Freight brokerage isn’t what it used to be — thankfully, neither is freight brokerage software.
One major thing that has changed is simply the way the term “broker” is used. I’ve seen how a lot of shippers refer to brokers, especially in comments online — it’s not always very nice.
That being said, there is definitely a difference between what a broker does and what a full-on third party logistics provider is able to do. It’s one thing to be able to manage random shipments for random companies — it’s quite another to offer an entire suite of services and basically take over supply chain management for entire businesses.
That, of course, should be the ultimate aim — if you’re a broker and you want to set yourself apart from all the brokers out there flooding the market, you can’t just be lean, or efficient (although that should absolutely be a major goal of yours) — you have to be more than that.
And growing into a full-fledged 3PL.
A freight brokerage has a lot of moving pieces — freight brokerage software is what keeps those pieces moving together harmoniously.
And the best part about it is its ability to reduce overhead: you simply need less people because you’re no longer wasting incredible amounts of time on repetitive, low-value tasks like data entry or document creation.
Now I don’t want to take jobs away from someone any more than anyone else, but, the truth is, automation is very much a fact of life — it’s here, it works, and it’s extremely efficient…
Most importantly, everyone else is using it.
Frankly, most freight brokerage businesses don’t have a choice. They can either adopt a TMS (transportation management system) somewhere along the line…
Or they can get run out of business by the other brokerages that invested in the software.
One of the major wastes of time in freight brokerage is the time spent researching carriers and rates.
Not only can this take up a large amount of time, but every minute that passes brings with it a danger — that a carrier offering a particular rate is going to be snatched up by someone else (or that a load is going to get picked up by someone else).
Time is critical, and anything that can reduce research times is a gift. A robust piece of freight brokerage software is going to be able to display a large number of rates along with other pertinent data to you simultaneously. It will also integrate with load boards and pulling in those carriers as well.
Having a customer portal where your repeat customers can login and create orders, orders that go directly to you and are ready to go without the hassle of emails or phone calls back and forth, is something most customers love. This is especially true if they can easily track shipments, but it’s really just the beginning.
A robust TMS is also going to have a sales portal, allowing sales reps to create quotes, dispatch loads, and track shipments for their own accounts. Not to mention – their commissions can be automated as well.
Well, you can start to see the value.
Freight brokerage software like BrokerWare™ does all of this and more – and it can take you from broker to top-tier third party logistics provider more quickly than you can imagine.
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