3 dynamic ways to improve carrier experience
Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Whether the broker realizes it or not, carriers can switch between brokerages and platforms to find freight anywhere. They have access to near-infinite opportunities on loadboards, have direct relationships with shippers, and leverage new digital freight matching technology. So what keeps a carrier from switching between the many brokerage options to find freight that fits their needs?
Here’s what we think.
A fair and easy carrier experience is the foundation for creating a competitive brokerage, where quality carriers return and will commit capacity at a fair price.
In a recent survey over 200 carriers, ease of working and experience ranked as among the top three determinants when it comes to selecting a logistics partner. While high freight prices may incentivize transactional carriers, creating an experience that enables carriers to find and execute freight is becoming a differentiator for carrier retention. In fact, carriers surveyed also indicated poor targeting (i.e., providing the right freight opportunity at the right time) as a reason for rejecting a load opportunity.
We've identified 3 key tips to ensure you’ll be your carrier's go-to.
Learn from Carriers The first step in laying the foundation for a personalized carrier relationship is to learn how your carriers are behaving. By deploying dynamic carrier profiles, your matching system improves beyond lane preferences and learns where carriers want freight by predicting where they will have capacity to supercharge your TMS and carrier sales team. This process is like assigning an individual to each trucking company to learn about their preferences and changing needs, without the labor costs.
Invest in technology that helps you track and analyze your carriers. The basis of a carrier intelligence system is to collect and analyze carrier information to create intelligent carrier profiles. These profiles are made up of your data and a third-party data source, which includes things like historical load data, real-time, historical email interactions, as well as FMCSA data sources.
The goal of dynamic carrier profiles is to identify patterns a broker can utilize to improve carrier experience, such as finding the opportunities to engage with the carrier at the right time. By doing so, one can become a first-choice brokerage provider who is proactive in solving their carrier's challenges.
Carrier loyalty is created when they find a brokerage that's easy to work with. Handling repeating customers or commodities reduces friction. Carrier's find that their best experiences are repeat customers and loads which help them clearly understand the requirements of the customer's freight.
Introducing an unvetted carrier to learn about a new shipping facility and shipper requirements introduces risk. To become a brokerage partner of choice, it is important to make the carrier experience as easy and with as little back and forth as possible.
Learn and reply to carrier emails
There are hundreds of data streams that require analysis to do things like learn more about your carrier's needs. A simple stream of data that is often overlooked is a source of live information from carrier emails. Every day, over 4% of a brokerage’s carrier capacity is delivered over email. When paired with other channels, email data can help your systems find and show personalized load opportunities for your in-network carrier partners to accelerate capacity procurement for your carrier sales reps.
Digital processing of carrier emails enables a brokerage to streamline communication with carrier partners and improves the carrier experience by helping them reduce the time spent searching for the right load opportunities. Freight transparency with carriers makes it easy for carriers to find the freight they need.
Technology that can automate carrier capacity emails for real-time use and future use by injecting into carrier profiles is available, but few brokerages utilize this tool. By skipping the adoption of this technology, brokerages are rejecting another stream of data to add into their digital ecosystems for future use and profile building.
Freight Brokerages’ Digital Evolution
Freight brokerage is a two-way business, and without strong carrier relationships, it is difficult to build a profitable, defensible brokerage. We at Parade believe that every brokerage will make a digital transformation like J.B. Hunt 360 or C.H. Robinson, where using data to drive carrier relationships will be the key to this digital transformation.
Interested in learning more? Give us a shout.