As a freight broker or 3PL, you have not one but two customers: the shipper who wants to move the freight and the motor carrier you hire to transport that freight. Carriers have a lot of options when it comes to freight, so if you want to build or add to your carrier network, you must differentiate yourself from other freight brokers. One of the best ways to become a broker of choice with carriers is to use technology in your operations that make you easy to do business with from a carrier’s perspective.
Check out these five ways to become a broker of choice with carriers.
1. Reduce Phone Calls To Carriers with Digital Freight Matching
Most carriers receive a lot of calls from brokers asking, “Do you have a truck?” Answering these and other truck capacity-related phone calls takes up valuable time in a carrier’s operations. Instead, consider using digital freight matching technology to become a better partner to carriers by digitizing your communications with them. With digital freight matching platforms like Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity, you gain access to real-time capacity data that tells you whether a carrier has capacity in a given lane. Once you locate available capacity, you can send the carrier a message through Smart Capacity instead of calling the carrier, which ultimately makes that carrier (and your own operations) more efficient.
2. Offer App or Web-Based Digital Load Booking
Offering carriers and owner operators the ability to book loads digitally is another way to become a broker of choice and stand out from your competition. Platforms like Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity let you offer digital load booking to specific carriers and owner operators for specific loads. To do so, simply post your loads to Smart Capacity as Book It Now® loads. Posting your loads as Book It Now® loads gives owner operators the ability to book your load instantly through the Trucker Tools driver app, while carriers can book Book It Now® loads through Trucker Tools’ free software platform for carriers. Like digital freight matching tech, Book It Now® saves carriers and owner operators time, which is why they often appreciation the option.
3. Respond Quickly To Rate Quotes
Faster response times also boosts your standing with carriers and drivers. With technology platforms like Smart Capacity, you can view all of your digital rate quotes (both incoming and outgoing) in the Carrier Activity tab within Smart Capacity. With all of your rate negotiations in one centrally located digital place, it’s easy to see where you are in the negotiation process on each load. With a click of your mouse, you can accept, reject or counteroffer on any quotes you receive from carriers and/or owner operators. Using Smart Capacity’s Carrier Activity to manage rate quotes often increases the speed with which you’re able to respond to inquiries from carriers and owner operators.
4. Provide Perks with Driver Loyalty Program
Joining Trucker Tools’ new Driver Loyalty Program is another way to become a broker of choice with carriers and drivers. In Trucker Tools’ Driver Loyalty Program, users of Trucker Tools’ free driver app earn TruckerPoints for tasks completed within the app. Drivers can then redeem these TruckerPoints for free gift cards to 200+ different U.S. retailers. At a time when operating expenses for truckers are at all-time highs, the promise of free gift cards can encourage drivers (and the carriers for whom they run) to keep running your loads. As a freight broker in our Driver Loyalty Program, you can offer TruckerPoints to drivers around tasks that you want to automate or digitize, such a load booking, load tracking or paperwork submission.
5. Track Loads Digitally To Make Detention Time-Tracking Easier
Let’s face it — detention time (also known as dwell time) is an ongoing problem for the transportation industry. In a business where time is literally money, truckers often wait hours to load or unload their trailers at a shipper or receiver’s dock. Using digital load tracking technology like Trucker Tools’ digitizes load tracking and reduces check calls to drivers. It also makes it easier for drivers and carriers to document detention time and to get paid fairly for it. They can take screenshots of their digital load track to prove they were detained at a shipper’s or receiver’s and to verify how long they waited.