October 17, 2019 | Trucker Tools

If I Use a Third-Party App, Will it Cannibalize My Broker App?

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As the owner of a large or mid-sized brokerage or logistics company, you may have invested in developing a custom mobile app for your carriers to use. Freight visibility and easier freight matching probably motivated you to develop an app for your brokerage. Even with your own app, it’s likely that load tracking continues to be a challenge.

If you’re like most brokers and 3PLs, you’re struggling to convince your carriers, especially those outside your network, to use your proprietary app. In this blog, we dig into why carriers are resistant to adopting your broker mobile app and how using a free third-party mobile app in tandem with your app can increase visibility — and improve the carrier experience.

Don’t Stand Alone on a Single App Island

Most carriers work with multiple brokers and 3PLs to mitigate their risk. Even those within your core carrier network may work with multiple brokers and 3PLs for the same reason. The result is that carriers often are using a different proprietary app for each load that they move, which makes life difficult for them.

The fact that your broker app can only be used with your loads severely limits the value of your app for carriers. If you’re facing resistance from truckers, it’s to be expected. Carriers are smart enough to distinguish between a broker specific app and a third-party app. Your app is designed to meet your business needs, but not the business needs of the carrier. That makes using your app a tough sell — particularly to carriers outside your core carrier network. 

Using a Third Party All-in-One Carrier App To Supplement Your Broker App

The reality is that 100 percent of the carriers with whom you work are not going to adopt your brokerage-specific app because of the reasons we’ve discussed above. That may be a tough pill to swallow, especially since you’ve invested time and money developing your own app, but it’s the truth. Carriers are business owners, too, and the fact that your app can’t be used with multiple brokers diminishes your app’s value to them. Ultimately, there’s no way to force every carrier you work with to adopt your app.

Instead of drawing lines in the sand with carriers who don’t want to use your app or trying to force them to use your app, choose another path. You can give carriers the option to use a third-party, all-in-one app if they don’t want to use your broker app. Instead of giving carriers an ultimatum, i.e. use my app or we’re not doing business together, you can offer them a choice.

Increase Visibility Compliance with Trucker Tools’ Driver App

Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity carrier relationship and capacity management platform may be integrated with your TMS so that the experience is seamless for your brokerage while giving you the load tracking and capacity search capabilities you need. At the same time, Trucker Tools’ driver app provides carriers with an all-in-one tool that helps them do business more efficiently. Because it’s a third-party app, truckers and carriers can use our driver app with multiple brokers and 3PLs, which is part of why adoption of our app often outpaces that of other apps. 

For carriers who work exclusively for your brokerage, it makes sense to require them to use your broker app because it keeps them in your ecosystem. For carriers who work with other brokers, a third-party app often is a better fit. At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition — either the app you’ve developed for your brokerage or Trucker Tools’ driver app. You actually need both to deliver the visibility your shippers expect.

To learn more about using Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity platform and free driver app in tandem with your brokerage app, schedule a free Trucker Tools demo.

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