Freight Brokerage
February 13, 2024

Freight Broker Software: Revolutionizing Communication With Streamlined Solutions

Akshitha Ramachandran

Let’s take it back to elementary school, sitting with your friends in a circle, playing a game of telephone. Who knew you were learning a critical supply chain life session during recess? It was true then and it holds true now: Communication is king!

There’s a plethora of freight brokerages – and the industry is still growing. There are over 30,000 freight brokers registered by the FMCSA, according to FreightCaviar.

So, in a crowded field, what sets one freight brokerage apart from another? The relationships they build.

How do they build those relationships? Communication.

While a garbled directive may be funny in the playground, that obviously doesn’t hold in our $18B industry. Messages ought to be clear at every step of a load’s lifecycle, from the sales team bidding on loads to the ops team scheduling appointments, tracking and tracing, and confirming deliveries.

Leveraging tech to streamline these communications ensures your brokerage sets a standard that is robust, accurate, and still sustainable for your team.

🔑 The Key to Success in a Volatile Logistics Environment is Communication

In any broker’s office, there is no shortage of caffeine and chaos. Loads are won, delayed, lost, delivered, and everything in between… every minute of the day. Without a clear line of sight, things can slip through the cracks with potentially disastrous outcomes.

“Clear and effective communication is the cornerstone of successful supply chain management,” Utilities One, which produces infrastructure solutions for the telecommunications industry, said in a blueprint, Communication Infrastructure for Efficient Supply Chain Management. “It enables seamless coordination between various stakeholders, including suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and customers. Without effective communication, misinterpretation of information, misunderstandings, and delays can occur, leading to disruptions in the supply chain.”

The Utilities One report cited three important statistics about the value of communication:

  • 80% of supply chain executives claim effective communication to be a top priority.
  • 86% higher service level performance was achieved by businesses with strong communication practices.
  • 20% reduction in inventory holding costs from supply chain visibility driven by effective communication.

The importance of communication can not be understated qualitatively or qualitatively. It holds the keys to unlocking insights and conveying updates to all necessary parties.

👑 Communication earned itself the title of King because it builds relationships

A shipper isn’t going to continue doing business with a freight brokerage that loses its freight. A carrier isn’t going to continue doing business with a freight brokerage that assigns them terrible loads. A broker who can instantly tell a shipper whether their freight has been dispatched or tell a carrier they can find consistent loads will be the winner.

As middlemen handling the line between carriers and shippers, brokers sit at a critical junction point. It’s mission-critical for brokers to build relationships with their customers (shippers) and vendors (carriers).

To win attractive loads and RPFs, timely updates (good and bad) need to be provided to shippers. That is how trust is built. To provide shippers with a good service, high-quality carriers need to be found and leveraged by your brokerage team. Those carriers need to communicate effectively and want to work with you. It’s another dimension to the trust equation. It’s the fundamental tenet of supply chain… relationships, relationships, relationships.

💻 Leveraging Freight Broker Software for Streamlined Communication

Leveraging technology is necessary to ensure there are no broken connections among all parties. The best part about employing programable solutions? You grow your top and bottom lines, not your headcount!

Axle can help arm you with Beacon, a superpower for logistics providers. Beacon’s suite of solutions leverages the latest technology to help customers harness the power of their data, bolster customer relationships, and drive efficiency.

Beacon severs the needs of both sales and operations reps. It empowers teams to bolster customer relationships through customized workflow automation software that plugs directly into their email and TMS. We use AI to help automate data entry, quoting, scheduling, and tracking – all absolutely essential to maintain and grow their businesses.

By lifting the burden of basic, time-consuming, manual tasks, broker teams can now focus on growing their fighting fires and booking more loads.

🦸‍♂️ Supply Chain Superstars Need Superpowers

Beacon is bold, responsible, and purposeful. We promise. By sitting in a broker's inbox, Beacon becomes the front line for all communications.

By supporting every step of the load life cycle we enable enhanced communications without increasing the work on your team's plate (for both sales and ops). A couple of features where communication is especially important:

  • Rate Quoting Respond to quote requests in seconds by pulling data from your quoting tools (Greenscreens, DAT) to your inbox and auto-drafted emails. Alternatively, have Beacon automatically send emails to your target carrier pool for a lane and collect the best rate to then share with a shipper.
  • Appointment Scheduling Pull your shipper’s scheduling portals (like OpenDocks and Retailx) into the sidebar for 2-click appointment confirmations. If there is no portal, let Beacon handle the back-and-forth with a warehouse/DC to get a time down.
  • Track and Trace Program in SOP requirements for a load, carrier, or shipper just once. Then, Beacon will send emails to carriers to get timely updates and sync them to the TMS. Shipper update requests can be sent in less than a minute or at the desired milestones.
  • Inbox Management Beacon triages an inbox so that reps know their priorities at first glance. Beacon significantly speeds up standard load management to free a rep’s time to go through the hard stuff!

🌅 A Beacon of Hope in a Volatile Market

Most freight brokers understand the importance of customer relationships. But with the volatility of the truckload market, those customer relationships can be the key to weathering a freight recession.

With high customer expectations and heavy competition, responsiveness wins and loses deals. It is imperative that brokers provide a seamless experience to shippers and reduce their own costs. That is the only way to survive.

For the veteran freight brokerages to survive and the newcomers to thrive, automated solutions to provide timely and critical communications will be essential. You won’t have to play a game of telephone to connect with Axle. Request a Beacon demo online.

Written by
Akshitha Ramachandran

The future of transportation is built with Axle