Image credit: Echo Global Logistics

Technology-led Disruption to Re-structure Freight Broker Model

On the horizon, the manual freight broker management may be obsolete, altered by an incorporated technology that reduces financial intermediary costs and executes smoothly end-to-end workflows
By Brian Tran | EnvZone Staff
on May 29, 2020 | 10 min read
Image credit: Echo Global Logistics

Global digital freight broker market is the hotbed of investing disruption to the business owners in this competitive landscape. The latest advancement in freight broker market is the adoption of technically innovative applications to streamline entrepreneurial operations. The proliferation of digital freight broker market has drawn significant attention and rendering paradigm shift on propositioning brand essence and making the profitability. According to an analytical report from the Zio Market Research, the digital freight broker market is anticipated to generate revenue of approximately USD 21 billion by the end of 2026, registering CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) to of more than 43.0% during the forecast period to 2026. This growth is primarily driven by the accelerating demand for effective and sustainable freight solutions in the global economy.

By the date, Frost & Sullivan, a business consulting firm involved in market research and analysis, have assessed the potential that digital freight brokerage has still 2025.

Digital freight brokerage is online market that connect transport entities and truck drivers through advanced applications. Traditionally, shippers and carriers streamline the operation in a network of 15,000 freight brokerage company responsible for connecting freight agents and truck drivers with potential shipping loads. Most transactions are coordinated by phone or fax, taking hours or days to confirm. For digital freight brokerage, companies are more suited to shippers' needs with the capacity of carrier agents, to directly connect two parties and eliminate the demand for middlemen.

In addition, private markets are constantly unpredictable evolving, and new innovative spaces are emerging, especially for freight brokerage business in the span of recent years. And it turns out the question of how private enterprises can put their foothold with cunning tactics to maintain the competitive edges in the era of digital society. Therefore, a Transportation Management System (TMS) will be the first must-have step to cut down costs, achieve the desired goals and optimize the management of the freight brokerage business.

This article will divulge the potential of a Transportation Management System disrupting traditional ways of working in freight brokerage chain and figure out the top freight broker management software to outlast business in digital era.

Penetrating Deeply into the Transportation Management System

The rapid pace of digital freight brokerage management system change has embedded enterprises in the enviable position of trying to decide which technically much-touted innovations to invest in and how to recognize a true digital differentiator. These improvements, coupled with emerging customer engagement, are creating intensely competitive market share in freight brokerage investment, and where a successful business is a business that leverage the development of technology to elevate better customer experience. And when it comes to the digital freight brokerage management system, it is impossible not to mention the Transportation Management Software (TMS).

In fact, not all entrepreneurs are familiar with and know how to apply the TMS to bring incremental advantage for business landscape, and many entrepreneurs are struggling by manual management process. There are many benefits of TMS that investors, distributors, and brokers involved in the freight process can noticeably perceive. Generally, it will do one or more of following: eliminate traditionally cumbersome management, easily enter load, dispatch drivers, or create a differentiated customer experience. Let' s take a closer look at definition of TMS and its incredibly valuable benefits

What Is the Definition of the Transportation Management System?

Transport Management System (TMS) is a digital software that helps freight brokers effectively handle the transported commodity loads, making it easier to track and to avoid the expense of categorizing as well as tagging all data manually. The system also supports freight management, selection of shipping methods, audit of shipping invoices, making of domestic and foreign shipping lists, payment as well as compensation process for lost or damaged goods.

Perhaps no other freight brokerage management application provides much incredible values and materially enhances customer satisfaction than the TMS. But in terms of all the tangible benefits, freight spend reduction is considered the main reason for that businesses implement TMS. TMS helps businesses save costs by setting up a unified management system, proactively transmitting real-time information and reducing downtime for changeover between parts. In the end, there are almost no other applications that bring many forms of profit optimization than of that TMS.

3 Benefits of the Transportation Management System for Freight Brokers

Benefit #1: Elevating Customer Engagement

Sure, if you had the ability to use a TMS with detailed reporting and analytics, you would be able to see that the management efficiency greatly increased after the deploy of this software. When you pick a delivery service partner, you can choose based on time of transit, transaction contract, and cost of shipping at a bargain price. However, unluckily, they only got the product to customer on-time 60% of the time or in some cases, and you had to run customer service interference to address exorbitantly. Meanwhile, other units use the TMS system, they always deliver products on-time 100% of the time with quality assurance, driving customer higher satisfaction and retention.

Beyond any doubt, the implement of TMS has created a sustainable competitive advantage, embarking on improving the customer experience. You know, in the connected society, customer experience is considered a very important factor to produce significant results - including more customer advocacy, more awareness and more profitability.

Benefit #2: Build an Agile Operation

TMS software can harness the power of big data to help you unveil in-depth entrepreneurial insights. Understanding the aggregation of data about your enterprise and your target customers will help you build a consolidated foundation and allow your operation to move toward data-driven workflow instead of stringent processes. This means not only looking at customer interaction, the amount of your freight transaction per day, but also seeing a big picture of your company.

You can use this data to make smarter decisions, solve complex logistics issues for your customers and to pinpoint individual customer predilections. Furthermore, these tools can bolster you manipulate what you need in order to create agile systems as well as prescriptive solutions to adapt quickly and grow faster.

In the accelerating rate of technological innovation, there will always be something new to learn as a CEO or entrepreneur. Big data is not as scary as you think - it' s simply another tool in your box to keep your company running smoothly. Just explore it for developing business model to stay relevant.

Benefit #3: Improve Profit Margins

Some freight brokerage entrepreneurs outsource the financial management functions to third parties instead of their financial management risks. However, with the right TMS software, you can weather your better own financial management. The right software will help you invoice shippers, pay carriers and handle personalized insurance claims. 

You can complete it all through a single interface while creating informative reports to share with your customers. By integrating accounting software and TMS, businesses can harvest vast troves of this integration to improve productivity. Be a successful entrepreneur by leverage the TMS to optimize your cash flow and cut down on unnecessary expenses.

Unlock 5 Best Transportation Management Systems for Freight Broker Market

#1: LoadPilot

Freight Broker Market
Courtesy: LoadPilot

LoadPilot is an Online Freight Broker Business Management System designed by brokers who empathize with time-consuming operational frameworks that the other brokers struggled to grasp. In specific, LoadPilot enable you to sweep away manual processes by the automation of tasks traditionally done by freight brokers (such as quotation, invoicing, booking and managing expenses). What' s more, you can easily execute quotes, invoices, and organizations simply through automatic reminders, email notifications and data-driven recommendations.

LoadPilot is a system that you register, not a software you buy. Which means there' s nothing to install, no costly, and you can work from anywhere in the world. It also means that if your computer is lost, stolen or has a problem, your data will be safe and immediately available - exactly as you left it.

#2: Strategy Systems

Freight Broker Market
Courtesy: Strategy Systems

Although officially established in 1987, Strategy Systems had been devoted to designing and refining shipping software since 1982. Strategy Systems software is to promote the freight industry and to expand digital freight brokerage assistant's repertoire. 

Through sophisticated yet easy-to-use software solutions, Strategy Systems has helped countless small to medium-sized freight brokerage firms augment efficiency, gain profits, and extend business proposition exponentially. Fast-forward to the present, Strategy Systems has a affiliate billing dashboard and a virtual settlement screen that allow you to have fewer piles of paperwork and be able to easily access information about the fleet's location, fuel tax management, billing, payroll , and so much more.

#3: Descartes Aljek

Freight Broker Market
Courtesy: Descartes Aljek

The Descartes Aljex software platform provides a dashboard of tools that simplify day-to-day tasks and discharge inefficient intermediaries in supply chain field. Descartes Aljex is a scalable cloud - based TMS, supplying a colossal network of brokers, 3PLs, shippers and intermodal users who can reap billions of dollars in transactional revenue annually. Not only that, Descartes Aljex eliminates manual tracking and trace operations, increases on-time delivery performance and improves relationship synergies with customers through a technology platform that replace cumbersome manual processes.

Some are already here, Aljek TMS, the unique upgrade of Descartes Aljek, enhances accurate planning and decision making by identifying the most efficient shipping options, given the importance of user-specific parameters such as cost, lead-time, number of halts and more. Follow-up tasks like accounting, invoicing and reporting have never been easier when everything was executed from within a incorporated system. With these integrated innovations, you can reduce supply chain disruptions and make better lane price choices by accessing and comparing historical prices while managing document.

#4: Truckstop

Courtesy: Truckstop

Truckstop software is designed with many attractive features to help manage the load, the supplier's expenses, payroll and invoices to the broker. Truckstop with 2 packages for the broker to easily choose depending on the budget and strategy to operate: TMS Broker Pro and Broker.

  • TMS Broker Pro: Brokerage package with additional tools proven to help grow and organize your business, including unlimited download tracking, file storage, sales management tools and more again. Also, you don' t need to be a computer expert to use TMS because user-friendly settings are fast. At $ 99 USD a month, an affordable price is right for you when starting the brokerage market.
  • Broker: Gives you all the tools you need to easily manage your small or mid-size brokers. Although, the Broker package has fewer features than the TMS Broker Pro package, it is enough for you to get started easily with a commodity broker business and for only $ 75 USD per month.

#5: DAT Broker TMS

Courtesy: DAT

DAT Broker TMS is exclusively designed for many transportation intermediaries, shippers to independent freight broker agents and large transportation companies. DAT Broker TMS helps firms of all sizes streamline their processes to increase annual revenue at affordable prices, cement lateral relationships easily between the broker and their customers, and above all proposition business essences inside the minds of their customers.

To optimize budget-based selections, DAT Broker TMS smartly supplies three packages appropriate for the size of the business: Ops, Anywhere and Enterprise.

  • Ops: Ops package is suitable software for small and mid-size freight brokers, especially for emerging startups. You can use your own accounting software to analyze the finances (from transportation expenses and revenues to rent carriers, phone bills), and to eliminate redundant access. Interestingly, priced from $ 100 USD per month, the Ops package will maintain monetary resources on digital software investment.
  • Anywhere: You can access the software from anywhere thanks to the cloud-based program. At a price is more than threefold higher than that of Ops price, however, the Anywhere package provides you with operations and accounting on a single system to optimize the tracking of prospects, and related activities leading to increased profitability, plus optional modules for Outside Agents, LTL, EDI, CRM Sales and more.
  • Enterprise: You can host relevant information on your own server and totally control over your database and hardware. The Enterprise package is a ultimate choice for larger freight brokerage companies to prolong the foothold of them and to manage cost elasticity of demand as well as supply.

The Bottom Line

For most freight brokerage enterprises, even those truly threatened by disruption, digital shift is not usually about a root-and-branch re-orientating of brand essence and market-share approach transferring. Instead, it is about both altering entrepreneurial value chain using digital tools, deploying, and leveraging new opportunities triggered by different incorporated digital elements. The key to success have been a focus on building trust with customers, organizational flexibility, managing a balance stuck between human and technology, and prioritizing visual online business image - an embodiment of business message to productive brand awareness on online presence manager

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