Trucker Tools recently joined innovators and thought-leaders from across the transportation industry for the Transportation Intermediaries Association’s 3PLXTEND Xperience, formerly known as 3PL Technovations. Many of the conference’s panel discussions at this year’s gathering centered on how freight brokers and logistics providers like you can leverage technology to meet the challenges of today’s volatile markets.

Trucker Tools’ Chief Technology Officer Murali Yellepeddy participated in a panel discussion at the show on “Leveraging Technology To Understand Carrier Capacity Volatility.” He was joined by Leonard Express’ Chief Marketing Officer Michael Riccio, Truckstop.com’s Chief Operations Officer Kendra Trucker, McLeod Software’s Enterprise Systems Solution Architect Kem Wallace and Transflo’s Vice President of Supply Chain Solutions Parker McCrary. Yellepeddy also led a demonstration of Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity platform, which includes digital freight matching and automated load booking tool Book It Now®.

Check out these top takeaways from TIA’s 2021 3PLXTEND Xperience!

1. Real-Time Data Empowers Freight Brokers To Access and Secure Capacity More Efficiently

In the presentation on “Leveraging Technology To Understand Carrier Capacity Volatility,” Yellepeddy and fellow panelists discussed how technology such as real-time digital freight matching can help freight brokers like you navigate the uneven supply and demand, capacity shortages and market disruptions brought on by the pandemic. Moderated by Leonard Express’ Riccio, the panel discussion focused on how real-time data on available trucks can mitigate the operational challenges associated with port congestion, carrier capacity volatility and supply chain disruptions.

Solutions such as Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity allow freight brokers and logistics providers like you to stop sourcing capacity manually using phone calls, notebooks, spreadsheets, load boards and carrier call lists. The real-time capacity data that you view either in the Smart Capacity platform or your TMS is generated by the GPS tech in drivers’ smart phones, the Trucker Tools mobile app and/or Trucker Tools’ free carrier platform. Digital freight matching technology allows your team to locate and secure capacity at a much faster rate than with manual methods.

2. Recruitment and Retention Remain Critical Concerns

Another major theme from last month’s 3PLXTEND Xperience was recruitment and retention. Over the last 24 months, the transportation industry has been particularly hard hit by labor shortages and that trend isn’t likely to reverse itself any time soon, as a large percentage of workers in transportation are 45 years old or older. On day three of the conference, C.S. Recruiting’s Account Manager Ashley DuBois, Avalon Risk Management’s Christie Bush, Johanson Transportation Services’ Alicia Bly and Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff’s Eric Zalud participated in a panel discussion on “Overcoming the Challenges of Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent.” Moderated by Zalud, the panel discussed recruitment and retention strategy, the importance of company culture and barriers to success.

With recruitment and retention in mind, Trucker Tools recently spoke with Chelsee Patton, Riverside Transport’s Director of Recruiting to learn more about how the pandemic and labor shortages are affecting hiring and retention strategies. According to Patton, pay often can be the deciding factor for prospective employees, but it’s not the only thing that workers care about. Company culture, schedule flexibility, and a work/home balance all matter to truckers and workers in most fields. Patton advised that lucrative sign-on bonuses can be effective in employee retention efforts.

3. Leveraging Technology and Data Helps You Stand Out from the Competition

The third important takeaway from this year’s TIA 3PLXTEND Xperience is that you can use technology and the data it generates to make your freight broker or logistics company stand out from the competition. With real-time data, you can identify high-performing drivers and carriers, expand your customer base and better understand freight trends. Real-time data also allows you to track loads digitally, offer specific carriers perks such as digital load booking, and research new lanes and capacity sources with relative ease.

Brokers and 3PLs that use Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform often are able to meet or surpass the visibility requirements that many larger shippers have in place. Having your company’s visibility consistency and compliance data ready and available can help you retain your current shippers and attract new customers. The data generated by Smart Capacity can be used to help you stand out to carriers, as well. Smart Capacity allows you to quickly identify those carriers who are likely to have available capacity when and where you need it. As a result, you make fewer cold-calls to carriers, thereby increasing internal efficiency and that of your carrier partners. Using other tools like Trucker Tools’ Book It Now®, which offers one-click digital load booking to owner operators and carriers, can further help you rise above your competitors.

Peak season is here and the capacity crunch is not close to being over. Be sure to read Five Ways To Diversify and Grow Your Carrier Network with Trucker Tools’ Broker Advantage. Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform, Smart Capacity digital freight matching platform and Book It Now®.

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