In this ongoing blog series, we’re providing freight brokers like you with tips on how to save time and become more productive in your daily work. This blog post focuses on Book It Now®, a powerful tool within Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity broker software platform. Book It Now® digitizes rate negotiations and automates bookings with owner operators and carriers. Book It Now® reduces the time it takes you to cover loads, thereby increasing your productivity as a freight broker and reducing overhead for the brokerage. Trucker Tools’ customer success team recommends these best practices to help you realize the greatest benefits from Book It Now®.
Best Practice #1: Include a Rate
Book It Now® loads tend to get more attention from drivers and fleets when they view them in the Trucker Tools app or our free carrier platform. The reason why is that Book It Now® loads include your preferred price. Owner ops and carriers are more likely to quote on Book It Now® loads even when they’re not satisfied with your listed price. If they agree to your listed Book It Now® price and move forward with booking the load, you’re spared the back-and-forth phone calls of manual rate negotiations and can work more efficiently.
Best Practice #2: Adjust the Rate As Needed
Book It Now® was created to help freight brokers and carriers/drivers book loads/capacity at fair market rates. There are times when you should adjust and adapt your rates according to changing market conditions. However, we recommend pricing your loads fairly from the get-go and staying firm on your Book It Now® rates once they’re posted. You don’t want to create a situation where carriers and drivers aren’t booking your Book It Now® loads because they anticipate that you’re going to reduce the price. After all, the goal of Book It Now® is efficiency for all those involved. Be strategic with how and when you adjust your Book It Now® rates.
Best Practice #3: Redefine the Bottom Line
At first glance, you may think that posting Book It Now® loads at fair market rates isn’t the cheapest way to secure capacity. You may even be able to get a slightly lower rate by working the phones. However, you must consider all the hidden costs associated with finalizing rates and appointments manually by phone or email. You may need to make 20 calls to cover that load. That time lost to making 20 phone calls typically outweighs a $50 or $100 price difference on a load. When you negotiate and book capacity manually, you are using resources (your time) that could otherwise be used to book additional loads or to focus on hard to cover loads.
Best Practice #4: Automate!
You have options when it comes to Book it Now®. You can choose to integrate Book it Now® with your TMS. Doing so automates the process completely. Once the carrier/driver clicks Book-It, they’re automatically and instantly sent a rate confirmation. The other strategy for Book it Now® is this: when a carrier selects Book-It in the app or carrier platform, you receive an email and a notification in the Carrier Activity tab in Smart Capacity prompting you to manually send a rate confirmation to the carrier. To achieve the best results, we recommend fully integrating Book it Now® with your TMS to automate the entire process.
Best Practice #5: Respond Quickly
When a carrier selects a Book It Now® load in the app or carrier platform, the load becomes hidden for one hour. If you are confirming rates manually as described above in #4, be sure to respond quickly to Book it Now® events when you see them. The quicker you respond to carriers, the more likely they will be to keep responding and noticing your loads in the app/carrier platform. Ultimately, you want to avoid this scenario: a carrier selects a Book it Now® load and doesn’t receive a response from you until hours later and by that time has booked a load with someone else.
If you have questions about Book it Now® best practices, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Broker Tip: Find Capacity for Hard-To-Cover Loads with Carrier Search.”