4 Freight broker challenges when there is a lack of freight technology

Adam RobinsonFreight Market Blog

There are many aspects of day-to-day shipping processes that any freight broker must monitor. Transportation costs are among the most critical of these. A more automated and technology-backed approach can make all the difference. According to TruckingInfo.com, “Some envision technology in the freight market doing what Uber and Lyft have done in the ride-sharing market or Airbnb in the vacation market. But automating logistics is much more complex. There are indeed a fast-growing number of automated load-matching technologies. But other technology solutions take a wide range of approaches to better connect carriers, shippers, and freight brokers, to make logistics and supply chains run more efficiently, and to drive more profits for users. There’s everything from digital brokers and electronic load boards to sophisticated systems that manage the entire process from load tender to payment. Some focus on the immediate transaction of the spot market. Others aim to foster greater collaboration.” To help each freight broker improve operations, managers must recognize the challenges that may arise due to a lack of freight technology. Once identified, these challenges need to be addressed to keep freight moving quickly and efficiently. 

Limited ability to intervene when problems arise

Without the speed and accuracy of automated systems, such as to provide automated truckload freight quotes, even the best freight brokers are often left waiting for communications and follow-ups, and then making decisions based on outdated data. That is like following a map that doesn’t show new roads and paths, affecting current shipments negatively. Real-time data is always best when it comes to intervening and addressing issues that arise. Growth is essential to success in these changing times, and staying tied down to outdated methods will significantly limit your ability to respond to customer needs.

Overlooking requests for quotes

Humans are fallible and make mistakes, especially when looking over pages of data, reading emails, answering calls, and manually tracking order details. Missed requests for quotes and forgotten order information remain leading causes for lost profits. It is something that a freight broker may realize is problematic but still struggles to address without the use of automated systems and digital organization platforms. Missing offers is the most devastating type of loss because it could so easily be avoided by having a practical and straightforward automated tracking and response system in place.

Failure to respond promptly, leading to a company going with another broker

The worst-case scenario for any business is for a customer, such as a shipper or a carrier, to take their money to a direct competitor. It is comparable to handing your hard-earned money to your competitor without them having to work for it at all.  Since a freight broker’s whole business is transportation, the risks and losses are more severe than most. They already operate on razor-thin profit margins. A successful freight broker can reduce this likelihood by ensuring that the company is always on top of the newest trends. That includes knowing the best and current freight contracts and spot freight rates, services, shipping conditions, regulations, and other factors that can help it better meet clients’ requests for faster, lower-cost transportation, and do it without hesitation. Timely and accurate responses are easy with the right automation. 

Inability to measure frontline worker performance

Taking care of crew members, employees, drivers, loaders, and everyone else involved in the shipping process is key to maximizing transportation optimization and performance. That is difficult when using old and outdated methods of measuring load profitability, tracking successes, and managing performance-based on arbitrary assumptions. The best way for a freight broker and managers to monitor their team members’ performance is with enhanced digital systems that are more accurate and streamlined. It is especially critical during times of rapid change and high-pressure stakes.

Avoid these challenges with a technology-driven freight broker management strategy

Advancements in freight technology offer the promise of faster quoting, booking and overall transportation management. Technology is evolving, including the development of connected, insightful freight forecasting resources, such as FreightWaves SONAR. To learn more about how technology and automation can improve your profits and make management easier as a freight broker, request a SONAR demo online. It has never been easier to embrace the changing times and take the first step towards automation.