There are so many different tools and technologies that you can choose to use as a freight broker. These technologies can help you reduce your operational costs, while saving your shipper and carrier partners time and money. Technology-based tools are designed to reduce manual tasks, which allows you to change how you use your staff. You can let technology handle repetitive, manual tasks and allow your team members to do what they do best, which is building relationships with carriers and providing outstanding service to shippers.
In this blog, we highlight the leading technologies and digital tools for freight brokers that provide the most bang for your buck.
1. Transportation Management System (TMS)
Transportation management systems help you plan and make better decisions by putting many of your day-to-day tasks and activities on a single, digital platform. Most TMSs are cloud-based, subscription-based and scalable, which makes TMS technology affordable for brokers of all sizes. Some of the best TMSs available include AscendTMS, BrokerPro, Brokerware, EKA Omni-TMS, FMS, MercuryGate, Port TMS, McLeod PowerBroker, Prophesy TMS, StrategyLive, Tailwind, Teknowlogi, ViaTMS and 3Gtms.
2. Real-Time, Digital Visibility Software
Real-time, digital freight visibility has become a major service offering for brokers and 3PLs. Larger shippers, in particular, may require 100 percent visibility at stops and accurate, real-time digital load tracking data for at least 70 percent of their loads. Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform helps you meet and even exceed the visibility consistency and compliance requirements of shippers. Bonus: Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform can be integrated with your TMS.
3. Digital Freight Matching
Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching software matches your loads with the best available trucks, reducing or eliminating the need to call or email carriers or to use load boards. Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching reduces your cost per load and gives carriers the ability to view your available loads 24 hours/day, seven days/week in the free Trucker Tools driver app. Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching also can be integrated with your TMS.
4. Load Booking Automation
Load booking automation tools like Trucker Tools’ Book It Now® help you take efficiency to the next level. With Book It Now®, you can allow specific carriers to book your loads through the Trucker Tools driver app or through our free software platform for trucking companies. Book It Now® greatly reduces the time you and your carrier partners spend on finalizing bookings. When a carrier dispatcher or driver books one of your loads with Book It Now®, the truck is automatically booked in your TMS.
5. Unified Carrier Technology Platform
Using a single, easy to use technology interface with carriers helps you keep them in your network and moving your loads. With Tools’ free driver app, truckers can track your loads, find and book your loads, negotiate rates, and scan and submit documents to you. Our comprehensive driver app also provides carriers with real-time info on fuel prices, parking, truck stops, rest areas, routing, grocery stores, weigh scales, CDL legal protection, nearby doctors/hospitals and more.
Some trucking companies may have policies in place that don’t allow drivers to use app-based load tracking technology. In this case, know that you may have the option to use truckers’ ELDs for load tracking purposes. Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform integrates with several ELDs, including M2M In Motion ELDs, Omnitracs ELDs, Rand McNally’s ELDs and others. ELD-based load tracking gives you another load tracking option to offer your carriers.
7. Document Scan and Send Tool
Giving carrier dispatchers and drivers the ability to digitally scan and send POD and BOL documents makes your carriers’ lives easier and helps them get paid quickly. Digital scan and send tools also reduce the time that your staff spends on paperwork. With the document scan and send tool included in Trucker Tools’ free driver app, carriers can take tamper-proof photos of BOL/POD documents and send them to you instantly.
8. Predictive Load Matching
Predictive load matching uses powerful algorithms and machine learning to determine where truck capacity will be in the future. Predictive load matching is included for free in Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform. It’s a powerful tool because it allows you to see what truck capacity in advance and to book those trucks before they become publicly available. Predictive load matching gives you a leg up on your competitors, helps you plan ahead and lets you cover loads quickly.
9. GPS Geofencing
GPS geofencing uses GPS technology to set up a virtual boundary around a specific location. Look for geofencing capabilities when you’re choosing a load tracking technology to use with your carriers. With geofencing, you can set up Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform to start load tracking automatically when the truck enters the shipper’s vicinity and stop tracking when the truck leaves the receiver’s facility. This further automates how you track loads and provides you another opportunity to increase operational efficiency.
10. Software Integrations
We’ve all experienced the frustration of not being able to get one type of technology to “talk” with another. When technology is siloed, it limits your ability to better understand your business and address inefficiencies. That’s why it’s important to choose technology-based solutions that integrate with other software platforms. Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform, digital freight matching and Book It Now® all can be integrated with your TMS. Our visibility platform also integrates with shipper visibility platforms, giving you the ability to instantly share real-time load tracking updates with shippers.
Are you looking for a competitive edge during the current capacity crunch? Read Increase Carrier Stickiness, Simplify Communications with Broker Advantage. Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform, digital freight matching and Book It Now®.