5 Ways Brokers Can Use Technology to Facilitate Better Relationships with Carriers
Here at Parade, one of the biggest hang-ups we hear from brokerages when they’re considering our capacity management system is that they’re worried about the impact of process and communication automation on their carrier relationships. These tips for using tech to improve relationships rather than detract from them prove otherwise.
1. Save Carriers Time by Sending Loads They Want
For many freight brokerages, part of getting coverage for their loads each day involves sending their internal load board out to their carriers to see what sticks. Their carriers then must search through those loads and see if there are any they can get covered.
Depending on the brokerage’s freight volume, carriers may see hundreds of loads that are irrelevant to their business. Maybe they’re a regional carrier and you’re showing them loads on the other side of the country, or maybe they’re strictly dry van and you’re sending them a bunch of flatbed loads. The loads they could take may get buried in loads that they can’t.
With Parade’s capacity management program, it’s easy to show carriers just the loads that fit their parameters and leave the rest to other carriers. Saving your carriers time and effort, plus making sure they’re seeing the loads you need them to see, is likely to earn you brownie points.
2. Simplify Processes for Carriers
Carriers want to build relationships with and take loads for brokerages that make their job easier. If they can book the same number of trucks in less time because a brokerage makes things simpler for them, why wouldn’t they want to work with that brokerage? It helps ensure their capacity is better utilized and allows them to improve margins.
Tech features like Parade’s Book Now feature allow carriers to do things the easy way. They can find a load they like and book it with minimal to no intervention, anytime a day on any day of the week. They can also send a counteroffer in seconds to open negotiations, allow brokerages access to compliance information so they don’t have to worry about sending it, and search specifically for a preferred brokerage’s loads that fall within their parameters.
3. Speed Up the Paperwork
A lot of paperwork changes hands to get a load from origin to destination. Getting that paperwork back and forth the old-fashioned way can be a pain, and it can cause major delays in getting the load covered, billing shippers, or even getting the load delivered. Tech solutions can help.
Technology can help you send and receive important paperwork like:
· Online bill of ladings
· Delivery confirmation
· Carrier onboarding
When it’s easy to share digital paperwork back and forth, the process goes smoother and it’s easier to make sure everyone is compliant, legally speaking and within each organization. This reduces stress and tension in communications and keeps both parties happier, enabling more engaged and productive relationships.
4. Use Tech to Create Transparency
The trucking industry is fraught with fraud, fine print, and a lack of clear communication. Regardless of which part of the freight cycle a company handles, common practices in the industry can cause problems.
One of the best parts about technology in the freight industry is the transparency that it provides. Technology allows brokers and carrier reps access to all the same information, right out in the open so there is no confusion and a whole lot less friction.
For instance, it’s easy to access real-time tracking for loads, digital POD, and BOL information, allowing all parties to watch freight through the whole cycle. Tech like Parade’s automated quote capture can help improve communication, too. There’s no digging through emails or potential misunderstandings surrounding offered rates. Quotes go into the system and are easy for brokerages to read and therefore easier to act on, which is great news for carriers who want their business.
5. Offer More Consistent Business
When it’s easy to reuse a carrier that you’ve had great luck with, you’re more likely to do just that. The more often you use a carrier and both sides are happy with the transaction, the deeper the relationship grows. The brokerage learns to count on the carrier for coverage when they need it, and the carrier can rest assured they have a consistent source of business that doesn’t require extra work and a lot of headaches.
This is a huge boon for brokerages and carriers alike. Brokerages need carriers who do a great job serving their shippers, and it’s a lot easier for a carrier to do that if they’ve been to the shipper regularly. Carriers need to know that they can get their equipment utilized and when brokerages are better able to communicate their needs and see the carrier’s capacity, that repeat business is all but assured.
When brokerages and carriers have more time in their day to spend on meaningful communication, they can build stronger, deeper, and more engaged relationships. If you’re wondering how Parade’s capacity management solution can help your freight brokerage improve carrier relationships, reach out to speak with our team. They can show you how Parade might fit into your business model.