In 2018, respondents to Gartner’s Wants and Needs Survey ranked visibility as the highest priority in the supply chain. Despite the clear need for freight visibility, the average freight tracking compliance success rate for brokers and 3PLs remains in the range of 30 to 40 percent. That means for every 100 loads, 60 to 70 aren’t visible. In an increasingly competitive freight brokerage market, you can’t afford to be average when it comes to freight visibility, especially if you want to withstand the fluctuations and ongoing disruptions that are occurring in the transportation industry.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to choose a freight visibility tool that will help your brokerage business thrive, this post is for you! Check out our top three tips for choosing a freight visibility tool that not only will help you better serve your shippers, but that can provide benefits to carriers and your own operations, as well.

1. Look for Freight Visibility Tools That Help Carriers

Despite what you may read or hear from other visibility vendors, true freight visibility requires the participation of carriers. With that in mind, it’s important to choose a load tracking solution that is easy for carriers to use, reduces the number of check-calls they receive and provides added value to carriers.

The single function load tracking mobile apps in use by many brokers today often cannot meet any of those three criteria. Single function visibility apps only track freight and they often don’t ultimately reduce the number of calls carriers receive because they can’t provide continuous, accurate load location data to brokers. Each single function load tracking app also works differently and cannot be used by carriers with multiple brokers, which leaves carriers constantly adding new apps to their smart phones and learning how to use new technology.

Trucker Tools’ free driver app meets all three of the criteria listed above. Our driver app includes a highly accurate, GPS-based freight visibility solution that can integrate directly with your TMS, providing you with real-time location updates every five minutes. Brokers and 3PLs who use Trucker Tools’ free driver app almost universally reduce the number of check-in calls they make to carriers as a result.

In addition to a powerful load tracking feature, the Trucker Tools driver app also includes 17+ features and tools that are designed to help carriers increase their drive time and reduce the number of mobile apps they use when on the road. Carriers can use our driver app to access real-time information on truck stops, fuel prices, best routes, weather, rest areas, weigh scales, truck washes, DOT locations, hospitals, repair shops and more. With the Trucker Tools driver app, carriers also can search for high quality freight loads with preferred broker and 3PL partners — and they can book freight loads directly in the app.

The multi-functionality of Trucker Tools driver app is why brokers and 3PLs who use the driver app in their operations often achieve visibility compliance rates between 80 and 99 percent. Another factor that drives higher visibility compliance is that the Trucker Tools’ driver app and its load tracking feature can be used by carriers with multiple brokers, unlike the “one and done” nature of single feature load tracking apps.

2. Make Real-Time Freight Visibility a Priority

If you’re like most freight brokers, despite advances in API technology and automation, you still rely on check-in calls to find out where your shipper’s freight is once it’s on a truck. In addition to being time-consuming, check-calls don’t give you or your shippers real-time visibility. Truckers can’t always answer phone calls while they’re driving and/or they may be on rest breaks when you do call. That’s why real-time, continuous visibility should be at the top of your list when choosing a freight tracking solution for your brokerage. 

Trucker Tools’ freight visibility tools provide automated, real-time freight visibility that you can count on. Trucker Tools’ driver app automatically provides you with the GPS coordinates of the truck’s real-time location every five minutes, so you never have to wonder where that truck is. You can view truck location data directly in your TMS. Continuous access to real-time truck location data allows you to anticipate and immediately address any delays as they occur in real-time. It also helps you better serve your shipper customers, who require real-time visibility data to best serve their customers. 

3. Operational Efficiency for Your Brokerage and Partners

Any freight visibility tool you consider also should improve the operational efficiency of your brokerage. One of the primary purposes of a freight tracking solution is to reduce check-calls and the time that your staff members spend tracking freight. If a freight tracking platform can’t provide added operational efficiency for you, as well as your carrier and shipper partners, you’re missing out on the chance to increase your profits and strengthen your relationships with carriers and shippers.

Trucker Tools’ free driver app and freight visibility platform are designed to reduce or eliminate check-calls, not duplicate them. Brokers and 3PLs who use our load tracking solutions reduce their check-calls substantially and increase their operational efficiency. In many cases, our broker/3PL customers make a single call to the trucker 24 hours before the scheduled pickup to confirm the ETA and load details. If the trucker logs into the Trucker Tools driver app and/or the truck load is visible, no further calls are made to the trucker/carrier unless an unforeseen delay occurs.

Trucker Tools’ automated load tracking also benefits your carrier and shipper partners. Carriers receive fewer check-calls as a result, giving them more time for driving and/or finding that next load. As for your shippers, they can view real-time visibility data directly in their preferred visibility platform, made possible by an integration between Trucker Tools’ visibility tools and your shipper’s preferred visibility platform. Trucker Tools’ freight tracking solutions can be integrated with all of the major shipper visibility platforms, including MacroPoint, Project44 and FourKites.

To learn more about how Trucker Tools’ freight visibility tools can help you better serve your shippers and outperform your competitors, read our whitepaper The Visibility Challenge: Is 30% Tracking Compliance Success Good Enough? 

Find out more about the efficiency gains Trucker Tools can provide your business by scheduling a free demo of Trucker Tools digital freight matching and visibility platforms.