Brokers, why are you napping right now?

By Jonathan Stott

Brokers have a way of doing things. They've done it the same way for a long time, it worked and it still works, so why fix it? They’re not going out of business, they’re not struggling but, at the same time, they’re not trying to do better.

The Ship.Cars platform is bringing the industry into the 21st century. There are carriers still using fax machines, brokers who can’t automatically give you a quote. We have a million inefficiencies and very little new technology throughout the space.

Using the Ship.Cars Shipper TMS, your company can be four times more efficient. Say you have a team of 40 brokers right now, doing business the old fashioned way; through central dispatch, getting manual dispatch calls, calling to get status updates, getting paperwork back in an email, downloading it, printing it, doing all your accounting that way. With Ship.Cars, you could do the work with 10 people or you could scale up and do four times the amount of work with 40 people. The only limitation on it is you.


Quoting that's off the charts

From a broker perspective, the biggest area for improvement is in the quoting. I need to be able to give my customers, or even myself, an accurate rate to move a car. In the past it was calculated by what other loads have been done on this route. Trying to figure out what the current market rates are, compiling all that data into a logistics coordinator and having him try and figure out what should the price be, then serving that price to the customer.

The Ship.Cars rate engine is designed to be that entire process. As a broker, I can get a reliable price using the rate engine, and I can serve that price to customers, instantly. Not only does this increase the quality of my quotes, but also the volume and the speed at which I can serve them.

If you’re getting a lead that’s being sent to ten other people, the main factor in converting that lead is time. If you don’t reach out to that lead instantly, you’re going to lose it. So if you’re still using some kind of manual calculation to get quotes, you’ve already lost that lead. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Compare and suggest

When you do a quote you can hit the compare order button and see a list of all the orders that match the route you're working on right now. This allows you to quickly and easily identify what you’ve paid in the past for that load and who moved it for you. Then instantly reach out to those carriers in your network that will probably be able to do it again.

The suggest carrier functionality does something similar. It looks at the route that you’re currently working on, the vehicle type, whether it’s inoperable or if it needs to be enclosed, and gives you a list of carriers specifically tailored for that vehicle and route. These are carriers that you have worked before and carriers that can actually handle that vehicle. From there, you can reach out to every single one of them with the click of a button, to see if they have a spot available for that load.

Another fun tool in the Shipper TMS is the suggest loads functionality. If you click the Suggest Loads check mark when doing an order search, it will not only find the vehicle they are looking for but also populate a list of vehicles that are active looking for transport on that route. You can then suggest these to the carrier, in case they have any extra spots free. This is assuming you’re still using the old method of a carrier reaching out via email or phone.

With the Ship.Cars Market load board, you don’t even need to do that anymore. When you post your load, a carrier can interact with you live on the load board, you can send your negotiations through the load board and book it instantly, if you allow that option for the load. You can automate all of the outreaching contact that you would previously do by email or phone.


Effortless price raises

Right now, to get a load moved, brokers post it to a load board and let it sit there for a couple of hours, maybe a day. Then, they go back and they see that nobody has taken it, so they raise the price, and they keep doing that over and over again until somebody takes it.

The carrier pay raise (CPR) tool, within Shipper TMS, automatically schedules your raises for you. The pre-built engine uses a vast amount of data and calculates your optimal posting strategy, including the intervals between each price raise, what the minimum raises are and what times of day you should be raising.

If you do a $25 raise then do it again 10 minutes later, effectively you’ve lost $25 because carriers are not checking that often. If you have an order that starts with $500 carrier pay and you have another $200 that you’re willing to give up over a three day range, the CPR tool will automatically schedule that curve of raises for you, with optimization already built into it, so you’re not going back ten times to raise that price.


Are you awake yet?

The goal of the Ship.Cars load board is to eliminate phone calls from a carrier to a dispatcher and get loads dispatched purely digitally. If a carrier books through our load board, they can use our free Carrier TMS for live status updates and Driver ePOD for pick up and deliver. The customer automatically receives emails when the car has been dispatched, picked up and when it’s delivered.

Ship.Cars makes it a lot easier to scale your operations and a lot easier to manage your operations thanks to all the management tools we provide. So, why are brokers not innovating? It’s because they don’t need to. Not yet. Not until their competition figures out there’s an easier way, and drives them out of business. It will be those that wake up first that will stay around the longest.


Tags: Small brokers, Large brokers

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