Freight Broker Software Does Heavy Lifting
Freight broker software is an application that helps 3PLs or freight brokers manage their everyday business. A freight broker could be an asset-based freight brokerage or a non-asset freight brokerage. Applications could be server-based or web-based.
You could access the web-based platform from any computer, smartphone, or tablet with an internet connection. When you access the platform off-site, you could give access to your employees at the office. You could also give access to your customers on your website using a portal that we provide.
Customers could go to your website to get information about quotes, documentation, and tracking. They can even provide a web-based portal for sales reps so when you have sales reps out in the field. They could pull up the system on their mobile application or laptop to check information. This includes shipment information and follow-up on customers. They could also look up their sales reports. There are a variety of reports they can pull up. For instance:
- Sales trending reports
- Profitability reports
- Collection reports
- Commission reports
These help you find out what they have or have not paid. A freight broker application can provide a lot of value to brokers. A web-based application helps brokers stay in touch with employees in the office. It also helps them stay in touch with external sales reps working out in the field. It also serves customers who need access to their system.
Finding the Right Freight Broker Software
To determine the right freight broker software for your company and needs, there are a lot of options. Freight brokerage applications have functions depending on different segments of the logistics industry. One thing that we always ask is, “What type of freight brokerage are you? Are you moving domestic full truckload shipments? Domestic LTL? Do you use a lot of rail or internodal, dredge, a lot of domestic air freight, international, ocean, air?” So there are definitely a lot of different segments that brokers target. When it comes to domestic full truckload and LTL, what is their current environment? How automated are they, especially when it comes to LTL?
LTL Automation on Freight Broker Software
With LTL automation, a lot of freight brokers are looking to move high volumes of shipment. But they want to do this without spending a lot of time pushing through the shipping process. So how could we get quotes through the system? How do we do this without having to visit 10 or 20 different carrier websites? How could we dispatch to the carrier without having to call a carrier? We could need information such as the addresses and the commodity information.
Do we have to tend to that every time through a dispatch? How can we get tracking information without having to visit a carrier website? Can we do this without typing in a pro number, and doing it one by one for 500-1,000 shipments that they’re working on?
How can we automate that, whether it’s through an API connection or EDI connections? With documentation, how could I save time on finding proof of delivery or a signed BOL for me to upload into the system? How could I pull that information so that it’s there waiting for me to invoice my customer? Automation goes a long way when it comes to looking for a good system for LTL.
Domestic Truckload Tools
With domestic full truckload, there are effective tools to quote and cover freight. A lot of brokers use small owner-operators to get quotes and to cover their business. This means that these companies don’t have a lot of the automation tools that an LTL carrier would. There are many questions to ask. What kind of system can help them provide a platform to manage this more manual environment? What could help them send a mass email to carriers to get carrier quotes?
Can it help them post on many load boards without doing double entry into different websites? How could they get information to qualify their carriers? This includes carrier packets, W-9s, and accurate insurance information. This is so they can house on their system. Companies need a lot of help with full truckload quoting. This includes covering and carrier compliance. Providing tools for them to streamline that process is a real time saver.
Using a freight broker software application is a big advantage for a freight brokerage. It provides them with a competitive advantage. It is much better than using a spreadsheet. They have more visibility to their platform for their customers to have access to. They have more visibility to all their employees on what’s going on with the business. It is more useful than referring to a centralized spreadsheet. A spreadsheet only houses data.
With a TMS, or transportation management system, it goes beyond housing data. It does way more than list zip codes you ship to or what kind of commodities you send. You want the system to help automate your business. This means it provides an easy-to-use system with automation tools when tendering your shipments. They should also do an API connection. This is so you don’t have to call the carriers one by one to provide that information to schedule a pickup.
Tracking Information and Documentation
Getting tracking information should also be easy. This includes getting tracking information to the carrier. Or getting tracking information from a mobile device. You shouldn’t have your employees spending time calling or doing check calls. You shouldn’t have to call them on a daily basis to find out where the location is. With the click of a button, you could find out where their location is right away. Freight broker software should help with documentation.
You shouldn’t have to go to a spreadsheet or a word document to generate a BOL or a rate confirmation sheet. You would have to double-enter all that information you typed into your spreadsheet. Instead, you should have the system generate these documents for you. The system should also have the ability to email and fax. That works instead of having to go through Gmail or Outlook, or have to go to your fax machine and fax it out. This is something a good freight broker software could take care of this for you, as well.
Documentation and generating your invoices helps to streamline shipping for your company. It helps you skip all the manual processes that you’d have to go through when you use a spreadsheet. Even though a transportation application has more cost, it streamlines your business. It can help reduce overhead and manage more freight with very few resources. This is what a freight broker application or TMS can do.