If you’re a broker or 3PL, we don’t have to convince you that capacity is tight. You’ve got the loads, but you urgently need 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 transportation management software (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 7 tips:
- Post your loads to the DAT Load Board. No, you don’t have to have a TMS to post loads on a load board. But if you integrate your load board(s) with your TMS, you can post with minimal keystrokes and errors, and no duplication of effort. That time savings counts when you need to cover loads fast.
- 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.
- 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. In other words, 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.
- 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.
- Post to the DAT Extended Network. More than 110,000 drivers have installed the free mobile app MyDAT® Trucker on their smartphones. That means you can reach drivers where they are, no matter what they’re doing. Drivers don’t sit at computers all day, but using their smartphones they can check for loads while they’re eating lunch or waiting in the cab to be unloaded. (See our blog post DAT Adds Capacity with Extended Network.)
- Map for capacity. 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.
- Maintain strong carrier relationships. Finding capacity is just the start; you need to establish solid relationships that will 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.
To learn more about DAT Keypoint® Broker TMS, and how it can help you find capacity, send us an email or call us at 800-728-7305.