How a TMS Can Help You Find Capacity in Places You Never Thought to Look

If you’re a broker or 3PL, we don’t have to convince you there’s a capacity crunch. You’ve got the loads, but you’re desperate for someone reliable to haul them at a price you can afford.

If you’re still working with a spreadsheet and word processor, you may not realize that a TMS provides tools to help you find carriers when you need them. If you do use a TMS, make sure you’re aware of the capacity-finding tools and all they can do for you.

Here are our 6 tips:

  1. Post your loads to the DAT Load Board. DAT has 3 times the number of carriers of any other freight matching service. And no, you don’t need a TMS to post, which is why we’re giving it partial credit. But with a TMS, you can post your loads to the leading load boards with minimal keystrokes and errors, and no duplication of effort. That counts when you need to cover loads fast.
  2. Search your carrier history for current and past capacity. Your history can give you the real-time information you need—the answers to questions like, “Which carriers are domiciled at the origin and destination?” and “Who has trucks there now?” You can also look back to find out who hauled a lane in the past, how often, and for how much.
  3. Analyze your database of carrier history. Check out the “big data” in your database for all the trucks that have “hits” in a particular area and all the places where people are searching for loads. For example, if a carrier delivered a load for you in Chicago this morning, you may want to know if the truck and driver are still available. A year from now, you may want to know you’ve sent over 300 loads to that area and identify the carriers you used to do it.
  4. Create tailored load lists for carriers. Every morning carriers get long lists of loads around the country, and most of the lists go right to the trash, because they’re not relevant. With a TMS, you can send short lists that pique your carriers’ interest by including only loads in their preferred lanes or service areas.
  5. Post to the DAT Extended Network. The free mobile app MyDAT® Trucker has added significant capacity. It has 110,000 users—primarily owner-operators, leased-on drivers, and commercial fleet drivers as well as private fleets looking to fill their trucks on the way home. Because of its geo-targeting technology, your loads reach drivers where they are, no matter what they’re doing, so they’ll instantly be aware of loads near their location. (Learn more by reading the blog post DAT Adds Capacity with Extended Network.)
  6. Capacity maps. If your TMS offers an option for integrated mapping capabilities, you can look for patterns in your current freight to see where loads are abundant and consolidation may be possible.
  7. Strengthen carrier relationships. Finding capacity is just the start; build solid relationships that make carriers want to partner with you. The best way: Pay your carriers promptly. A TMS speeds up the process using information that flows automatically from Operations into your Carrier Settlement screens to improve efficiency and accuracy.

Do you have other ideas on how to use a TMS to find capacity? Please share them below.

To learn more about DAT Keypoint Broker TMS, and how you can find capacity, send us an email or call us at 800-728-7305.