There are a dizzying number of load boards, digital freight marketplaces and truck capacity options available to you as a freight broker or logistics provider. When deciding which freight capacity tools to use in your business, it’s a good idea to target solutions that reduce the time and resources that you devote to finding and finalizing truck capacity. Greater operational efficiency helps you reduce your cost per load, which increases your profit margins. Boosting efficiency also allows you to reassign employees and resources to activities that can potentially increase your revenue, such as carrier development, shipper development and shipper service.
Digital Truck Search Capabilities
Let’s face it: using manual methods like emails and phone calls to find available trucks is highly inefficient, especially given recent advances in mobile app functionality and machine learning. When you’re considering which freight capacity tools to use, look for digital freight platforms that simply your process for finding high quality capacity. The freight capacity solution that you choose should enable you to search for capacity based on a number of variables, including dates, lanes/locations, type of freight, equipment, weight and other factors.
You also want to look for solutions that provide a private network that isn’t open to the general public. One of the problems with load boards, bulk emails and phone calls is that all of these methods cast too wide of a net and are too broad. Using a private capacity network reduces significantly the competition that you face from other brokers and 3PLs.
When deciding which freight capacity tools to use, you also need to be able to search for truck capacity within your network of preferred carriers. This reduces the amount of time you spend fielding inquiries from unqualified and/or unknown carriers. Booking repeat loads with high-quality carriers helps you develop long term, strategic partnerships with carriers that can be mutually beneficial.
Automate Freight Booking
The freight brokerage market is more competitive than ever. When you’re choosing which freight capacity tools to use in your business, look for solutions that reduce the time you spend on rate negotiation and finalizing bookings with carriers. Automating time-intensive manual activities such as load booking can give you an edge over your competition by reducing your cost per load and increasing operational efficiency, which ultimately raises profit margins.
Giving carriers in your network the ability to negotiate rates and book your open loads through a mobile app also makes life easier for them. Carriers can submit rate quotes, look for and book your open loads at times that are convenient for them, instead of being restricted to booking loads with you during daytime hours or waiting for your responses via email. In-app load booking also shifts the responsibility of finalizing load/truck booking details to carriers. Why is this beneficial? Because it’s simple and easy to finalize a load booking with a few taps in an app on their smartphones, carriers become more proactive about finalizing load bookings. That reduces the amount of work your brokerage or 3PL has to do to secure truck capacity.
Predictive Load Matching
In addition to the digital search and automated bookings capabilities mentioned above, Trucker Tools’ digital freight matching platform also allows you to find and secure freight capacity before it’s ever posted publicly. Trucker Tools’ predictive load matching bases its predictions on the loads currently booked by carriers in your network in Trucker Tools’ digital freight platform.
Knowing your in-network carriers’ pickup and delivery times and locations allows our software to accurately predict where available truck capacity will be in the future. Predictive load matching helps carriers eliminate deadhead miles and reduce costs while helping you find freight capacity in advance. This allows both you and your carriers to limit downtime, reduce wasted capacity and reduce costs.
Predictive load matching helps you better serve your shipper customers, as well, which is especially important in the current market. Knowing where and when capacity will be available and securing it in advance allows your shippers more lead time and the ability to plan ahead. When shippers have truck capacity secured in advance, they can optimize their staffing and dock schedules accordingly, which ultimately can increase operational efficiency and revenue.