As a freight broker, you understand just how important speed and accuracy are in transportation logistics. With the right freight broker tools and software, you can save time by reducing manual tasks while improving operational efficiency.
From transportation management systems to integrated software platforms, there are freight brokerage solutions that streamline nearly every freight brokerage function.
Learn more about freight broker tools and discover which technologies can help you improve your business. And when you finish reading, check out the other articles in our ‘TMS freight broker software’ series:
- Freight broker tools that will save you time
- Which freight broker tools give you real-time insights?
- How to choose the best TMS software for brokers
- Best TMS software for freight brokers
What are freight brokerage tools?
Freight broker software and tools are a set of technologies designed to help freight brokers simplify operations and provide outstanding service to their customers. These technology-based tools are specifically designed to reduce manual office tasks so you can focus on building relationships with carriers and shipping clients.
While each technology has a different function, as a whole, freight brokerage software provides the following benefits for brokers:
- Reduces time spent on office tasks
- Provides real-time visibility
- Optimizes load matching
- Ensures carrier compliance
- Improves customer relationships
11 freight broker technologies for improving efficiency
Freight brokers looking to save time and improve efficiency should consider these 11 freight brokerage software solutions and technologies.
Transportation management system (TMS)
A transportation management system (TMS) makes it easy for freight brokers to manage many day-to-day responsibilities in one central platform. These cloud solutions are typically subscription-based and scalable, making them affordable for brokerage companies of all sizes.
TMS software simplifies tedious tasks like checking freight rates, invoicing and tracking cargo to free up time and improve accuracy. Brokers can also benefit from TMS analytics, which generates automated reports to help you make informed decisions about your business.
Electronic logging device (ELD)
An electronic logging device (ELD) is a device installed directly into trucks that logs engine data such as movement and miles driven. Commercial trucks in the U.S. are required to use ELDs to comply with the records of duty status.
Freight brokers may be able to tap into drivers’ ELDs for load-tracking purposes. Because these devices track location and driver data, they can be handy for tracking cargo without relying on check calls.
Digital freight matching
Digital freight matching software helps freight brokers save time by reducing the need to contact carriers directly or search load boards. This freight-matching technology matches your loads with the best available trucks. Digital freight matching can also help reduce your cost per load and allows carriers to view your available loads 24/7.
Load booking automation
Load booking automation tools help brokers streamline load bookings. When a carrier books one of your available loads, this software automatically schedules the load in your TMS and the carrier receives a confirmation email for the booking. With load booking automation, you save a significant amount of time that you’d otherwise spend finalizing bookings.
Predictive load matching
Predictive load matching is a software solution that informs freight brokers about future owner-operator or carrier capacity. With predictive load matching, you can locate and secure carriers before their availability is posted publicly. This technology saves time spent searching for carriers for your loads and keeps you one step ahead of competitors.
Real-time digital visibility software
You can get the real-time load updates you need and your shippers expect with freight visibility software. This technology allows brokers to view the location of every one of their shipments at once, vastly reducing the need for check calls to drivers. Brokers can also respond to issues or delays faster with load visibility software because it can alert you of problems as they occur.
GPS geofencing is a useful feature of broker load tracking software that allows you to set up virtual fences around locations, such as where a load is to be picked up or dropped off. When a driver enters this virtual boundary, the broker gets an automated alert. These geofencing alerts optimize load tracking to help brokers save time, improve efficiency and ensure load security.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a cloud-based software solution that can help freight brokers manage business functions such as customer communications, bookings and invoicing. Brokers use CRM systems to save time while automating many of their daily workflows, and the analytic reports this software generates provide key insights into your business.
CRM systems work both ways, meaning your customers can tap into them to request quotes directly, manage shipments and view invoices. This improves your customer’s experience while streamlining communication and optimizing operations.
Document scan and send tool
Another useful brokerage technology is digital document scan and send. With this freight brokerage software, carriers can scan and send you vital documents, like proofs of delivery (POD) and bills of lading (BOL). Carriers enjoy this technology as it helps them get paid faster, and brokers save time on completing paperwork.
Unified carrier technology platform
Freight brokers seeking a total technology solution to run their businesses should consider a unified carrier technology platform that integrates with carriers’ interfaces. By combining technologies such as driver-tracking apps, load boards, freight tracking, rate negotiation and more into one easy-to-use interface, you can save time while providing outstanding service.
Integrated software platforms
With so many useful freight brokerage software solutions available to help you save time and optimize your business, integrations are essential. By having all of your technologies communicate with each other, you can gain deeper insights and prevent administrative errors that come with multiple disconnected systems.
For example, a real-time visibility platform and digital freight matching can integrate with your TMS for a one-stop brokerage management solution. Meanwhile, integrating geofencing location updates into your CRM offers shippers better freight visibility and customer service.
Save time with freight brokerage software
You can streamline operations, reduce time spent on back-office tasks and improve customer experience by implementing the right freight broker tools and technologies. Better yet, combine them into one unified software platform and benefit from integrated freight management.
Demand for freight brokers is expected to remain strong, with more demand than ever for logistics services.
A transportation management system (TMS) is the most common type of software for brokerage companies, because it helps freight brokers manage nearly every step in the shipping process.
Freight brokers need a TMS to remain competitive, effectively manage their business and provide customers with the best service possible.
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