In this ongoing blog series, we’re examining some of the newest freight broker and 3PL technologies available in the market today. These technologies are helping freight brokerage and logistics businesses like yours source truck capacity faster, better meet shippers’ needs, strengthen relationships with fleets and drivers, improve carrier/driver experience, and augment efficiency across supply chains.
This blog is all about carrier relationship management software platforms, which are designed to build productive and lasting relationships between freight brokers like you and owner operators and trucking companies. Carrier relationship management platforms (CRMs) include specific digital tools that make it easy for operations teams to book multiple loads with a carrier in a single conversation, find available capacity with in-network and/or already-onboarded carriers, and provide valuable efficiencies to carriers and owner operators.
There are several capabilities and features that differentiate carrier relationship management platforms from all-digital freight brokerages, load boards and other technology platforms used within freight brokerage. The greatest difference is that CRMs are designed with a dual purpose: to help traditional freight brokers and third party logistics providers scale faster, while helping carriers become much more efficient.
If you’re a broker, using a CRM means you don’t have to dial for diesel or post to load boards to find and secure the truck capacity you need. Instead, you can search for truck capacity right from your computer. CRMs like Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity display real-time truck capacity data that is based on the real-world movement of trucks and on transactions occurring between the freight brokers and 3PLs using Smart Capacity and the nearly 2 million owner operators and 250,000 fleets using Trucker Tools’ platform. Searching for capacity for a single load with a CRM takes seconds, not an hour. The efficiency you gain from sourcing capacity faster gives you the ability to scale up your freight volume without adding to your headcount, which is a major competitive advantage.
With a CRM, it’s also easier to build out and/or strengthen your carrier network. You can reduce new carrier onboarding and build relationships with specific carriers with a CRM’s customized load searches. For example, if you want to bring certain high-performing carriers into your network, you can search for capacity for your premium loads from among these high-performing carriers first. You also have the option to offer incentives such as driver loyalty programs and digital load booking to those owner operators and carriers that you want to keep or bring into your network.
One of the biggest benefits of using CRMs is that they offer carriers a streamlined, single-technology experience, which ultimately helps them operate with greater efficiency. It’s often the case that an independent owner operator or carrier is asked to use five or six different technologies to transport a single load. They may first connect with you on a load board. Once the rate is agreed upon and the load gets picked up, you may ask the carrier to track the load with another software, an ELD or check calls. When the load is delivered, you may ask that BOL and POD docs are scanned and sent to your team through yet another technology.
CRMs allow carriers to communicate with brokers like you through a single technology platform, thereby making it much easier and faster to do business with you. Making the lives of carriers and drivers easier can go a long way in bringing them into your network and keeping them there. With CRMs such as Smart Capacity, carriers and drivers can communicate with you through one technology: Trucker Tools. With Trucker Tools’ free driver app and free carrier platform, they can bid on and book your loads, track loads digitally, upload and send you BOL and POD documents, and learn more about what your company has to offer them.
Read the previous blog from this on-going educational series, “Digital Load Tracking Basics: What Brokers Need To Know About Real-Time Visibility.”
Schedule a free demo of Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity carrier relationship management platform.