If you work in or own a freight brokerage or logistics business, you may not know that when your internal processes are more efficient, your operating costs are reduced and your profit margins increase — and who doesn’t want that? Implementing well-designed real-time technology in your operations is one of the most effective ways to not only achieve greater efficiency, but also to boost your freight volume without increasing your head count. In this blog, we outline how real-time digital load tracking, freight matching and load booking automation can help you cut costs, improve employee retention, streamline communications with partners and scale your business in the new year.
Reduce Manual Check Calls, Improve Driver Detention with Real-Time Load Tracking
If you’re still using manual check calls to track loads and provide shippers with location updates, you’re missing an opportunity to cut costs. Every time a check call is made, it represents a lost opportunity to use that time to book a load or provide outstanding service to shippers. Real-time digital load tracking technology uses the GPS tech in the trucker phone’s to provide digital load location updates every five to 15 minutes that are viewable in your TMS. With a real-time visibility software, you always can provide shippers with accurate ETAs and are empowered to respond to delays in real-time as they occur.
As a freight brokerage or 3PL company, identifying delays and resolving them quickly obviously is in your best interest; however, in a survey of owner operators and carriers conducted by Trucker Tools in 2021, 59 percent reported that they’re still experiencing pandemic-related delays at shipper locations. In fact, 41 percent of the truckers and fleets surveyed said that delays at shipper and receiver locations are their biggest challenge. Real-time load tracking not only helps you provide better service to shippers. This tech also can help you be a better partner to carriers. You can set up detention alerts in the load tracking system so that when a driver is detained at a location for more than two hours, you’ll automatically receive a notification in your TMS.
Identify and Book Capacity Faster with Digital Freight Matching
Another area of your operations that you should target for cost-cutting in 2022 is your process for covering loads. If you’re like most, you likely use a combination of phone calls, emails and load boards to contact carriers to ask them if they have trucks when and where you need them. The problem with all three of these methods for locating capacity is that they’re terribly inefficient. We surveyed freight brokers and 3PLs like you last year and 80 percent of you said that it takes 30 minutes to two or more hours to cover a single load. The truth is that using team members for these repetitive, manual tasks inflates your operating costs and also isn’t a good use of team’s talents or time.
When you search for a truck with digital freight matching technology, you can quickly see what types of capacity are available in specific lanes in a matter of seconds. Unlike load boards, digital freight matching uses the real-time, real-world movement of trucks to paint an accurate picture of what capacity currently is available. Instead of calling or emailing every carrier that you know or relying on load boards, you can quickly search for capacity, find an available truck, and call the carrier already knowing that the carrier is likely to have a free truck when and where you need it. Digital freight matching reduces cold calls to carriers and makes your process for finding capacity much more efficient. The efficiency gained from using digital freight matching frees up time and human resources that you can use to move more loads, which ultimately can help you grow your business and increase your commissions if you work for the company.
Reduce Overhead with Load Booking Automation
Load booking automation technology like Trucker Tools’ Book It Now® streamlines rate confirmation and booking processes with owner operators and carrier dispatchers. If you post your loads as Book It Now® loads to Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity, you give owner ops and carriers the ability to book your loads digitally through the Trucker Tools driver app or free carrier platform. Book It Now® truly automates the load/truck booking process for you as a freight broker or 3PL company and for owner ops and carriers. The result is that your team often can cover loads faster and in advance thanks to the 24/7 access provided by the technology, and drivers and dispatchers have fewer phone calls and email messages to which they must respond.
The beauty of Book It Now® is that it greatly reduces costs (namely the time and human resources) associated with locating and securing capacity. Instead of spending 30 minutes to two hours or more trying to cover a single load via load boards, phone calls and emails, you can post the load as a Book It Now® load and let your preferred carriers book the load digitally at times that are convenient for them. Book It Now® also offers your business true scalability, i.e. the ability to increase your load count without needing to hire on new staff members.
Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity, including real-time load tracking, digital freight matching and Book It Now®.