Manifesting Reality with the Freight Coach

Please share our content if you enjoy it

3PL Systems is excited to share a new Episode of 3PL Live — with Chris Jolly The Freight Coach.

Host Jeremy Thone of 3PL Live got to know Chris and how he ended up coaching sales reps in the freight industry.

We learn that Chris doesn’t do second takes for his podcast, and he gives everything, all he’s got. We also talk about manifesting dreams into reality by putting clues out there. Chris’ intro music for his show is an affirmation of a successful future.

We hope you enjoy the show and please share if you enjoy our content.

Rise Transportation with Chris Wilson

At 3PL systems, we enjoy highlighting entrepreneurs in the supply chain and their founding stories through our podcast 3PL Live. 

If you enjoy our content please comment and share

In this episode of 3PL Live, Chris Wilson from Rise Transportation shares his entrepreneurship story about bootstrapping a 3PL right before the pandemic hit!

Chris shut down his freight brokerage for two whole months during the pandemic but weathered the storm. Rise Transportation is expecting a strong Q4 with several hundred shipments in the books.

We talk about entrepreneurship, marketing, and running a small business.

If you’re in the freight brokerage business, having a reliable partner in Transportation Management Software (TMS) can increase your revenue potential.

INVESTING IN TRANSPORT SOFTWARE — THE ROI ON A TMS

When considering different pieces of transport software for freight brokers (also known as a TMS or a transportation management system), it’s critical to consider ROI.

As a business owner, even if you’re just starting out, you understand the importance of ROI — you don’t casually or lightly signup for ongoing costs unless you’re clear on how that’s going to pay off for your business, both in the short-term and the long-term.

This is a very different calculation compared to what a consumer is going to look at. When a consumer is considering the purchase of a gaming computer, they know that they’re pouring money into a hole, for all intents and purposes — their ROI comes in the form of fun times with friends.

Businesses do not have these luxuries, and freight brokers especially need to be enormously considerate of ROI as brokerages are generally run on razor-thin margins that can’t make up for large disruptions or reductions in cash flow.

So, what is the ROI on a TMS? How can it help you save money and make money?

Let’s discuss.

A TMS HELPS YOU ACCESS MORE CARRIERS AND BETTER RATES FASTER

Time is money, and nowhere is that more true than in the freight brokerage business.

One of the most time-consuming portions of the job is matching loads to carriers.

Now, for most freight brokerages, there’s a limited number of carriers that you have a contract with, which means the amount of profit you’re going to make on any given load is directly controlled by the carriers you have access to.

If there’s a carrier available and willing to take the load cheaper than everyone else (while still maintaining the quality that your clients expect), you want to know about it — but that may take time (which means employee hours) to find, and who knows, by the time you work everything out, that carrier might have already taken on another load.

Speed is of the essence, which is where a quality TMS comes in. If your TMS allows you to see all the available carriers for a particular lane, if you can do so from within a single portal, if you’re able to look at what’s available on popular load boards at the same time…

Well, you’re starting to see the value, I expect — any TMS that’s worth purchasing is going to have these features.  It is going to decrease the amount of time it takes you to find the right carrier for the load and lane in question while increasing your options.

Over time, this can really add up. If you increase your profits by even a small amount on even half your jobs, you make a big impression in the revenue you’re bringing in month over month.

But there are other reasons to invest in a TMS…

A QUALITY TMS REDUCES DATA ENTRY, REDUCES ERRORS, REDUCES PAPERWORK, AND CAN EVEN AUTOMATICALLY DISPATCH TRUCKS

What I’ve written here may seem like almost too much to believe, but it’s the truth — a quality TMS simply revolutionizes how freight brokers do business.

Many brokers deal with large numbers of LTL loads — that’s a lot of moving parts to keep track of, and this generally means you need a part-time or full-time dispatcher.

Now, TMSs aren’t artificial intelligences — they’re not going to eliminate the role of a dispatcher any time soon.

However, they can make your dispatcher much more efficient by automatically dispatching LTL loads — or a solid TMS may just help you grow your business to the point where you can afford to bring on a dispatcher in the first place.

TMSs also provide a return in ways you might not consider — by reducing the need for a large portion of your data entry, not only are you saving time and money by not having to pay someone to enter data (or having to enter that data yourself), but you also eliminate one of the major sources of errors. Data entry is repetitive and monotonous, and it’s simple for errors to creep in. Eliminating data entry means you can worry a lot less about some silly mistake costing you a great deal of money.

Many TMSs also auto-generate paperwork, again, reducing the amount of time you or your staff need to spend on repetitive tasks and reducing the opportunity for errors.

All told, this makes a huge difference — you can save a great deal of time, reduce staffing, increase efficiency, and increase profit margins.

Who wouldn’t want that?

CONVINCED YET? LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT A TMS CAN DO FOR YOU

Load board integrations, customer portals, rate sharing — it’s all in a day’s work for a quality TMS.

See it for yourself – request a demo by entering your information below:

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

3PL SOFTWARE — GROW YOUR BUSINESS AND SET YOURSELF APART FROM THE CROWD

A Transportation Management System is an integral part of the freight brokerage business. More often than not, a good TMS is the deciding factor of who wins and who loses in this industry.

Tools have been essential to humanity since the dawn of time. Unsurprisingly, that is no different in today’s business world. TMS is the essential tool for our industry.

WHETHER YOU’RE A NEW FREIGHT BROKER OR YOU’VE BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR A WHILE, TMS SOFTWARE CAN IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS

TMS software like BrokerWare™ isn’t an add-on to your business or a bonus like it used to be — it’s a necessity to work efficiently in this industry.

For freight brokers who are just starting out,getting a quality piece of TMS software is probably the only way they’re going to be able to achieve a high level of efficiency without having to hire a whole bunch of people.

It’s a key to growth in a variety of ways. First, because it is going to automate many different tasks, you simply need less employees, which means that overhead costs stay low from the beginning.

Any freight broker with any sort of experience in the industry understands the value of this. Brokers run on razor-thin margins, margins that can often turn into losses when something goes awry on a shipment. Choosing carriers and matching them with shippers can be a hazardous undertaking, and when things don’t go the way they should, a high overhead can suddenly become a very large problem.

By keeping business processes slim and efficient from day one, the new freight broker can establish themselves as someone who can get the job done without having to worry immediately about paying a truckload of salaries every few weeks.

BUT BUSINESS GROWTH IS ONLY THE TIP OF THIS ICEBERG

Another really important (vital, really) benefit of working with a TMS isn’t a benefit to you — it’s a benefit to your customers!

Gone are the days when the only way to make any sort of order was to pick up the phone and make a call. Even the days of sending a series of emails are gone.

As a population, we’ve been spoiled by large shippers of consumer goods like Amazon. Many shippers these days want the ability to schedule a shipment entirely online without ever once having to send you an email or make a phone call or send a fax.

They want you to pair them with the right carrier at the right time (which is usually right now), and they want to do so from the comfort of their own computer.

Practically speaking, most 3PL software should be able to do this, but it’s not always the case — not every TMS includes API integrations, and not every TMS is able to connect to all the major load boards (let alone sort through them all to find you the best carrier with the best rate for the shipment and lane). Without something like RateShare™, you’re relying solely on the integrity of your contacts to make sure you can offer the best rates to shippers — and without a customer portal, it’s like you’re operating back in the 1980s.

Being able to offer a customer portal — a website where your customers can login and schedule a shipment, especially repeat shipments, quickly and easily – can be an incredible way to set yourself apart from the crowd of brokers who all claim to be doing basically the same thing that you do.

Shippers today just don’t want the hassle of having to call or fax or send an email every time they want to schedule a shipment — and there are a lot of brokers out there who are willing to remove that hassle for customers in order to get their business.

You probably should try to be one of those brokers.

INVEST IN THE RIGHT TOOLS, AND YOUR BUSINESS WILL THRIVE

BrokerWare™ is one of the top-performing pieces of 3PL software in the brokerage industry.

Contact us today to see how we can help you set yourself apart from the competition.

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

HOW OUR TMS (TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM) BROKERWARE™ MAKES YOUR LIFE EASIER

Human beings invented computers to make complex mathematical calculations simpler — software has always been a natural evolution of this original purpose, and a TMS (transportation management system) is no different.

The goal of TMS software like Brokerware™ is to make your job simpler, to help you automate where it makes sense to automate, to help you eliminate errors, and to help you increase those already-too-narrow margins.

It’s an investment, one that you don’t make lightly, and one that you can’t easily walk away from…

Especially if you find out that you made the wrong one.

That’s why we’ve cut the clutter of useless features and narrowed the focus of Brokerware™ to a handful of features (well, relatively speaking), the ones that will benefit you the most.

Features like mass tariff rating.

ANY MODERN TMS (TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM) SHOULD HAVE MASS TARIFF RATING

Unfortunately, not all do.

Or (and this is more often the case than not), the software is so absurdly complicated and overloaded with crazy features that you have to pay an entirely separate fee to get someone to teach you the software.

(This is a bit of a side note, but there are entire companies that have sprung up just to teach people how to use your TMS. Just think about that for a second… crazy, right? Here’s my rant on exactly why you should never have to pay for training for a TMS (transportation management software)).

Back to features. One feature that is so valuable it almost stands alone is mass tariff rating.

Now, many transportation management systems (TMS) allow you to create custom tariffs and apply them to many carriers at once. That’s pretty much industry standard.

If you’re not able to do that with your current TMS software, it’s probably time to look elsewhere.

So what sets Brokerware™ apart? To put it simply, Brokerware™ lets you get a lot more specific than simply creating a mass tariff.

If all you’re able to do is create a custom tariff and apply it to all your carriers, you’re going to have to change those tariffs around constantly for different groups of carriers.

Brokerware bypasses this issue and allows you to create groups of carriers. Basically, you can get as granular as you need to, creating custom tariffs for specific carriers or groups of carriers, instead of applying several mass tariffs to ALL your carriers.

Want to create a tariff by zip code?  Done.

Need to create a taiff by shipping lane?  Done.

How about by states?  We got you.

Weight?  Type of shipment?  Any criteria that you find meaningful – our tool can create a custom tariff that you can apply to only that criteria.

This means less switching around, less editing of customized tariffs, and less room for error.

In an industry where margins are slim in the best of times, you need as few errors as possible.

TARIFFS SPECIFIC TO THE CRITERIA YOU CHOOSE

Now, while setting tariffs en masse is a wonderful ability to have, Brokerware™ goes further, allowing you to set tariffs to specific service areas and specific shipping lanes.  Or, as I just mentioned, literally any criteria that’s meaningful to how your company operates.

I probably don’t have to go into much detail about the value of such a feature.  Right?

This is in sharp contrast to a low-end TMS (transportation management system), which requires you to build out the entire tariff by setting custom properties, of which there may be hundreds of options.

I’m having trouble imagining your employees jumping at the bit to spend their days combing through and setting hundreds of properties in a single custom tariff, but I could be wrong.

Bulk tariff rating in Brokerware™ is simple, straightforward, and fast. You customize your tariffs, choose your groups, apply, and get back to work.

It takes the strain off you and off your employees so you can focus on the job at hand (while also reducing errors).

Not bad for a little piece of software, eh?

To top it off, Brokerware™ is so simple that training is minimal. You don’t have to spend weeks getting everyone up to speed on its use, and you certainly don’t need to pay a third party to train your team.

WHY THIS KIND OF MASS TARIFF RATING IS SO IMPORTANT

In case you’re thinking “big deal, I can set bulk tariffs – I just apply 18% across the board.  That’s the industry average anyway”, let me explain why that method of applying your tariffs is probably not in your best interest.

That average number for an 18% markup is just that, an average.  That means there’s plenty of shipping lanes that add more markup, and just as many shipping lanes that add less.

Consider an imaginary shipper near our offices, here in Los Angeles, or even closer, in Long Beach.  If they’re shipping a truckload down to San Diego, the markup should be much less than if they were to ship that same truckload across the US to New York.

That’s logical, right?  It costs more to move that truck across the country than it does to drive two hours down the freeway.

So why apply a flat tariff to all shipments when your prospective customers know just as well as you do that it should cost more to ship cross country than in the same state?

If you charge an 18% (just to pick a number) markup for all shipments, then local shipments, who are expecting a lower markup of, say, 9%, are going to choose a cheaper shipping option.

If you charge that same 18% markup for a shipment going cross country, then sure, they’ll choose your company to ship the truckload – but they may have been willing to pay a 30% markup, which means you’ve left money on the table.

Not customizing your tariffs means you’re losing money.

And not customzing your tariffs by the granularity that Brokerware™ provides is costing you money – not just money lost in wasted time from double entry, either.  Money from lost deals, and money from deals you could have earned more from.

This type of customizable tariff rating is something unique to Brokerware™.

See it for yourself – request a demo by entering your information below:

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]