In this ongoing Broker Tip blog series, we’re giving freight brokers like you the best practices, tips and tricks to be more effective in your daily work. This newest blog in the series is a guide for building fruitful, long-term relationships with owner operators and carriers. For obvious reasons, your relationships with carriers and owner operators have a significant impact on your ability to meet your customers’ shipping needs. When you have a reliable, loyal network of trucking companies and owner operators to turn to, you’re better able to meet shippers’ requests and can do so faster than competitors who perhaps don’t have the same strong capacity network.
One of the easiest ways to keep carriers and drivers in your network and to entice new owner operators and fleets to work with you is to choose technology platforms that include user-friendly driver and carrier interfaces. If your tech platform of choice is difficult for dispatchers and drivers to use, they’re less inclined to use the tech and even worse, they’re less likely to want to work with your company again the future. Be sure that any apps or websites that you ask drivers and carriers to use are easy to access, reliable and user-friendly. Also ensure that the tech provides real value to drivers and carriers, such as reducing the number of phone calls they receive from your team or providing them with real-time, 24/7 digital access to your loads.
Using a driver and/or carrier loyalty program to reward trucking companies and owner operators for working with your brokerage is a great way to build and maintain positive long-term relationships with both. Trucker Tools’ newly launched Driver Loyalty Program lets you award TruckerPoints to drivers for completing tasks such as successfully tracking loads, booking loads, and uploading BoL and PoD paperwork via Trucker Tools’ free driver app. Drivers can redeem these TruckerPoints for free gift cards to more than 200 different U.S. retailers. With a driver loyalty program like Trucker Tools’, you can literally reward drivers for working with your company. Coming soon: Trucker Tools’ carrier loyalty program!
One of the biggest complaints that carriers and owner operators often have about working with freight brokers is that they feel they’re taken advantage of when it comes to rates. Using a lane pricing tool like FreightWaves SONAR can ensure that you’re not low-balling carriers, which can ultimately impact your long-term relationships with them. Thanks to an integration partnership with SONAR, you now can view real-time average, high and low rates for specific types of loads in specific lanes using Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity platform. This is a valuable resource because it ensures you’re pricing loads fairly and according to the most up to date market data. If carriers question your proposed rate on a given load, you can even highlight that your team is using SONAR data to make sure the rate is fair to all involved.
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