This year has been a tough one for many small businesses, including freight brokers and 3PLs. If you’re a broker or 3PL that’s on the small size, you may be struggling to match the service and perks that larger 3PLs and mega brokers can offer shippers and carriers. You also may be unable to pivot your business to meet the current demand for specific types of capacity, such as reefer and van capacity, or may be having trouble finding capacity at all when capacity is scarce. High overhead may be preventing you from growing your business, as well.
Thankfully, technology can be an equalizer for smaller brokers and logistics providers. Well-designed, real-time technology evens the playing field for smaller brokers/3PLs like you and can help you retain your shippers — and even grow your book of business.
It’s no secret that freight visibility is important to shippers. According to DC Velocity’s 17th annual warehouse and DC metrics study, which was published in August, on-time delivery is number four on the list of shippers’ most commonly used metrics. When shippers have digital visibility/load tracking data, they can provide accurate ETAs to their customers — and that’s good business. As a result, larger shippers, in particular, may have visibility consistency and compliance benchmarks in place that you must meet in order to move their freight.
The truth is that big brokers and 3PLs aren’t the only ones that can provide the load tracking information that shippers require. Scalable technology such as Trucker Tools’ real-time load tracking platform gives you many of the same visibility capabilities as larger brokers/3PLs. With Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility software, you receive GPS-based location updates every five minutes. You don’t have to rely on a trucker or dispatcher answering your phone call to know where your shippers’ freight is located. You can view the real-time location of trucks and their freight in Trucker Tools’ real-time load tracking platform or right in your TMS. The power of real-time digital visibility is that it allows you to address delays and update your shippers with accurate ETAs in real-time, just like the big brokers and 3PLs.
If your staff members are making manual phone calls, sending emails to carriers or using load boards to cover loads, that causes your cost per load to be high. It’s pretty simple: the more time and human resources required to cover a load, the higher your cost is. When you find capacity manually, it’s also harder to increase the amount of freight that you move because you have to hire additional staff members to make more phone calls, send more emails and deal with more load board postings.
Consider using digital freight matching instead to cover your loads. Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching software automatically matches your open loads with trucks from your network of preferred carriers. Finding a truck to cover a single load takes minutes, not hours for your staff members. Your team members don’t have to make phone calls, log onto load boards or email carriers to find capacity — they can find it quickly on their computers and move onto the next task. When your process for covering a load is more efficient, that reduces your cost per load and also gives your team the time and opportunity to build strategic relationships with key carriers and preferred shippers.
You may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but what if capacity is scarce? What then?” It’s true, there’s a capacity shortage at the moment and when truck capacity is tight, truckers and carriers are more discriminating about the loads they’ll take and the brokers/3PLs they’ll work with. Instead of looking at the current capacity crunch as a problem, consider it an opportunity. The capacity crunch is providing you with an chance to bring high-performing small trucking companies and owner operators into your carrier network.
You can expand your carrier network by using transparent technology that provides real value to carriers. Technology like Trucker Tools’ driver app does more than just track loads for brokers. The Trucker Tools’ driver app gives truckers real-time info on fuel prices, parking, routing, weigh scales, Wal-Mart locations, CDL legal protection, rest areas, truck stops, restaurants, DOT locations, doctors, hospitals and more. It’s worth noting that the load tracking tool that is included in our free driver app provides transparency to truckers. The trucker must tap on accept to start a load track and can clearly see who is receiving their location data. Truckers also can pause or cancel a load track, if needed. Truckers and carriers who use Trucker Tools’ free driver app and/or free carrier platform can quickly search for (and book) your loads without picking up the phone, which helps increase their efficiency and margins, as well.
Read Candor Expedite Uses Trucker Tools’ Real-Time Visibility To Provide 99 Percent On-Time Delivery, Build Trust with Shippers to learn how one small 3PL is leveraging Trucker Tools’ load tracking to achieve outstanding results. Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform, digital freight matching and Book It Now®.