While some brokers have been able to pivot their operations to meet specific consumer demands during the COVID-19 pandemic, most brokers are struggling to adapt to the new market conditions. If you’re still using manual tasks in your everyday operations, the current pandemic should serve as a warning bell. Avoiding the use of technology in your brokerage, no matter what the size, can put you at a distinct disadvantage against your competitors. Now is the time to automate and digitize your operations to maximize profit margins and to prepare your brokerage for the future.
While many industries had already adopted remote work culture and realized its benefits prior to the pandemic, remote work has been slow to build momentum in logistics and freight brokerage. One of the first operational challenges that many brokers had to deal with early on in the crisis was moving employees out of the office to work remotely in order to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Those brokers who already had digital processes and technology-based infrastructure in place were able to transition to working remotely with much greater ease than those that didn’t.
Digitizing and automating manual tasks such as load tracking, capacity searches and load bookings makes remote work much easier. If your employees can track loads and search for trucks via their computers at home, it reduces overhead because you don’t have to invest in new equipment such as phones, fax machines, scanners and other hardware for your employees’ home offices. The time saved by automating these tasks also provides your employees with more time to cultivate new business and expand your shipper base.
Trucker Tools recently surveyed brokers about how COVID-19 is impacting how they do business. Of those that responded, 50 percent reported that they’re diversifying their shipper base in response to the pandemic. Being able to meet or exceed shippers’ load visibility requirements is one way that you can attract new shippers to your brokerage.
Brokers and 3PLs who use Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform are able to gain much greater visibility of the loads they broker. One of the reasons Trucker Tools can provide increased load visibility is that our free driver app is designed to do more than just track loads. The Trucker Tools driver app includes 17 other tools and features, in addition to load tracking, that help carriers with efficiency on the road. Carriers value these tools, which means they’re more likely to use and keep the Trucker Tools driver app on their phones. As a result, carrier adoption of Trucker Tools’ driver app is usually much higher than other load tracking methods, such as single function load tracking apps. This high adoption rate equals greater visibility, which makes you that much more appealing to prospective shipper customers.
If you use emails, load boards and/or telephone calls to find and book truck capacity, it can be very difficult to increase freight volume. When you use manual methods like these, you need your current employees to work more hours or to hire more employees to increase volume. Both of these options increase your overhead.
It is relatively easy and affordable to digitize and automate capacity searches and bookings in your brokerage. Using a digital freight matching platform like Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity reduces the time that your staff members need to find a truck and book a load. Reducing the time needed to secure capacity enables you to increase volume and gives your staff members more time to cultivate new business.
With Trucker Tool’s Smart Capacity digital freight matching platform, you can search for truck capacity within your network of preferred carriers in a matter of seconds. You can filter search results according to carrier name, type of freight/equipment, dates, lanes and other factors. Finding trucks takes seconds, not minutes or hours like it does when you use load boards, phone calls and emails to find capacity. To up your operational efficiency and volume even more, you can post your open loads in Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform as Book-It-Now® loads.
To learn more about how technology can help you withstand the current crisis and position you for future success, read our white paper, “Leverage the Power of Agile Technology To Weather COVID-19 and Gain a Competitive Edge for the Future.”