All the industry analysts agree that a capacity crunch is here, and it’s only getting worse. How will you continue to provide service to your customers, if you can’t find trucks? Brokers have three key strategies that can be deployed in any combination:
1. Buy or lease trucks. Brokers are forming carrier divisions with a handful of trucks and company drivers, or they are buying just the trailers and leasing the power units from owner-operators. The carrier division operates as a separate company, but provides reserve capacity to cover unexpected demand on the brokerage side. Plus, the carrier division can be a profit center of its own. [Note: You can manage trucks and drivers with TransCore’s Keypoint Logistics Software, the most popular transportation management solution (TMS) for freight brokers.]
2. Build relationships. Get closer with carriers who have worked with you in the past. Focus on individual lanes, help them to find a backhaul, offer competitive rates and pay freight bills on time. To keep up on demand trends and rates in your lanes, consult TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index. The spot market rates are updated daily, with a rolling average of rates in each major lane, based on actual rate agreements. Brokers who subscribe to the Rate Index also contribute their own daily rates to the Truckload Rate Exchange, in a fully confidential process that is usually automated.
3. Rely on load boards. Savvy brokers rely on their load board as a strategic tool, not merely a last resort. For example, TransCore’s 3sixty Power load board can guide you to carriers that are active in a particular lane. Search the Lane Makers feature for contacts and get to know these companies. Then validate and monitor your new partners with integrated CarrierWatch™ tools, to be sure your new partners maintain the authority, insurance and safety records that meet your requirements.