In this new Broker Tips blog series, we’re sharing time-saving tips and shortcuts that will help you save time in your daily work as a freight broker. This first blog in the series is all about Smart Routes, a new feature in Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity digital freight matching platform. With Smart Routes, you can have Smart Capacity automatically send loads in certain lanes to specific carriers that usually run in those lanes, saving you valuable time in your day-to-day work.
Check out these step-by-step directions on how to use Smart Routes to save time, cover loads faster and put the right load in front of the right carrier – all with a few clicks on your computer.
Step 1. Open Smart Routes
To open Smart Routes, click on the drop down menu under your company name on the top right hand side of the screen in Smart Capacity. Click on Smart Routes.
Step 2: Add New Smart Route
Click on ADD SMART ROUTE to create a new Smart Route. Click NEXT.
Step 3: Name Your Smart Route
Create a name for your Smart Route. In this example scenario, imagine that one of your customers has just awarded your company a year-long dry van contract running from Atlanta to Dallas. We’re going to name this Smart Route “Atlanta Project.” Click NEXT.
Step 4: Define the Lane
Next up, define the lane by origin and destination. You have the option to define your lane by market, state or zone – or if you want to leave it open-ended and take a broader strategy, choose anywhere for origin and/or destination. In this case, we’re going to choose Atlanta, Ga., as the origin and Dallas as the destination in the drop-down menus. Once you’ve selected the origin and destination markets, click on NEXT.
Step 5: Filter Specific Loads by Custom Criteria
This is where you define which loads you’ll be sending to carriers. Choose equipment type, dispatcher ID or revenue code. Here’s how to understand the match type field: IN means an exact match for what’s entered in the next field, while NOT IN will exclude the exact match that is entered in the next field. MATCHES will yield all results containing what is entered in the next field. DOES NOT MATCH will yield all of the results excluding what is entered in the field. Keep in mind that you can add multiple criteria. Once you’ve defined your criteria, click NEXT.
Step 6: Set Your Carrier Strategy
Here, you’ll decide who can see the loads. Choose Enhance to allow all in-network carriers to view and book matching loads. Choose Strict if you want to select specific carriers and only give those specific carriers the ability to view and book the loads. (Note: your Strategy Type choice cannot be changed after the Smart Route is created. A new Smart Route will need to be created in order to use a different strategy type.) After you’ve chosen your carrier strategy, click NEXT.
Step 7: Build Your Carrier List
Click on “Define custom carrier list” and then click NEXT to add carriers to the Smart Route. Here, you can use the CSV template to create a list of carriers and upload it to Smart Capacity OR you can enter carrier information manually in the boxes provided. To create the CSV template, click on CSV Template Download. Once you’ve downloaded the template and filled in the carrier info, click on Upload Carrier List and choose your file. Click NEXT.
Step 8: Choose a Load Promotion Strategy
Defining a milestone allows you to create a timeline of when you would like carriers from your custom carrier list to receive emails about these loads. You can tier your carriers to email certain carriers about the loads in a specific order. You can set these milestones relative to the load creation day or pickup time. Once you’ve created your milestones, click FINISH AND CREATE SMART ROUTE.
Learn about “The Art of Digital Freight Matching.”