If you’re looking for ways to strengthen or grow your carrier network, you’re certainly not alone, especially given recent capacity scarcity. Your freight broker or third party logistics business is, after all, only as strong as its carrier network. Trucker Tools is now offering you a new way to keep carriers engaged with your company and team. Broker Advantage, a white-label interface within Trucker Tools’ web-based free carrier software platform, functions as a virtual portal for carriers through which they can send you messages, learn about your loads, submit documents, book loads and much, much more. Broker Advantage is completely customizable, which means you get to decide what you post to your portal and how you use it.
Broker Advantage was created based on feedback that we received from freight brokers and 3PLs that use our Smart Capacity software platform. The first brokers and 3PLs that approached our development team about building a customizable digital carrier portal were looking for an easy way to share their company-specific updates with carriers within the Trucker Tools platform. Instead of sending carriers information on loads, processes and updates via email or text message, they wanted to create one place within the Trucker Tools platform where carriers could communicate with brokerage/3PL teams. That’s exactly what Broker Advantage does.
Owner operators and carriersreceive many different kinds of communication from multiple brokers via many different sources. Maybe you send tire discount information to carriers via email, text them about premium loads, require them to use a special website to book loads, or have them use a particular app to upload POD and BOL documents.Simply put, Broker Advantage reduces the technology burden on carriers. With Broker Advantage, carriers and owner operators can get information and communicate with your team in a way that is most convenient for them — via the Trucker Tools carrier platform, a tool that they’re likely already using in some capacity in their day-to-day.To date, approximately 220,000 carriersare on Trucker Tools’ carrier platform.
Time is everything in this business. When your team adds new information to your Broker Advantage portal, the information becomes immediately available to specific carriers of your choosing within Trucker Tools’ carrier platform. You don’t have to wait for a carrier dispatcher to open an email program and click on your email. Instead, you can make the information immediately available through your Broker Advantage portal. If, for example, you have several loads that you’re having a hard time getting covered, you can post those loads in your Broker Advantage portal, perhaps offering an extra incentive to carriers that will cover the loads. Some brokers use their Broker Advantage portal to provide updates about new processes and procedures, info on used equipment for sale, discount and hiring programs, and premium loads. Others use Broker Advantage to encourage carriers to upload digital copies of their paperwork or to provide customized daily load alerts.
As previously noted, 220,000 carriers are on Trucker Tools’ free carrier software platform. When you set up a Broker Advantage portal within the platform, you can make specific types of information available to out of network carriers, as well. You can use your Broker Advantage portal to showcase what your brokerage/3PL has to offer out of network carriers, whether it’s specific types of loads, load tracking incentives, the convenience of digital load booking or the ability to get paid faster with document upload capabilities. As a Broker Advantage broker/3PL, your company logo also will appear on all of your loads and load track requests and you can custom-name your portal, which helps you further build your brand and reputation in Trucker Tools’ sizable carrier community.
In addition to reducing manual communications for your team, Broker Advantage can reduce the number of manual communications that carriers must engage with and respond to. The convenience and time-saving nature of your Broker Advantage portal can be used to keep carriers running your freight. If it’s easy to communicate and do business with your company via Broker Advantage, carriers may be more likely to remain within your carrier network. Many brokers initially release their Broker Advantage portal to their top-performing in-network carriers or post premium loads for top-performers in their portal as an incentive for them to stay in network.
Broker Advantage also provides a deeper level of engagement with carriers. With Broker Advantage, carriers can communicate about matters that often go beyond transaction-level communications. Most brokerages that use Broker Advantage make it possible for carriers to message their teams directly through the portal. Direct contact with your team via the software platform they’re already using naturally drives high carrier engagement. Carrier dispatchers also can use your portal to find out more about your company, including about your policies and procedures and what kinds of time-saving technologies your team uses should they want to expand their relationship with your company.
Most if not all of the freight broker and logistics companies currently using Broker Advantage opt to highlight their Book It Now® loads in their portal. When you post your loads as Book It Now® loads to your Broker Advantage portal, you give specific carriers a shortcut to booking your loads immediately through Trucker Tools’ carrier software platform. Book It Now® saves your carrier partners (and your internal team) valuable time. Rates are listed on your Book It Now® loads, which means carrier dispatchers can make decisions quickly and move on to their next task. When the dispatcher books the load, the appointment is automatically scheduled in your TMS and the dispatcher receives an email confirming the booking. The time saved through Book It Now® can encourage carriers to stay in-network and engaged with your team and business.
If you’re looking for a smarter, more efficiency way to manage and build out your carrier network, be sure to read “Top Three Tools for Managing Carrier Relationships.”
Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity and Broker Advantage.