August 9, 2022 | Trucker Tools

The Art of Digital Freight Matching

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Digital freight matching goes by a lot of different names within the trucking and transportation industries it seems. Sometimes you’ll hear folks in the industry equate digital freight matching with capacity sourcing or carrier sourcing. Other times, they’ll talk about digital freight matching, load matching, capacity intelligence and/or book-it-now interchangeably. In actuality, all of these terms are related to the same larger concept: digital freight matching. It’s important to note, however, that true digital freight matching automates how those with capacity find loads and how those with loads find capacity.

In this blog, you’ll learn how digital freight matching has evolved, what can truly be described as digital freight matching and how it differs from other ways of finding truck capacity. You’ll also learn about the genesis of Book It Now® and how it can help you and your carriers.

What Is a Digital Freight Matching Software Platform?

A true digital freight matching platform uses real-time data from both freight brokers and drivers/carriers to find the optimal match for a load, automating what has traditionally been a manual process. Instead of using phone calls, load boards or email messages to find available trucks, digital freight matching software platforms use process algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning to help you locate and secure capacity faster. With a true DFM platform, when a load is booked with a carrier, it’s automatically removed from the platform so that other drivers and carriers don’t unknowingly continue to pursue the load.

There are some technology companies that are calling their software digital freight matching platforms, even though they aren’t. Some tech vendors are sending load and truck capacity information from load boards to their customers and calling it digital freight matching, but it isn’t really digital freight matching because it doesn’t use and rely on real-time data. It’s just a repackaging of older, manual ways of doing business.

True Capacity Intelligence

A true digital freight matching platform offers real capacity intelligence by learning your preferences and the preferences of your carriers over time, building a digital knowledge base that helps you ultimately make your business more efficient and build relationships with certain carriers. The more you use a digital freight matching platform, the better job it does at finding that right truck and carrier for your load and the right load for a carrier or driver. A true DFM platform also includes predictive matching, i.e. the ability to look not just a few hours ahead, but to see days in advance what truck capacity will be available when and where.

With the capacity intelligence offered by a true digital freight matching platform like Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity, you and your team can make better business decisions faster because the information you’re viewing is based on the real-time locations of available trucks. This capacity intelligence allows you to be proactive in offering capacity to existing and prospective shippers and in advance of your competitors. Capacity intelligence provides you with backhaul opportunities on each load so that you also can proactively offer reloads to drivers/carriers. It increases the efficiency with which your team can work, reducing costs and often leading to greater customer and carrier satisfaction, as well.

Accept No Substitutes: The Story Behind Book It Now®

In this industry, you’ll also hear a lot of folks toss around the phrase “book it now,” but did you know that Trucker Tools was the first in the industry to offer automated load booking and that we own the trademark for Book It Now®? It’s true. Launched in early 2019, Trucker Tools’ Book It Now® was the trucking industry’s first real-time, automated booking tool. Here’s how it works. When you post a load to our Smart Capacity platform as a Book It Now® load, the drivers using the Trucker Tools app and fleets using our carrier software platform can instantly book the load at the listed rate via the app or carrier platform. (They also have the option to send you an alternative rate quote through the app or platform.) Thanks to integration with your TMS, when a driver/carrier books a Book It Now® load, it’s automatically recorded in your TMS.

Some in transportation say they offer “book it now” loads, but in reality they are using older load board and email technology behind the scenes and are not truly connecting you with drivers and carriers in real-time. They’re also not using the real-time, TMS-integrated technology baked into Trucker Tools’ Book It Now®. If you want to boost operational efficiency, provide a more convenient option to carriers/drivers, reduce your operating costs and truly automate bookings, be sure to choose the real deal: Trucker Tools’ Book It Now®.

Don’t miss “Five Facts About Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity Carrier Relationship Management Platform.”

Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity digital freight matching platform.

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