The needs and demands of both consumers and your shippers continue to evolve, which is why as a logistics provider, you have to continually reinvent yourself. What worked last year or a decade ago likely won’t be effective in today’s world of business. As the 2021 25th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study notes, “the future of an outsourced supply chain includes the customer (shipper) and their 3PL moving closer to a strategic relationship and further away from a transactional one.”
If you’ve got a growth mindset for your logistics business, it’s vital to leverage technology to help you create those long-term, strategic relationships not only with shippers, but also with carriers to support your shippers’ needs. Check out these top three ways that you can use technology to grow your logistics business.
Using technology to reduce repetitive manual activities is one of the best ways to grow your business. When you digitize and automate essential tasks such as load tracking and securing truck capacity, your employees spend less time on these activities. Instead of focusing on repetitive manual tasks like check calls and load board postings, your staff members can quickly share an accurate ETA with a shipper or secure truck capacity in a matter of minutes and then move onto the next task.
Raising operational efficiency through automation achieves two growth-related goals. First, it can increase your profit margins, as you need less time and fewer resources to move a load. Increasing operational efficiency with technology also frees up your human resources and gives you the ability to scale up the volume of freight that you move. Rather than wasting time on repetitive check calls and sending bulk emails to carriers about capacity, your staff members can devote their time to shipper service and expanding your customer base.
Upping your shipper service capabilities can help you grow your logistics business, as well. One of the most basic services you should be offering current and prospective customers is real-time, digital load tracking. Real-time digital load tracking enables shippers to better manage their resources and to identify inefficiencies in their own operations. Larger shippers may require that you provide them with digital visibility of at least 70 percent of their loads and visibility at stops. If you can’t provide that, they’ll find someone who can.
With solutions like Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform, you don’t have to call a carrier dispatcher or driver to get an updated ETA or to find out where your shipper’s load is. Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform gives you automatic updates on the location of the truck and load every five minutes. You can simply view the real-time location of the truck on your computer monitor or share the data automatically with your shippers. On average, brokers and 3PLs who use Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform have continuous, start to finish digital visibility on at least 70 percent of their loads and 100 percent stop visibility. Some even achieve visibility compliance rates in the 90 percent or higher range.
You may be surprised to learn that the technology that you use directly impacts your ability to build positive relationships with carriers. If you require that carriers download a new single function load tracking app, visit a new website or go to a specific load board to move your loads, that cuts into their drive time and profits. It’s no surprise that drivers and carriers prefer to work with 3PLs and brokers who make their lives easier and help them make more money.
Choosing a single, easy to use technology platform like Trucker Tools’ free driver app can help you create a positive experience for carriers and keep them moving your loads again and again. Trucker Tools’ driver app is an all-in-one tool that carriers can use to find and book loads, track loads for you and get real-time information on everything from parking, rest areas and fuel prices to load insurance, weigh scales and routing. Trucker Tools’ driver app is designed to be used over and over by carriers, not just for one purpose or one load. The driver app can be integrated with virtually any TMS, which means truckers and carriers can use the app with multiple brokers and 3PLs. If a carrier is given the choice between using 10 different technologies versus one to work a 3PL or broker, they’re going to choose the single technology platform option. Make sure you’re the one offering them that unified technology experience.
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