What Is a Digital Freight Brokerage & What Are the Advantages of Running Digital?

Traditional freight brokers are afire with a need for technology. Everyone is looking for the next biggest and best freight brokerage solutions. Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle of the demanding work of a freight broker often overshadows the potential gains and opportunities for improvement that exist by applying digital technologies. It’s a complex transportation world, and the need to keep costs under control and enable shipment tracking has never been more important. Moreover, the digital freight brokerage market value is expected to attain new heights. According to Supply Chain Dive:

Frost & Sullivan estimates the digital freight brokerage market will reach $54.2 billion by 2025.”

Let’s look at the facts surrounding a digital freight brokerage and why its value is much greater than meets the eye.

The Misconception Plaguing Digital Freight Brokerage Operations

Multiple misconceptions continue to affect traditional freight brokerages. The idea of digital transformation involves the use of technology, and nearly every brokerage uses technology to some degree. Unfortunately, technology for technology’s sake lacks value and contributes to opportunities for waste. Consider this; email is inefficient. Email quoting processes might take hours, if not days, and who has time to sort through 20 carrier systems to figure out which carrier rate is going to be the best option for a shipment? Then, what if the broker’s client decides to go with a different option? The whole process becomes a harbinger of higher costs. Of course, there are other factors in play that come under the microscope. Consider these top issues that affect the ability for freight brokers to go digital, as reported by FreightWaves:

  • “There are numerous regulations with which carriers and shippers must adhere. 

  • Often, freight shipments must be transported via different modes of transport between origin and destination – giving rise to a coordination problem between different counterparties. 

  • Shippers’ expectations and needs keep evolving. 

  • Things go wrong all the time when freight is being transported over relatively long distances.”

Without a strong eye on the prize of digital transformation and the use of digital freight brokerage capabilities to add value, brokerages will face more uncertainty. Adding value means using systems and processes that reduce inefficiencies and offer an opportunity to solve the challenges of managing any brokerage.

Digital Brokerages Avoid Ambiguity and Increase Supply Chain Collaboration

Solving the challenges of managing a traditional freight brokerage begins with recognizing the limits of plain technology. No one wants to think about plain technology, but it’s reality. Brokers need to rethink their strategies to increase supply chain collaboration through shared data and avoid ambiguity when making any decision. And according to FreightWaves, digital freight brokerages are taking action to avoid the risk of bankruptcy amid the industrial digital transformation. “Traditional freight brokers are not sitting on their hands and rolling over. In fact, they are doing the opposite. Traditional freight brokers are investing billions in new digital freight matching platforms and apps.”

It’s a simple principle. Digital freight brokerage capabilities allow for an easier way to manage clients, carriers, drivers, and third-party logistics providers. In a sense, the brokerage carries the burden of every type of supply chain organization. Therefore, the only way forward lies in building collaboration and using technology to finally eliminate the high-cost processes and deliver on faster, more affordable, and right-priced service levels in transportation.

Additional Advantages of Running Digital Brokerages

Running a digital freight brokerage offers much more than just an opportunity to increase bookings. Top benefits of digitalized operations include:

  • Higher customer service levels. Broker customers can opt for varying levels of service, which are perfect for the varied-value of shipments. 

  • Fewer driver complaints. Since drivers can connect with brokers and carriers for transparency, they are less likely to experience delays during loading/unloading, resulting in fewer complaints. 

  • Increased paid drive time for truckers. Less dwell time amounts to higher-paid drive time, and through collaboration, drivers see higher profits through less deadhead too.

  • Less paperwork reduces stress. Paperwork is a multi-pronged benefit of digital brokerage processes, increasing compliance and reducing the hassle of managing physical paperwork. 

  • Instantaneous updates avoid traditional back-office processes, such as check calls and ETA updates. Instant connectivity via the Turvo Driver App and shared data reduces the need to continuously ask, “where’s my freight?”

  • Integrated systems create a no-wait quoting process. Faster quotes result in more bookings of the best option—not necessarily the cheapest for the shipment. 

  • Shorter payment processing windows that save money and resources. As explained by FreightWaves, “it’s also a necessary part of being able to attract and retain enough quality carriers to make future growth possible.”

Garner Operational Excellence by Becoming a Digital Brokerage Now

Digital freight brokerages and their clients will continue to reset the standards for efficiency, collaboration, and savings across the global supply chain. As the transportation market expands in response to global pressures—ranging from the risk of tariffs through new disruptions—the needs for digital operations will only climb. It’s time for companies to start thinking about how their existing operations are causing higher freight spend and apply the values of a digital freight brokerage platform to maximize profitability and efficiency. Connect with Turvo online to learn more about how a unified freight broker platform forms the foundation for a strong digital freight brokerage.

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Samantha Foley serves as Turvo’s Chief Marketing Officer with oversight of the management of product marketing and brand positioning, digital marketing, lead generation and campaigns, events, communications, and press and analyst relations.

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