How Freight Brokers Can Use Technology to Automate Processes – LogiSYM February 2019
Technology is a key component of a growing number of business operations in today’s economy, and the transportation and logistics landscape is no exception to this change. The advancements in the digital world are helping many in the industry move their businesses forward. Freight brokers are leaning heavily on digital tools to create more efficiencies and solve the complex issues that surround owning and running a successful company. Regardless of the time a freight broker has spent in the transportation game or the size of their operation, there are several ways freight brokers can utilize technology to automate processes each day.
One of the methods to automate business processes is through location technology specifically for freight. Using everything from cell tower signals to GPS from mobile phones, freight brokers can reduce the manual check-ins on drivers. Instead, the status of a load can be easily tracked and monitored, allowing for automation and therefore, more efficiency along the way. Some technology solutions in this space also provide real-time weather and traffic updates, helping keep track of loads and potential issues for shippers ahead of time.
Staying up to date with spot market freight movements is a time-consuming task for many freight brokers, but technology is available to help automate the process. Brokers can be more prepared to work with shippers and carriers by using digital platforms to predict rates and offer real-time pricing in advance of a load. Many of these technology tools lean on data gathered from several different sources, including public and private databases, to give brokers an opportunity to offer immediate booking with accurate pricing.
Predictive technology is also being used to deliver seamless freight matching, helping brokers automate the process of fulfilling customer needs. These digital tools use historical data and real-time location details to provide accurate capacity availability automatically. Not only does this take away some of the manual work that traditionally goes into freight matching, but it also allows brokers to look further in the future for the capacity they need.
The transportation industry as a whole has been slow to adopt new technologies when it comes to the financial side of operations. However, in recent years, the ability to create automation in both receiving and remitting payments has come full circle. Mobile connectivity options among freight brokers and carriers, typically used for load tracking, is now being used to fuel digital payments. From invoicing customers through a peer-to-peer payment system to paying for the cost of a freight broker bond online, technology is allowing brokers to keep things moving from a finance perspective.
Finally, automation through technology is reaching the realm of compliance in the transportation and logistics industry. This shift has come in several different forms, including new opportunities for digital freight broker training, real-time alerts regarding compliance shifts or industry trends, and beefed up privacy practices among mobile apps and software providers. Each of these enhancements to the freight broker technology stack allows professionals in the business to focus more of their time and energy on building relationships and growing their brokerage business.