The digital world has certainly changed the trucking industry. Mobile apps, process algorithms and machine learning technology have become part of our daily lives both at work and at home. This is in stark contrast to the Excel spreadsheets, white boards, loads boards and other manual tools that for many years were the only way to do business. Today, true digital platforms and real-time data are helping brokers, logistics providers, owner operators and carriers make better decisions faster.

If you’re a small broker, you can capitalize on the efficiency and cost reductions that technology provides. Using well-designed, real-time digital technology in your operations gives you flexibility and resiliency, something that can’t be achieved when your operations are manual. True digital technology also is scalable, meaning you can continue to use the technology as your business grows and the technology can help you boost freight volume without increasing your head count. The most useful digital tools increase your team’s effectiveness and provide insights into your business operations. Here are the top five most useful digital tools for small brokers.

1. Digital Freight Matching

Securing trucks is a challenge right now and there’s no end in sight. We’re currently in the midst of a record-breaking capacity crunch brought on by the pandemic, low inventories, COVID-19 outbreaks in factories, port congestion and a driver shortage. In an environment like the current one, you need to be able to cover your customers’ loads quickly or you might lose their business. One of the most useful digital tools for small brokers is Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching software, which allows you to search quickly for in-network and out-of-network capacity in specific lanes. Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching makes it possible for you to find the right truck for the right load in minutes, which isn’t possible when you use load boards, phone calls and emails to find out what capacity is available.

2. Load Tracking Software with ELD Integration Options

Thanks to the consistency and quality of Trucker Tools’ freight tracking data, companies such as Surge Transportation are meeting or surpassing shippers’ visibility KPIs. Trucker Tools’ load tracking platform uses the GPS tech in the trucker’s smart phone and the Trucker Tools app to provide you with real-time location updates every five minutes. Trucker Tools’ freight tracking software can reduce or eliminate check calls and help you stay ahead of service issues. Trucker Tools’ visibility platform integrates with the most popular ELDs in use today including the Azuga ELD, EROAD ELD, FlexFeet’s ELD, Gorilla Safety ELD, GPS Insight ELD, GPSTab ELD, ISAAC Instruments ELD, J.J. Keller & Associates ELD, LionEight ELD, M2M In Motion ELD, Omnitracs ELD, Rand McNally ELD, ThinAir Telematics ELD, Trimble Transportation’s ELD and the TruckX ELD. These ELD integrations allow the trucker’s ELD to push location data to the Trucker Tools’ freight tracking platform, which gives you another load tracking option to offer carriers.

3. Transportation Management System

Transportation management systems put carrier management, billing, accounting, customer management, business intelligence and more on one single platform for those handling the day to day work in freight brokerages. A TMS is essential for the modern-day freight broker. Trucker Tools’ solutions integrate with the most popular transportation management systems in use today, including: AscendTMS, BrokerPro, Freight Management Systems, Körber/HighJump, McLeod Software, MercuryGate, PORT TMS, Strategy Systems, Tailwind, Tai and TransTelligence. We’re adding new TMS integration partners all the time to drive even greater efficiency in your operations. Integration between Trucker Tools’ platform and your TMS empowers your team to make informed decisions faster, while increasing productivity.

4. Book It Now®

Another of the most useful digital tools for small brokers is Book It Now®, which automates rate negotiations and bookings with owner operators and carriers. Integrated with your TMS, Book It Now® eliminates the time-consuming back and forth communications that typify manual load booking processes. Instead, give your preferred drivers and carriers 24/7 access to your loads and let them quote on and book your loads digitally through the Trucker Tools free app or free software platform for carriers. When a trucker/carrier books one of your Book It Now® loads, the appointment is automatically scheduled in your TMS. The driver/carrier dispatcher also receives an automated email confirming the appointment. If you’re looking to build out your carrier base and improve efficiency, Book It Now® is a must-have tool.

5. Mobile App That Carriers Will Use

Last but not least, the final most useful digital tool for small brokers is a carrier-friendly mobile app. In order for digital systems to be effective in your freight broker business, you need a way to exchange information with drivers and carriers in real-time. The Trucker Tools mobile app is that conduit, providing you with up-to-date information on the location of loads, in network and out of network capacity availability, lane insights and information on future truck availability. The all-in-one design of Trucker Tools’ mobile app makes it a favorite with truckers and carriers. With the app, truckers can track broker loads, calculate axle weights, trip plan, find and book your loads, and get connected with CDL legal expertise. The Trucker Tools app also provides truckers with information on weigh scales, truck stops, parking, Wal-Mart locations, fuel prices, repair shops, rest areas, restaurants and more. The value that the Trucker Tools app offers truckers and carriers is high, which is why the app has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times.

Read How Technology Evens the Playing Field for Small Brokers to find out how you can use technology to compete with bigger brokers. Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ freight tracking platform, digital freight matching and Book It Now®.