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Freight brokerage strategy: 6 steps to stay proactive with shippers & carriers

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The right freight brokerage strategy is continuously changing to reflect the latest advancements in technologies, service, and brand value. Unfortunately, disparate systems remain, threatening to undermine efficiency, visibility, and collaboration. Freight brokers in need of a better strategy that stays proactive in managing shippers and carriers need to follow these steps. 

1. Offer the Right Price for Freight Brokerage Services

Any plan for value in a freight brokerage strategy must begin with the right price. As explained by Anthony Sabbadini of Parcel Magazine:

In an industry as established and competitive as freight, price is always going to be a factor. New entrants often start with price and, once established, will seek to add value with additional services. Given the lack of visibility into pricing particular shipments across multiple vendors, bulk discounts, and daily volatility affected by changing fuel surcharges, getting a handle on your own pricing, let alone your competitors’, can be difficult.”

Pricing forms the basis for all business decisions, and while today’s shippers and carriers want strategic value, pricing structure always influences transportation decisions. It’s the pricing structure that secures carriers and shippers, but it’s not always the price that keeps customers. If a broker delivers faster and with fewer performance issues than a competitor, future price adjustments may be more accepted by carriers and shippers.

2. Emphasize the Value of Your Brokerage Services Over “Go-It-Alone” Transportation Management

Freight brokerage strategy solutions must make it easier for shippers and carriers to obtain freight shipping quotes and schedule pick-ups. While freight brokers can wait for the time for shippers and carriers to provide schedule availability, imagine the ease if freight brokers could see the schedule in conjunction with the shipment details. The value grows when freight brokers can also provide clear transparency into what equipment shippers or carriers will need to load and unload freight. As a result, carriers and shippers can work together more harmoniously, in a collaborative logistics manner, reducing bottlenecks in the dock, improving the rapport with the broker, and building profitability.

3. Use Automated Alerts to Respond to Emails Until Robotics Process Automation Reaches Maturity and Industrywide Deployment

Timely replies remain a want-to-have in the logistics and freight broker TMS space. Failure to respond to customer queries could leave shipments on the table and cause additional delays. Robotics process automation may hold a long-term solution. The power of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) for freight brokerage emails and status updates could significantly increase customer service for your shippers and carriers and improve booking rates. According to Corrie White of Freight Waves:

[RPA] mimics the rote tasks a human performs on a daily basis, whether it’s reading email or quoting rates. Eventually, RPA technology could provide every broker an assistant to perform lower-level tasks so they can focus on high-level strategy.”

Unfortunately, RPA is not yet fully ready for deployment on all platforms. Until that time comes, brokers need a platform that offers complete visibility with automated alerts and notifications that compile all data needed to rate a shipment and produce a quote. In other words, brokers need a unified platform that connects to shippers, carriers, and customers—sharing data along the way.

4. Digitize All Document Management and Sharing Practices

Digital document management offers a massive opportunity to increase value in a freight brokerage strategy. As explained by American Shipper, an e-bill of lading generates better ROI with faster delivery, reduced delays from signing documents, less physical work in handling and storing documents, removes the risk of fraud, and increases the security of such documents. With up to 15% of logistics costs associated with shipping documentation, imagine the opportunities to save money with a simple turnkey solution that digitizes document management and offers complete compliance visibility into such practices. In other words, any system that offers document management at a 15% of lower cost than your total revenue will generate a positive ROI, and when combined with other advantages, such as those within Turvo Enterprise Broker, the true ROI grows exponentially.

5. Provide Real-Time Status Updates Across Your Supply Chain

Data mines are everything to modern supply chain management and efficiency. The right data streamlines operations, but aged data could add to costs, result in inaccurate bookings, and additional problems. Using the wrong data is even worse—leading to upset among your shippers and carriers—even undermining their interactions and creating a degree of hostility.

With that in mind, providing real-time data to your supply chain network through a single platform alleviates these concerns. Seamlessly share data regarding shipment details with carriers. Automatically share data received from carriers with shippers. It’s a dance of data that flows seamlessly among carriers, shippers, brokers, 3PLs, LSPs, and other entities in your supply chain network. Real-time status updates and improved visibility allows for management of the most complex supply activities where lives may be at stake, and as explained by current Turvo client, Brian Kempisty, Founder, Port X Logistics:

“Our partnership with Turvo is helping us provide visibility for complex transportation moves. We currently have a container full of essential ventilators that will be drayed to our warehouse in Savannah, GA, trans-loaded on our dock, and trucked with team drivers to Reno, NV. Every movement is visible on the customer’s tenant. All stakeholders up and down the supply chain gain access to the shipment to track container status, view photos of the transload, and have 100% real-time visibility of the driver’s progress across the country. Users around the world can view the shipment on any device at any time.”

Having access to real-time data is the steppingstone to using analytics as well.

6. Deploy Analytics to Squeeze More Value From Your Interactions

Everyone makes mistakes, and supply chain professionals are no exception. Analytics that connect to your system of record helps you see past the activities and understand what is and is not working to improve profitability, collaboration, and visibility. Instead of assuming what should happen, analytics reveal what must happen to achieve the optimum result. This may include identifying carriers that deliver consistently positive results, shippers that tend to overbook their docks, and much more. Look beyond carriers and shippers with internal analytics to recognize your own potential problem areas and opportunities for improvement. Furthermore, create scorecards that reflect data from right now and help you better match loads to carriers and carriers to shippers.

Unlock the Value in Your Freight Brokerage Strategy With Turvo

The above-listed steps all point back to a common principle—shared data within a unified tech stack. That’s the real advantage. Find out more about how your organization can put these strategic initiatives in action by contacting Turvo today.

Adam Robinson is a Director of Product Marketing at Turvo, You can read the original article HERE.

Photo: Lav Ulv/ Flickr