No longer a technology that’s only available and affordable to mega brokers, digital freight matching has become increasingly valuable and accessible to freight brokers and third-party logistics companies of all sizes. Digital freight matching technology notably has emerged as the natural technological successor of load board technology. Unlike many load boards, digital freight matching connects shippers and freight brokers who need to move loads with owner operators and carriers who have available trucks in real-time. Digital freight matching uses machine learning, automation and API technology to make it possible for freight brokerage and logistics teams to cover loads faster, while strengthening relationships with carriers and gaining access to broader capacity networks.
One of the greatest misconceptions about digital freight matching is that it’s the same as a load board. While both technologies aim to connect loads with trucks and vice versa, they function much differently. When you use load boards as a freight broker or 3PL, there is often a time delay between when a carrier posts that they have a truck available and when you actually see the post. In the interim, the truck might be taken by another broker, but the listing isn’t automatically removed from the load board. As a result, your team may be spending a significant amount of time calling carriers about trucks that are no longer available.
What differentiates digital freight matching from load boards is that it’s a real-time technology. With digital freight matching, truck availability data is based on the real-world movement of trucks and on transactions between brokers and carriers/owner operators. If you use a digital freight matching platform like Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity and you see a truck is available, it’s truly available at that moment. Once you find the right truck for the load, you can call the carrier and have a much shorter conversation that’s centered the rate, load details and reload opportunities. Ultimately, digital freight matching allows you to target your communications to only those carriers who are likely to have capacity when and where you need it. The result is fewer phone calls to carriers and a more efficient process for covering loads.
Digital freight matching does more than save you and your carriers/drivers time. You also can use it to strengthen your existing carrier relationships. According to a Trucker Tools survey conducted four months ago, most carriers and owner operators are more likely to work with you if you use technology that makes it easy for them to do business with you. In other words, owner ops and carriers value time-saving and efficiency-boosting technology, especially when it’s easy to use. More and more freight brokers and 3PLs are using carrier-centric technology in their operations to ease the technology burden on their carrier partners.
As a Trucker Tools Smart Capacity broker, you can provide carriers and owner operators with instant digital access to your loads via the Trucker Tools driver app and free carrier platform. Owner operators and carriers can search for your loads in a matter of seconds instead of fielding multiple phone calls from you and every other freight broker in the vicinity and in lieu of using load boards. You also can offer real-time, digital load booking via the app/carrier platform to make your brokerage/3PL even easier to conduct business with.
There are more than 1 million motor carriers in the United States, yet 97 percent of those trucking companies run 20 or fewer trucks and 90 percent run six or fewer trucks. The challenge for freight brokers and 3PLs until recently has been how to consistently tap into that owner operator and small to mid-size carrier capacity. Digital freight matching platforms like Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity create a virtual, online marketplace where owner operators and small to mid-sized carriers can find and book loads for free and where freight brokers and 3PLs can look for and secure capacity. When you use the digital freight matching capabilities of Smart Capacity, you gain access to the 1.6 million+ drivers who have downloaded the Trucker Tools mobile app and the 220,000 small to mid-sized carriers who are already on Trucker Tools’ free software platform for carriers.
To get to know the Trucker Tools team, read Meet Tracy Neill, Trucker Tools’ Director of Marketing.
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