In this blog series entitled Trucker Tools Smart Solutions, we’re helping freight brokers and logistics providers like you find new ways to increase profit margins, grow your capacity networks and scale your business. It’s no secret that the current labor market is a tight one, which makes it difficult for you to find high-quality candidates. One of the advantages of technology is that when designed well, it can allow you to grow your business without increasing your headcount or overhead. In this blog, you’ll learn how using a digital platform in your day-to-day activities improves productivity and frees up internal resources to move more loads.
Read on to learn the secret to increasing load volume while keeping overhead low.
Reduce Time, Resources Devoted to Check Calls, Manual Load Tracking
One of the easiest ways to increase load volume while keeping overhead low is with real-time digital visibility technology. The real-time visibility technology included in Trucker Tools’ digital platform can reduce or even eliminate check calls. Trucker Tools’ load tracking uses the driver’s smart phone and the free Trucker Tools app to send you accurate load location updates every five to 15 minutes. You can view the real-time location of loads either in Trucker Tools’ digital platform or right in your TMS. Trucker Tools’ load tracking allows you to provide accurate ETAs to shippers and address any delays that occur quickly.
What you may not know is that real-time, digital visibility technology such as Trucker Tools’ frees up your internal resources to concentrate on other activities, like moving more loads. Let’s say, for example, you have two team members making eight to 10 check calls per load every day. When you implement Trucker Tools’ load tracking, your two team members will be making a lot fewer check calls because they can see in real-time where loads are just by looking at their computer screens. You could reassign one of your staff members who formerly was making check calls all day to a revenue-generating activity such as load booking or to customer support, both of which can help you grow.
Cover Loads Faster with Digital Freight Matching
When capacity is tight as it is currently, it takes a significant amount of time to find the capacity to cover a single load. In May, we surveyed brokers and 3PLs like you about how you find and book capacity. Of those who answered our survey, 40 percent told us it takes them one to two or more hours to find capacity and book a single load after it’s posted to their transportation management system. Another 40 percent told us it takes them 30 minutes to one hour to book a truck with a carrier after it’s posted to the TMS. Let’s say that you move 125 loads each week and that to cover each load, team members spend on average one hour finding capacity to find that load. That is 125 hours of labor and time devoted to covering your loads each week.
Digital freight matching and load booking automation technology significantly reduce the time required to locate and secure capacity. With Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching, you can search for in-network and out-of-network trucks in real-time with a few mouse clicks. It’s important to note that, unlike load boards, the capacity that you see marked as available in Trucker Tools’ digital freight marketplace is actually available, so you won’t be chasing capacity that’s already been taken. Add Trucker Tools’ Book-It-Now® to the mix and you give preferred carriers the ability to book your loads anytime and anywhere via Trucker Tools’ mobile app or free carrier platform.
Increased Operational Efficiency Provides New Opportunities for Growth
That’s all to say that the secret to increasing load volume while keeping overhead low is efficiency. When you use technology to digitize how you track loads, search for capacity and secure capacity, you make your business more efficient. Increasing operational efficiency creates new opportunities for growth. Here’s how: once you start using real-time technology like Trucker Tools’, you “get back” the time and human resources that you’d previously used to manually track loads with check calls, search for capacity on load boards and negotiate rates with carriers by phone. That time and staffing you’ve gained can be used to expand your customer base, move more of your current shippers’ loads and/or explore new lanes.
Plus, let’s face it: your employees probably don’t enjoy performing repetitive manual tasks like check calls over and over. By making your operations more efficient with technology, you can focus your human resources on relationship-building, moving more loads and customer service – which is more fulfilling for your team members and can help you retain them.
As BlueGrace Logistics’ Chief Operating Officer Mark Ford said in a recent webinar with Talking Logistics and Trucker Tools, “If you don’t show your internal teams that you’re working on making their jobs more enjoyable, your relationships aren’t going to matter. If you’re just focused on external relationships, but you’re not doing anything internally to supplement that and give your internal people the ability to take advantage of some of those technological resources, then they’re going to have a hard time facilitating relationships with carriers on their side.”
“If you don’t show your internal teams that you’re working on making their jobs more enjoyable, your relationships aren’t going to matter. If you’re just focused on external relationships, but you’re not doing anything internally to supplement that and give your internal people the ability to take advantage of some of those technological resources, then they’re going to have a hard time facilitating relationships with carriers on their side.”
For more on the transformative power of digital freight matching, read Trucker Tools Smart Solutions: Solve Your Capacity Problems with Digital Freight Matching. Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching, real-time load tracking and Book-It-Now®.