Successful freight brokerages combine networking and business skills to add capacity through carrier sourcing to secure more customers’ loads. Since they act as both carriers and shipper-like entities, the right blend of freight broker resources is essential to maximizing value. And that is becoming truer as global supply chains accelerate in a post-COVID world. As reported by Business Wire, the freight brokerage industry “is poised to grow by $41.47 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a compound annual growth rate of 4% during the forecast period.” Freight brokerages that wish to succeed and thrive through this and future disruptions must, at a minimum, leverage these top four ressources:
- Dynamic RFP Guide
- Near real-time data
- Market intelligence tools
- Integrated systems
Read why each of these freight broker resources add value for the day to day operations of a freight broker.
A dynamic RFP guide reduces the challenges of managing peaks and lulls in demand
A core problem with disrupted supply chains surrounds the request for proposal (RFP) process. In times of disruption, market volatility grows so severe that companies can no longer realistically expect their contract carriers to meet the demands for RFP answers. Yes, it’s all about drivers again. And unless the drivers are in a non-compete contract, they will go where the money is best. It’s that simple, and a dynamic RFP guide helps companies leverage mini-bids to reduce capacity loss when market shifts occur unexpectedly.
Near-real-time data in day-to-day operations keeps rates and capacity as accurate as possible
Using near-real-time freight data proves invaluable in keeping freight broker resources in check. That is due to the ability to use freight rates that are more reflective of today’s market conditions to tap the spot market and offer the most competitive rates at the first tendering. After all, any rejection effectively increases the risk of a higher cost per load.
It’s easy to assume that most freight forecasting platforms, which remain critical to freight broker resources, are highly accurate. While they may offer insight into trucking rates, it’s always important to realize that their findings are based on tenders after settlement. In other words, any delay in payment processing could effectively increase the time since the data captured was truly indicative of the market. Yes, they may offer somewhat stable rates during the usual freight management period. But as 2020 taught all supply chain professionals, a week is a long time to wait and hope that rates will stay put.
Market intelligence insights help managers improve the performance of freight broker resources, including frontline workers
Using market insights, generated by data scientists and analytics gurus’ expertise, provides additional guidance for brokerage executives and managers to work with clerks and avoid the hassle. Also, that contributes to self-management, so less time is spent asking, “did I offer the right rate for that load?”
Integrated systems make applying data easier and faster than ever
Brokers must leverage integrated systems to enable a common goal of logistics – increased visibility. According to CCJ Digital, “Whether or not a transportation company has its own fleet, it can expand its value to shippers by providing seamless visibility to all shipments, no matter whose assets are powering the loads.” And integrated systems provide that needed visibility to power freight analytics, bring the insights of freight forecasting to the forefront at brokerages, and add value through supply chain intelligence. In today’s world, time is of the essence when it comes to leveraging freight broker resources. And a single delay could result in losing capacity in already-tight markets.
That is simply unacceptable to clients, and there will come a time when clients go to another broker. Of course, brokers’ whole businesses are transportation. So, any lost customer will inevitably eat away at the already-thin profit margins of those companies. Fortunately, API-driven systems that connect to a broker’s load boards and booking platforms, showing which markets are hot, cold, or in literal need of any extra capacity, will be the differentiator between success and failure.
Deploy the right freight broker resources to add capacity today
Achieving balance in the supply chain is about connections – including the hardwired connections made via EDI, API and other systems and logistics business relationships. Brokers that deploy the right technology-driven processes and strategically position their networks can add more freight capacity to secure more loads and do it all with lower overhead. And it all starts with having access to near-real-time data and actionable insights in a strong freight data engine, like FreightWaves SONAR. Request a SONAR demo online.