Freight Capacity Crunch Solved: 3 Reasons Why Shippers and Carriers Needs Tech

Shippers and freight brokers utilize modern technology to access freight capacity through load boards, digital freight matching platforms, freight aggregators, and transportation management systems (TMS) to ensure transportation procurement across all modes. Shipping loads safely and efficiently is the goal of any transportation service provider, but missed opportunities are more abundant than many realize. Certain lanes and markets have tighter capacity, but there may be capacity hidden within these private load boards and other platforms. Using technology, carriers post unused capacity to the aforementioned platforms and shippers access this capacity through connected resources. That helps shippers to use the same technology platforms that aggregate hidden capacity and secure that once “hidden” capacity without any bumps in the proverbial road. At the same time, carriers need to also ensure they are easily able to work with a shipper to transact efficiently, get paid quicker, and easily manage appropriate documents. Let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons technology aids the demand side (shippers, brokers, 3PLs) and supply-side (carriers) during a freight capacity crunch to keep the flow of goods moving.

Market Volatility Continues to Cause Trouble for Transportation Procurement

Today’s companies and logistics service providers fight daily battles to find freight capacity in high-volume markets. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find the capacity when the shipment volumes and overall demand remain high, as the market has seen since the summer of 2020. Additionally, the industry has realized a drastic reduction of available drivers compounding the freight capacity crunch. The demand and supply sides are experiencing volatility and are turning to more granular data to predict trends in capacity and rates, but, more importantly, are leveraging data to collaborate and find solutions long term. For example, The Shippers Conditions Index is among the best ways to measure the difficulty at which shippers experience capacity procurement, and as of May 2021, reports Logistics Management, the reading was -11.3. As the number trends below zero, the favorability leans toward carriers. Knowing this information shippers, brokers, and carriers can come together around data to improve negotiations around shorter-term contracts so neither party is obligated to adhere to a contract in a future market that does not support the financial goals for all sides. Further, shippers also turn to technology in volatile markets using data to plan individual moves, including the use of consolidation when necessary.

For example, freight market volatility within specific lanes might fly under the radar, but connected resources could help shippers find that capacity by tapping the value of global, omnimodal TMS platforms as well. Meanwhile, carriers want more than to simply find a load; they want to find the most profitable loads for every move. That’s where a free aggregator that connects more resources, i.e., newtrul, can help navigate the uncertainty of the market. 

Freight Capacity Planning Improves Team Productivity and Profitability

The applications of technology are not limited to the point of needing to find capacity alone. Shippers, and particularly brokers and carriers are now using technology to improve overall efficiency, meaning there is less of a need to hire more workers when internal processes are streamlined and each employee is maximizing their output. Planning for workforce needs to either source freight capacity or getting your drivers used to quick pay and instant booking via mobile apps can increase productivity and profits. This relies on finding the best means of transportation for the demand side and finding the best loads for the supply side. 

For instance, when scheduling a pickup or contracting defined truckload services, team members may use technology to find consolidation opportunities within their existing shipments. This may include sending freight by ground for lower-priority needs when parcel was the original choice. Such changes can have a drastic impact on overall efficiency, but they can be further applied to improve team member productivity by lessening the manual work of finding those added-value opportunities. 

Using Technology Stimulates Increased Interest Among Team Members and Builds Employee Morale

The talent shortage has been a hot-button topic for years, and the trucking network relies on routine infusions of talent. That’s a marked problem for an industry with an outdated, old perception. However, the application of technology can help spark interest among your team members. The easiest way to improve efficiency rests with getting employees excited about their job responsibilities. And the use of data and artificial intelligence tools, such as those powering digital matching capabilities, makes this possible. 

There’s another interesting effect to come out of this circumstance as well. Employees that are more productive will be less likely to experience a decline in job satisfaction. And with the industry faced with the need for more talent, the use of technology ultimately becomes a defining factor in whether a person decides to stay with your company or consider an alternate line of work or employer. Employee retention also keeps a knowledge base and existing relationships intact allowing for the ability to tap into a deep network of carriers and for carriers to rely on their points of contact, perhaps yielding a coveted “Shipper of Choice” status with that carrier. 

Above all, remember that technology is meant to augment your team, not replace it entirely. That’s why keeping your team happy and productive is crucial.

Expand Your Teams’ Capacity Procurement Strategy by Partnering With newtrul

Strategic planning practices can improve the quality of finding digital freight capacity, and pairing technology and integrating systems through existing connections will help achieve that goal. Businesses need to research which load boards provide the longest-lasting success and partner with a forward-focused third-party service like newtrul. The ability to find freight capacity effectively with technologically-based platforms and systems, as well as its benefits on employee productivity and morale, proves that leveraging a modern aggregator that’s connected to more TMS platforms like newtrul can launch your business into the next logistics millennium. Request a newtrul demo to get started. 

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