Carrier relationships are everything in the transportation business, but declining consumer demand and falling rates combined with inflation are making it tougher than ever for owner operators and carriers to cover their expenses. A report from the ATA in 2021 found that as much as 30 percent of a drivers’ time is spent waiting to unload or load. Drivers and carrier dispatchers also spend significant amounts of time answering manual phone calls from brokers.
One of the best ways to be a good partner to your core carriers and to bring new carriers/drivers in network is to use time-saving technology in your operations — technology that saves you and your carrier/driver partners time (and money). Check out these five ways to stop wasting your carriers’ time.
1. Digitize Offers and Negotiations
Digital freight matching technology takes the back and forth phone calls out of finding and securing capacity for freight brokers like you. It also reduces the number of phone calls carriers receive asking, “Do you have a truck?” With digital freight matching, you can search for truck capacity in real-time. Once you locate it, you have the option to send the carrier a digital message with a click of your computer mouse.
2. Offer App-Based and Online Load Booking
Tools like Book It Now® allow owner operators and carriers to book your loads at any time — not only during daytime hours or when someone on your team is available to answer their calls. When a carrier or driver books a Book It Now® load, the shipment is automatically scheduled in your TMS, automating the booking process for all involved. The carrier/driver automatically receives an email confirmation of the booking, as well.
3. Provide Backhauls
Digital freight matching software like Trucker Tools’ automatically displays backhauls to brokers like you who use the platform and to carriers and drivers viewing your company’s loads in Trucker Tools’ driver/carrier platforms. Providing a reload to the driver/carrier saves them time, as they don’t have to separately search for a backhaul for the load.
4. Automate Load Tracking
A 2021 Trucker Tools’ survey found that 70 percent of brokers and 3PLs used check calls to track loads in transit. Depending on the length of the trip, a trucker or their dispatcher receives on average seven or eight check calls for each load transported. A great way to save time and minimize hassle for your driver and carrier partners is to use a real-time technology that automates load tracking. Your carriers and drivers will thank you for it!
5. App-Based Paperwork Submission
Finally, offering a scan and send option to drivers for submitting BoL and PoD paperwork saves your driver/carrier partners valuable time. When drivers can quickly take photos of docs with their smartphones and securely upload and send you this paperwork, it streamlines your own internal processes and helps carriers and drivers get paid faster.
Learn more about “The Role of ELDs in Real-time Freight Visibility.”