According to data from a supply chain survey conducted last month, transportation capacity including truckload capacity continues to decline, while rates are expected to remain elevated for at least the next year. With the holiday season in full swing, logistics and trucking industries like you can expect capacity to tighten further over the next several weeks as consumers start their holiday shopping in earnest.
You may be struggling to locate and secure the capacity needed to meet your shippers fluctuating needs, especially if you rely heavily on manual labor for capacity procurement. The good news is that you can take steps to make yourself a more attractive partner to carriers while at the same time increasing internal operational efficiency. Using digital freight matching technology that makes the lives of your carrier and owner operator partners’ lives easier can go a long way in building a positive reputation with both.
Here are three ways to become a broker of choice when capacity is scarce.
1. Use Tech That Benefits Owner Operators and Carriers
Truckers and carriers today want to use technology that is user-friendly, helps them run their operations more efficiently, reduces manual communications and keeps their downtime to a minimum. Carrier dispatchers and owner operators who book their own loads have limited time and resources. Choosing technology that reduces repetitive, manual tasks for carriers and owner operators can set you apart from other brokers and help cement become a broker of choice.
Digital freight matching technology reduces the number of phone calls that you as the broker must make to find capacity. Instead, you can quickly search for capacity from your list of preferred carriers. Carrier availability is based on the real-time movement of their trucks, which means when you do call carriers, you already know based on data from the digital freight matching platform that they’re likely to have capacity when and where you need it. Digital freight matching technology reduces the number of cold calls that you make to carriers and can eliminate the need to use load boards, both of which can help carriers and owner operators run their own operations with greater efficiency.
2. Be Easy To Do Business With
Trucker Tools recently surveyed owner operators and carriers from around the country to find out how they are finding and booking their loads, and how they’re using technology to do so. In our survey, we asked this true or false question: “If a broker uses technology to make it easy to do business with them, I’m more likely to take their load.” Sixty-six percent of owner operators and carriers told us the statement is true, while only 16 percent told us it was false. When you’re easy to do business with, carriers and owner operators are more likely to want to take your loads again, as Trinity Logistics’ Group Vice President Hayley Dobson noted in a recent webinar.
“I think it goes without saying that it’s so important to be easy to do business with for retention across the board,” said Dobson. “We need to keep carriers moving and productive. Carriers don’t have a lot of extra time in their day to make a call to find a load or to check in, so any way that we can give them to connect with us that doesn’t disrupt their current process is really critical in retaining them. Carriers have a tough enough job as it is and the whole purpose of our role as a 3PL/broker is to make their job easier, which requires that our interactions with them are as seamless as possible.”
3. Give Carriers and Owner Ops the Option To Book Your Loads Digitally
Automating the load booking process for your carrier partners is another way to become a broker of choice. In our survey, we also asked survey-takers how many loads they’d booked digitally using an app in the previous 60 days. In answer to the question, 76 percent of owner operators and carriers told us they’d used an app to book a load within the previous two months. In fact, 40 percent of those we surveyed are booking approximately eight or more loads per month with an app. The message is clear: app-based load booking has gained considerable traction and it’s here to stay. It’s easy to see why.
Technology such as Trucker Tools’ Book-It-Now® gives owner operators and carriers the option to book your loads through Trucker Tools’ app or carrier platform. With 24 hour/day and seven day/week access, they’re empowered to book your loads at times that are most convenient for them. Integration between Book-It-Now® and your TMS automates the process so that when an owner operator/carrier does book one of your Book-It-Now® loads, it’s automatically booked in your TMS. If an owner operator or carrier doesn’t like the rate you have on the Book-It-Now load, they have the option to submit a rate quote to you digitally. No phone calls are needed in either case, which makes negotiating the rate and booking the load much more efficient for all involved.
To learn more about how digital freight matching can help make you a broker of choice, read “Trinity Logistics Raises the Bar on Operational Efficiency, Provides Convenient Options to Carriers with Trucker Tools’ Digital Freight Matching and Book It Now®“.