If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that brokers who leverage the latest technology to their advantage are better able to adapt to uneven demand and market volatility. One of the greatest advantages that technology can offer your brokerage is greater operational efficiency. When your brokerage runs as efficiently as possible, your staff members can focus on shipper satisfaction and expanding your shipper base, instead of performing tedious manual tasks over and over.
In this blog, we dig into the freight tracking options available to you as a freight broker and the unique advantages offered by Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform.
If you’ve been in the brokerage business for any length of time, you’re certainly familiar with check calls. Using phone calls to truckers or carrier dispatchers to get updated ETAs on your shippers’ loads is still a fairly common method for tracking loads. Check calls, however, are problematic. Tracking loads with check calls is extremely inefficient. Your staff members may have to make seven or eight check calls per load to fulfill your shippers’ load tracking update requirements. Those check calls may add up to an hour or more of total time devoted to check calls on just a single load.
Check calls lack accuracy and aren’t real-time. With check calls, you’re relying on the trucker or carrier dispatcher for a location update. The trucker or carrier dispatcher may not answer the phone immediately, which means you lose visibility of the load until your phone call is returned. You don’t get pinpoint, automatic continual updates on the location of your shipper’s freight with check calls. When you use check calls to track loads, minutes or hours may pass before you’re aware that a driver has encountered traffic or been delayed at a stop, which makes it difficult to provide shippers with accurate ETAs.
Another option for tracking your shippers’ freight is to ask carriers who haul your brokered loads to use a single function load tracking app. Single function one-trick pony load tracking apps typically are designed to meet the needs of shippers, brokers and 3PLs and they do just one thing: track freight. These apps aren’t designed with the needs of truckers and carriers in mind, which is why adoption rates of driver apps that only track freight tend to be low. There’s no compelling incentive for carriers to actively use single function visibility apps, beyond helping you track the load for your shipper.
In a recent Trucker Tools survey, most of the drivers who responded said their top concern about visibility technology is privacy. If you ask carriers to use single function load tracking apps without addressing their privacy concerns, chances are high that they might refuse. This is especially true with owner operators and smaller trucking companies.
Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility solution uses the trucker’s smart phone and our free driver app to provide you with automatic, GPS-based location updates every five minutes to make sure that your staff members always know where that load is. When a delay occurs, your staff members know immediately and can proactively work to address the delay and update the shipper with an accurate ETA. You can view location updates in Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform or directly in your TMS thanks to a software integration. Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility is reliable and accurate, which means you can reduce check or even eliminate them altogether, saving your staff members a significant amount of time.
When we designed Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform and free driver app, we did so with your needs as a broker in mind, but also with the needs of carriers in mind. GPS-based load tracking is just one of the 17+ tools included in Trucker Tools’ free driver app. Carriers also can use Trucker Tools’ free driver app to find real-time information on fuel prices, weigh scales, Wal-Mart locations, routing, available loads, DOT locations, parking, amenities and more. Truckers can save time and money with Trucker Tools’ all-in-one driver app. They also can use our driver app on multiple loads and with multiple brokers. Trucker Tools’ driver app offers carriers real value, and that value incentivizes load tracking for carriers.
It’s important to note that the load tracking feature included in the Trucker Tools driver app provides complete transparency for carriers. Truckers must tap on Accept in order for a load to be tracked via the driver app and the trucker’s smart phone. Once the driver agrees to have the load tracked in the driver app, they can see the name of the broker receiving the information and the details on the associated load. This transparency ensures that truckers always know when and if load tracking is on and who is receiving location information. Truckers also can pause or cancel a load track in the driver app.
For a demo of Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility solution, contact our sales team.