Carrier sourcing, capacity sourcing, digital freight matching, capacity matching, capacity management, load matching, dialing for diesel – these are terms that often are used interchangeably in transportation and logistics and they all center on finding trucks to move loads. However, there are some key differences in their meanings and efficacy.

In this blog, we take a closer look at load matching, including defining what exactly load matching is. Until relatively recently, load matching was a manual process that required carrier sales reps and operations teams to reach out to carriers one at a time on a load by load basis. As process algorithms, AI and automation have become more advanced, load matching has taken a major step in its evolution, offering greater efficiency and relationship-building capabilities that are helping the entire supply chain.

What Is Load Matching?

Broadly speaking, load matching is the process by which loads that require truck capacity are matched with carriers who have the needed capacity available. Load matching can be a manual, load-by-load process or it can be performed using technology such as the digital freight matching technology upon which Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity software platform is built. Traditional, manual load matching can be performed by calling or sending email messages to carriers and/or through the use of load boards. Traditional, “by hand” load matching is time-intensive, requires significant human resources, is inefficient and often isn’t focused on building long-term relationships with carriers.

Load matching that uses digital freight matching technology allows freight brokers and logistics providers like you to find capacity much faster. Smart Capacity’s digital freight matching connects you and your uncovered loads with carriers who have capacity and are looking for loads in real-time. We’ve italicized the phrase in real-time because it’s so significant. Smart Capacity’s digital freight matching takes load matching to a new level, facilitating the real-time exchange of data between freight brokers and 3PLs like you and the nearly 2 million drivers and 250,000 carriers who use Trucker Tools. As data flows back and forth between you and the drivers and carriers using Trucker Tools’ tech, all involved can make better decisions faster.

How Load Matching with Trucker Tools Increases Efficiency for Freight Brokers

When you use Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity platform and its digital freight matching technology in your day-to-day operations, you can search for both in-network and out-of-network truck capacity quickly right from a computer. Smart Capacity connects you digitally with the carriers and owner operators using our carrier and driver technology, letting you see where they have capacity now and where they’ll have it in the future. The truck availability info that you see in Smart Capacity can be trusted, as it’s based on the real-time, real-world movement of trucks and on transactions occurring between brokers and carriers using Trucker Tools’ technology. With Smart Capacity, you can search for specific types of capacity in specific lanes. Once you find the right truck for the load, you can choose to send an email to the owner operator or carrier about the load and rate or you can choose to call the carrier. If you do opt to call the carrier, you already know that they have capacity available. Smart Capacity reduces the number of phone calls you must make to cover a load and shortens the conversations you do have with carriers.

Trucker Tools’ Load Matching: Building Relationships for the Future

If you’re load matching the old-fashioned way with phone calls, email messages and load board postings, it can be hard to see the big picture and be strategic in choosing the carriers with whom you work. It’s often the case that traditional load matching is centered on moving a single load. It’s not necessarily used for creating a long-standing, ongoing business relationship with the independent owner op or carrier.

In contrast, Smart Capacity is designed to attract new owner operators and carriers and help keep them in your network. With Smart Capacity, you can customize your capacity searches, which is a powerful feature. For example, if you want to try to bring 10 new flatbed carriers into your network this month, you can search Smart Capacity for flatbed capacity from among those carriers who’ve already run at least one flatbed load for your company. When you reach out to one of these carriers, you can offer the load, a backhaul and several future loads all in the same conversation. You also may decide to offer the carrier the convenience of online load booking as an incentive to continue working with your company.

For more on how to build strong, long-term relationships with carriers, read “Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity: Building Relationships for the Long-Haul with Smart Technology.” Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity.