Are you a freight broker tired of making multiple check calls per load? While load visibility is vital, frequent check calls can waste valuable time and resources. Drivers often find check calls disruptive, so reducing your reliance on them can also improve the broker-carrier relationship.
Learn how you can make fewer check calls to your drivers while ensuring on-time delivery and load visibility as a freight broker.
What are broker check calls?
Brokers play a key role in managing freight from origin to destination. When a freight broker makes a check call, they pick up the phone and call the carrier directly for a status update on the load. During the check call, the carrier finds out where the driver is, if the freight has been loaded and their current ETA. Carriers not using brokerage software typically make check calls on each load at least once every day.
Why do brokers have to check in with drivers?
Transparency is essential in the freight industry, and check calls are a way for freight brokers to know where loads are in transit. By frequently checking in with drivers, brokers can track shipping progress and the cargo’s condition. This visibility lets brokers make informed decisions and respond quickly to challenges.
However, check calls are not the only way freight brokers can keep track of drivers. Specialized freight software for brokers can provide real-time load tracking along with other useful features, such as predictive load matching.
What’s the benefit of reducing calls from brokers to drivers?
Before the development of fleet management software for visibility, the only way freight brokers could track loads was via check calls. These days, freight brokerage software can track loads with real-time GPS updates without interrupting drivers in transit.
Truck drivers’ primary concern is delivering loads safely and efficiently. Frequent check calls are, at best, an annoyance and at worst, a dangerous distraction. Limiting the number of check-in calls makes for happy, focused drivers.
5 steps to reduce brokers’ check calls to drivers
Without calling to check in, how do brokers keep tabs on their loads? Freight brokers looking to reduce the number of check calls can implement automated tracking technologies for real-time visibility and ETA accuracy.
Increase technology usage
Implementing technology solutions such as software for freight brokers is the best way to reduce the number of check calls. These systems can facilitate real-time GPS tracking for up-to-the-minute freight locations without speaking to a driver. They also may offer useful features like driver apps, load boards and back-office automation.
Use tracking automation
Automated load tracking as part of freight brokerage software significantly reduces the need to make check calls to drivers. Brokers looking to optimize their operations should choose a broker technology with advanced tracking automation that provides real-time status updates and notifications. With this accurate GPS data, freight brokers know precisely where loads are without driver input.
Provide full transparency
Supply chain visibility is essential at every step of the shipping process, but transparency between brokers and drivers is especially important. Freight brokers need to know where drivers are to provide up-to-date load information to clients. Requiring tracking through technology provides complete transparency between drivers and brokers, which in turn helps to reduce unnecessary check calls.
Deliver on time to improve trust
A major way that freight brokers can establish trust between themselves, shippers and carriers is by promoting on-time deliveries. When drivers have high on-time delivery rates, brokers can expect that drivers will continue to deliver on time. Therefore, freight brokers need to check in less often with drivers that have earned their trust.
Show real-time visibility
Up-to-the-minute updates and load visibility significantly reduces the need for brokers to call drivers. This freight visibility is one of the biggest benefits of real-time GPS fleet-tracking solutions, enabling freight brokers to track loads in transit. Rather than relying on driver-provided updates, these software solutions offer precise GPS data for total carrier visibility.
Reducing check calls to improve the broker-driver relationship
Freight brokers can strengthen their carrier relationships with the right brokerage software solution. With features like mobile driver apps, accurate GPS updates and digital freight matching, brokers can scale their businesses while saving time and resources. Freight brokers benefit from increased transparency and visibility, and drivers appreciate fewer driving distractions.
Brokers play an essential role in the freight industry, connecting shippers with appropriate carriers to transport loads.
Freight brokers find loads primarily on online load boards and through industry connections and referrals.
Double brokering, or when a carrier accepts a load and re-brokers it to another carrier, is illegal in the U.S. per the 2012 MAP 21 law. It can result in fines of up to $10,000 and also cause insurance issues.
Sign up for a FreightWaves e-newsletter to stay informed of all news and trends impacting supply chain careers and operations.