It’s that time of year when many of us pull out favorite family recipes for the holiday season to cook and share with our loved ones. When you’re a cook in the kitchen, you need the right ingredients and tools in order for your dish to come out right. While there’s no literal recipe for succeeding in freight brokerage in the new year, there are actions you can take now to increase your chances of thriving in 2023. From investing in time and money-saving technology to strengthening carrier and driver relationships, you can build a strong foundation for your business that will see you through whatever the year may bring.
1. Identity Inefficient Internal Workflows, Processes
As freight markets have cooled in recent months, it’s shrunk load margins and profits for many. Any time that markets change, it’s worth investigating how you can do more with the resources you already have. That involves taking a close look at your operations and determining which activities, particularly manual tasks, are negatively impacting overall productivity. If you’re like most brokerages, you may be devoting a lot of time and human resources to manually sourcing capacity, tracking loads, communicating with carriers and processing carrier paperwork. The problem with doing these activities “by hand” is that it unnecessarily increases your operating costs. Higher operating costs impact your bottom line and can make it difficult to grow without increasing your head count significantly.
2. Invest in Tracking and Capacity Sourcing Tech To Reduce Costs, Boost Productivity and Outperform Competitors
Real-time load tracking, matching and booking technology can truly help you do more with your current head count, which is why investing in it is one of the most effective ways to increase the chances of a successful 2023. With real-time freight matching, booking and tracking technology, team members are concentrating their efforts on what matters most in this business: providing great service to shippers and building strong relationships with carriers. Their time is better spent on service and relationship-building than it is making hundreds of calls to carriers each week to ask if they have trucks available or when loads will arrive. When you use real-time tracking, booking and matching technology in your business, you can potentially increase the volume of freight you broker without increasing your head count. It also sets you apart from your competitors who are still doing everything manually.
3. Consider Carrier/Driver Experience When Choosing Technology
Every though this is number three on this list, it’s arguably the most important ingredient of all in your recipe for success in 2023. If your brokerage is difficult to communicate with and/or you ask carriers and drivers to use technology that’s ineffective or not user-friendly, you reduce the chances that those carriers and drivers want to continue working with you. It’s also important to note that when you don’t have a strong carrier network, your shippers can end up losing out by paying higher rates or experiencing service failures — and that can threaten the long-term health of your company. It’s in your best interest and that of your customers to keep drivers and carriers in your network. That’s why any time you’re considering a new technology investment for your business, you should ensure it has an easy-to-use interface and that it provides real value for drivers and carriers. If a load tracking, matching or booking app doesn’t really save time or offer carriers and drivers themselves some benefit, they will be reluctant to use it.