If you speak with anyone who has worked in freight brokerage or logistics for any length of time, you’ll no doubt hear this phrase: “This industry is about relationships.” Despite this fact, the technology used by many freight brokers and 3PLs is far too often focused on single transactions with carriers rather than the development of long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with trucking companies. In this blog, you’ll learn why carrier relationships are so important to the long-term health of your business and how using the right technology can help you develop and strengthen existing relationships with carriers.
Carrier Relationships: The Glue Holding Your Business Together
As a freight broker, the primary service you offer shippers is finding and securing truck capacity. That means your success or failure as a business is intrinsically tied to your relationships with trucking companies, the folks who actually provide the transportation your shippers need. Most owner operators and carriers seek long-term rather than short-term relationships with brokers because long-term relationships bear better fruit. Once a carrier has an established relationship with a broker, it’s easier to keep trucks running steadily and earning revenue. Using the same carriers again and again benefits you as a freight broker because it provides continuity to your customers and the peace of mind that the carrier will deliver on time.
Technology That Promotes Relationship-Building
When considering what technology to use in your operations, be sure to prioritize software platforms that are designed to promote repeat business between your company and carriers. Platforms like Trucker Tools’ include a robust feature set that make it easy for your team to book multiple loads in a single conversation with a carrier and to search for in-network or already onboarded carrier capacity first before searching out of network. Any time you view a load in Smart Capacity, you’ll also automatically see available backhauls listed for the load. Smart Capacity includes tools like Smart Routes as well, which lets you automatically send loads in specific lanes to carriers that prefer to run in that lane, saving you and the carrier valuable time.
Automation That Benefits Brokers AND Carriers
Let’s face it: most trucking companies receive a lot of phone calls from brokers. Many of these calls are about whether or not the carrier has capacity in a specific lane. Software platforms like Smart Capacity reduce the number of phone calls you have to make to carriers and that they have to answer. With Smart Capacity, you can search for specific types of capacity in certain lanes with a desktop computer in a matter of seconds instead of manually calling carriers. Once you locate a carrier with a truck for the load in Smart Capacity, you have the option to send the carrier a digital message through the platform or call the carrier already knowing that they likely have a truck available. With technology like Smart Capacity, your communications with carriers are more efficient and digital, which benefits everyone involved.
Check out Adam Wingfield’s “Five Carrier Relationship-Building Tips for Freight Brokers.”