The truth about truck transport today is that freight brokers are not a fringe group, they’re not on their way out (though some would tell us otherwise), and they’re not a tiny fraction of trucking.
The truth is, freight brokerage is a critical component of trucking in North America today.
However, you might get the impression, from time to time, that brokers aren’t welcome, or are a necessary evil.
This ridiculous animosity often comes from a lack of understanding of just how critical freight brokers are.
Freight brokerage does more than just make sure freight is getting from point A to point B when the “normal” channels of transportation aren’t available.
Freight brokers account for a significant amount of business in this country, and, at least for the foreseeable future, they likely will for a long time to come.
But you already know this
You know how important what you do is to the trucking industry. You also know that what you do (and what the trucking industry does in general) has always been dependent on technology.
We might not think of trucking as “technology” the same way we might think of the latest four-billion-dollar aircraft carrier or the newest iPhone as technology, but that’s exactly what it is and always has been.
And trucking technology is changing these days — rapidly.
We live in strange times, and the trucking industry is about to undergo significant changes
But again, you already know this (I hope!).
Self-driving trucks aren’t just coming — they’re already here. Now, I can say with confidence that it may be 5, 10, possibly even 20 years before these things really become widespread, but the push is there, and it’s not going away.
It’s about efficiency, and one unfortunate truth seems to be that us silly human beings are perhaps inefficient.
That being said, it’s hard to imagine a time even 30 years down the road where vehicles are able to be completely self-driven. There will always need to be someone there in case the stupid thing breaks down.
But the move towards efficiency is there, the move towards self-driving vehicles is there, and the move towards more advanced technology has become a movement with increasing momentum.
And freight brokerage is swept up in the tide.
If you’re not prepared for the coming tide of technology, you might end up beached
Remember switchboard operators? Bowling pin setters? Typing pools?
Most people don’t. These are jobs that got swept out the door by new technology.
However, we still have phone systems, we still have bowling alleys, and we still have printed books.
The needs of people didn’t change and the businesses didn’t disappear — it’s just that the way we met those needs changed. Those who were ahead of the curve were able to integrate new tech into existing systems and move forward.
The bowling alley itself didn’t change, the lanes didn’t change, the balls didn’t change, just the way the pins were set up.
Savvy owners saw how they could make the most out of existing tech, tech that wasn’t going away (the balls, the pins themselves) and have them ready for the new tech coming down the pipeline.
Ask yourself this: Is freight brokerage ready for the new tech rushing towards us?
I think it is
Here’s the truth — TMSs aren’t going away the same way the basics of the trucking industry aren’t going away. We still need tires, we still need powerful engines, we still need roads and dispatch systems and load boards.
And, as new tech comes online, self-driving trucks not being the least of it, will we be the savvy business owners? Will we have the best existing tech ready to meet the needs of the new tech coming down the pipeline?
Will we have a robust, powerful TMS in place, ready to handle the unpredictable needs of a new century of trucking?
Or will we use a free one? You get what you pay for, and this is more true of TMSs than many pieces of technology.
Do you really think a free TMS is going to be able to handle the future of trucking? Or will it be another America Online? Another Blockbuster?
Get a powerful TMS and get ready for the future
Don’t wait for the future to catch up to you. Be prepared with Brokerware™.