To say that the competition level is high in freight brokerage and logistics is an understatement, especially given the happenings of the last year. The pandemic has driven more consumers toward e-commerce and home delivery, pushing truckload volumes and truck rates to record levels in June, July and August of this year. Every week, it seems a new industry record is broken. Ongoing high volumes and rates combined with supply chain disruptions and labor shortages have made it that much harder for you to find truck capacity as a freight broker or 3PL.
Using technology in your operations is one of the most effective ways to deal with current market volatility and the capacity crunch. Real-time load tracking, digital freight matching technology and digital load booking all can help you stay ahead of your competitors and grow even in the face of unprecedented disruption.
Real-time visibility of freight was a top need and concern for shippers before the pandemic. Since the pandemic arrived on U.S. shores, the demand for real-time visibility has become even more acute. As a freight broker or logistics business, your ability to keep your customers and possibly expand your customer base often hinges on your ability to provide real-time load tracking data. Technology such as Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform help you meet and even surpass even the most stringent shipper visibility requirements. Companies like Surge Transportation are scoring in the 10 top of all service providers on customer KPI score cards thanks to Trucker Tools’ platform real-time visibility platform. Trucker Tools’ platform integrates with the software used by most shippers, which means you can automatically share load tracking updates with shippers, which they often appreciate.
Digital freight matching technology also can give you a leg up on your competitors. Solutions like Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching allow you to quickly search for both in-network and out-of-network capacity in a matter of seconds right in your TMS. Unlike load boards, Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching only shows you capacity that is truly available. The advantage is that you can restrict your phone calls to only those carriers who are likely to have capacity according to the data in the platform. This is a huge time saver and is much more efficient that cold-calling a dozen carriers when you need to cover a load. You also can use Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching technology to research capacity and lanes for your shipper customers, should they need to change where they manufacture their products or change their distribution routes.
Another technology that helps you stay ahead of the competition is predictive load matching, which is included with Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform. Predictive load matching technology uses the real-world movement of trucks and the data from our platform to predict where capacity will be available in the future. Knowing where capacity is likely to be available in the future allows you to plan further in advance and to secure capacity before it’s available publicly, which provides a significant advantage for you as a freight broker or logistics provider. Predictive load matching allows you to get to carriers ahead of your competitors who are using load boards, phone calls and emails to find capacity.
In transportation, the more time and resources it takes to complete a task, the higher your operating costs become. If, for example, you have to call 10 carriers in order to cover a load or make six check calls per load to track a load, that inflates your cost per load. Using technology such as Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching or real-time visibility platform instead greatly reduces the time and human resources required to complete these tasks. Making your operations as efficient as possible has other benefits, as well. Automating manual tasks frees up time and human resources that can be used for revenue-generating tasks and relationship-building, which ultimately can help you grow your business without increasing your overhead costs.
When it comes to building relationships with carriers and keeping them in your network, the kind of technology you use matters. If drivers and carriers find the technology that you use to be difficult to navigate, cumbersome or ineffective, they may be less likely to run your loads again. Choosing carrier-friendly technology that offers carriers convenience can be an effective way to attract new carriers and retain the ones you have. Companies like Trinity Logistics are using the Trucker Tools platform and Book-It-Now® to provide carriers with 24/7 access to their loads and the ability to book loads digitally though Trucker Tools’ app or free carrier software platform.
“Carriers are searching for loads and Book It Now® helps us meet them where they are,” said Trinity Logistics’ President Sarah Ruffcorn. “We focus on making Trinity easy to do business with and the Trucker Tools platform helps us achieve that.”
Check out these Five Ways Trucker Tools’ Customer Support Team Can Help You Grow and Build a More Efficient Business. Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform, digital freight matching and Book-It-Now®.