As a freight broker business or third-party logistics provider, you’re the “middleman” between shippers and carriers. You really have two customers in shippers and carriers. You’re simultaneously working to find trucks to move your shippers loads, while trying to cultivate good working relationships with carriers and owner operators to move those loads today and in the future. It’s no secret that capacity is hard to come by in most freight markets right now. At the same time, a rise in e-commerce is driving higher freight volumes, which really puts you in the middle.
In this blog, we’ll demonstrate how using the right technology in your brokerage or 3PL business can provide numerous benefits to you and your team, and to your partners, as well. Read on to learn how to use digital tools to deliver value to carriers and shippers.
How a Truly Comprehensive Digital Platform Benefits Your Business
True digital software platforms like Trucker Tools’ provide a suite of automation services that increase productivity across your operations. Trucker Tools’ broker/3PL digital platform automates your communications with carriers and shippers, which reduces or eliminates many of the repetitive, manual tasks that eat up valuable time and resources. The efficiency gained with Trucker Tools’ digital platform provides you with the ability to scale up your business, explore new lanes and cultivate new shipper relationships without increasing your employee headcount.
When you do things “by hand” in your operation (think check calls, emails/phone calls to source capacity), you’re not using available technology or your team members to the fullest advantage. Technology like Trucker Tools’ digital platform reduces the time it takes for your team members to locate qualified capacity, finalize rates and appointments with carriers, and track loads for your shippers. Trucker Tools’ real-time technology connects you digitally with the 1.3 million carriers using the Trucker Tools mobile app and the 165,000+ carriers on the Trucker Tools platform.
How These Digital Tools Deliver Value to Carriers
Picture this: you’re a driver or carrier dispatcher and instead of receiving eight to 10 calls from a broker on each load, you simply use the Trucker Tools app to automatically provide real-time, digital visibility updates to the broker. The truth is that the real-time load tracking component of Trucker Tools’ platform saves you time as a broker, but it also delivers value to carriers and owner operators. When carrier dispatchers and drivers don’t have to answer your check calls, they can concentrate on moving more loads and making money. Small carriers with small operations, in particular, often appreciate the automation of load tracking and elimination of check calls. If a driver tracks a load for you with the Trucker Tools app, they also have the option to upload and send you BOL and POD documents instantly through the app.
As fleet owner Jamie Hagen said in a recent interview, ““We’ve used Trucker Tools’ mobile app for tracking on a few loads, as well as other apps for load tracking,” said Jamie. “That’s the future, honestly — apps. It doesn’t bother me at all to be tracked. I would prefer it, honestly. It’s way easier than reaching out to somebody daily. Every once in a while, we’ll get a load with no digital tracking on it and then I’ve got to make a phone call three or four times a day on the load, or the broker will reach out to me to ask where the driver is. Then I’ll take a screenshot of where the driver is and send it to them. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, ‘You know, you could track it yourself instead of me doing it.’ I’m just acting as the middleman.”
Also picture this: you’re an owner operator or carrier dispatcher and instead of using load boards, answering phone calls and emails from brokers about capacity, and having a long rate negotiation process by phone, you book loads using a mobile app or software platform in a matter of seconds. When you use Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform and booking automation tool Book-It-Now® in your brokerage/3PL operations, that’s the level of convenience and efficiency that you can offer carriers and owner operators. With Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform and Book-It-Now®, carrier dispatchers and owner operators can view and book your loads any time of day or night via the Trucker Tools mobile app or free carrier software platform.
How These Digital Tools Deliver Value to Shippers
Digital solutions like Trucker Tools’ comprehensive software platform for brokers and 3PLs also deliver significant value to shippers. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know that digital load tracking is important to most shippers, especially for larger shippers that use KPIs to manage their resources and measure productivity. With the real-time load tracking component of the Trucker Tools broker/3PL platform, you receive location updates on each load every five minutes, which means you always have eyes on the load and can provide accurate ETAs to shippers. If you use Trucker Tools’ platform, you also can instantly share visibility data with shippers via an integration between Trucker Tools and shipper visibility software platforms MacroPoint, FourKites, 10/4 and Project44. Brokers and 3PLs who implement Trucker Tools’ load tracking are able to meet and even surpass the visibility requirements of even the largest shippers.
The digital freight matching and Book-It-Now® components of the Trucker Tools platform deliver value to shippers, too. Both digital tools help you cover shippers’ loads faster than you can with traditional capacity sourcing methods such as phone calls, emails and load board postings. Your ability to source and secure capacity faster obviously helps your shippers increase their own efficiency. You also can use Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching to research lanes and capacity options for your shippers in a matter of seconds. Need to add additional capacity to your network? Simply search for out of network capacity in that lane with Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching.
Read Digital Platforms: Not Just for the Mega Brokers to find out why now is the time to say goodbye to check calls and load boards and embrace digitization. Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ software platform for freight brokers and 3PLs.