriers and drivers can be selective about which brokers with whom they choose to work. In the logistics world of today, how you use technology with drivers and carriers can have a significant impact on whether they will be inclined to stay in your network or go elsewhere. With this in mind, we’ve put together best practices for building and maintaining relationships with carriers.

Be Easy To Do Business With

In a recent webinar with Trucker Tools, Trinity Logistics Group’s Vice President Hayley Dobson spoke at length about how the company is leveraging technology to simplify and streamline communications with carriers. Trinity Logistics currently is using Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity for real-time visibility, digital freight matching and digital load booking in its operations.

“I think it goes without saying that it’s so important to be easy to do business with for retention across the board,” said Dobson. “We need to keep carriers moving and productive. Carriers don’t have a lot of extra time in their day to make a call to find a load or to check in, so any way that we can give them to connect with us that doesn’t disrupt their current process is really critical in retaining them. Carriers have a tough enough job as it is and the whole purpose of our role as a 3PL/broker is to make their job easier, which requires that our interactions with them are as seamless as possible.”

With the company’s use of Smart Capacity’s digital load tracking and freight matching, Trinity’s carriers receive fewer phone calls and experience fewer disruptions. Smart Capacity’s Book-It-Now® capabilities allow carriers that work with Trinity to book loads digitally through the Trucker Tools app or free carrier platform instead of transacting business with Trinity through email, manual phone calls or load boards.

Simplify Processes for Carriers

Ryan Transportation offers a faster signup process and premium loads to top tier carriers, as well as a guaranteed detention program in an effort to build and strengthen carrier relationships. That carrier-centric approach includes using the Trucker Tools driver app for load tracking and also for documenting driver detention time. Ryan also uses Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity to reduce cold calls to carriers about capacity and to offer convenient digital load booking to its carriers with Book-It-Now®.

“It’s about trying to decrease that one and done type of carrier,” said Ryan Transportation’s Senior V.P. of Operations Jeff Henderson in a recent Trucker Tools webinar. “150,000 carriers entered the marketplace last year, many of whom were owner operators, and we’re trying to keep them coming back and to become a broker of choice for those carriers. Secondly to that, we’ve always had the mindset that carriers are the cornerstone of our business. I can’t bring capacity to the customer and continue to grow if I do not have a great relationship with my carriers and make it easier to engage with my carriers.”

Use Technology That Saves Carriers Time

“You do have to offer additional load booking options for carriers,” said Ryder Freight Brokerage’s V.P. and General Manager Dave Belter in an interview. “You have to be willing to do business in the manner that is easiest for them. Being agile and flexible is extremely important. We’re really focused on making it easy for our customers to do business and for our carriers taking all of the friction out of business processes so that our people can focus on solving real problems. Our focus is on automating the administrative business processes around administrating loads, smarter load matching, load tracking and making that whole payment cycle quick and easy for our carriers.”

Ryder Freight Brokerage currently uses Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity to offer automated digital load booking and digital load tracking to its carriers, both of which save carriers time. The 3PL also has set up a web-based portal for its carriers using Trucker Tools’ Broker Advantage. Carriers can communicate directly with Ryder’s team via the Broker Advantage portal and learn about Ryder’s loads, incentives and more in one convenient digital location. Read Why Trucker Tools Should Be Your #1 Source for Truck Capacity.

Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity, including digital load tracking, freight matching and Book-It-Now®.