Interest in and the use of digital freight matching has grown exponentially since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020. Never before have we seen a concept take over to such a degree. In years previous, technology innovation and adoption has followed a predictable pattern in this industry: individual companies adopt the technology and, if it’s a results-producing technology, popularity grows slowly. This often happens over many years and is a slow process. After this incremental adoption period, we eventually see widespread implementation of the technology – and the cycle eventually repeats with the next value-driven technological innovation. This year, however, has been different.
This year, we’ve witnessed huge changes to the transportation landscape. With more people staying at home, the demand for physical goods has skyrocketed. It’s been a year in which larger organizations have generally fared better than small Mom and Pop businesses. The reason why big shippers, brokers and carriers fared better this year is because they were often early adopters of technological innovations like digital freight matching.
Digital freight matching and other technologies give you the ability to scale up volume, maximize profits, change lanes, attract new customers and build partnerships quickly and seamlessly in a way that can’t be achieved with phone calls and load boards. The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a bright spotlight on the competitive advantages that digital freight matching and other technologies provide — which is why transportation businesses of all sizes are implementing new technology at never before seen rates.
In order to understand how we got here, it’s important to look back at where we’ve been. Several decades ago, a new technology emerged that let truckers view a running list of available loads on TV monitors in truck stops. This was a huge change for the industry. The TV monitors in truck stops permanently changed the transportation world. Before that, unless you had an existing relationship, there was really no way for you to know about loads if you were a trucker or trucks if you were a broker. This led to the invention of the modern load board in the 1990s, driven by the internet’s popularity. As a result, hundreds of load boards were created as this new technology took hold. Load boards drove big transportation transactions for decades.
In the mid-2000s, another technological breakthrough occurred when smart phones became popular. This was when digital freight matching truly was born, offering shippers, truckers, carriers and brokers an alternative to load boards. For many years, carriers and brokers wanted a way to quickly and easily find loads and trucks. Digital freight matching captured the attention of the industry because, for the first time, a core business activity could be truly automated. Digital freight matching represents a new future for the industry. With loads boards, you’re throwing all of your loads or trucks in a bucket. With digital freight matching, you don’t have to look through the bucket to find what you want. Digital freight matching finds the best match for you quickly, so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking through long lists of trucks and loads to find what you need.
With digital freight matching, we’ve taken the traditional load board approach of throwing everything in one bucket and changed it to putting the best load in front of best truck and the best truck in front of the best load. What’s remarkable about digital freight matching is its pace. Thanks to process algorithms and machine learning technology, matching happens instantaneously and you can move much faster. With predictive load matching, you can even find and book trucks before they become available.
Digital freight matching and predictive matching give you insight into what capacity will be available in Chicago two days from now. You can find out how many loads will be available vs how many trucks will be available. This gives your shipper more choices because you can recommend that the shipper delays their shipment a day if you know that capacity will be cheaper tomorrow. That level of intelligence has never been available before, which is the main reason why digital freight matching is taking over the industry.
Find out how Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching can help your business. Read Five Reasons To Use Trucker Tools’ Digital Freight Matching for Brokers. Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform today.