The top broker trends of 2023 and a look at 2024 

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Looking back at 2023, the logistics landscape underwent profound shifts, altering the strategies and priorities of brokers across the industry. Here, we’ll delve into the top trends that defined the broker space this year and offer a glimpse into what the future might hold.

The state of play

The current market scenario is characterized by a shrinking pool of carriers, increased volatility in diesel prices, and a higher-than-usual spot market share. With demand varying across sectors, we find ourselves at the trough of the freight cycle. These conditions present both challenges and opportunities for brokers navigating the ever-evolving market.

Click here to access “Freight Focus,” our annual report reviewing 2023 and looking ahead to 2024


AI: Transformative potential with caution

Artificial intelligence (AI) emerged as a game-changer, promising efficiency gains, but not without its share of risks. Data security, costs, and intellectual property concerns loom large. A robust foundation of accurate data becomes paramount for every AI model to function optimally. Dive deeper into the AI revolution on our blog.

Generative AI: Unlocking productivity gains

Advancements in generative AI (genAI) are unleashing productivity gains in both internal workflows and external product development. Similarly to AI, deployment is not without risks, ranging from intellectual property challenges to surprise cost overages. Brokers need to tread carefully, ensuring they harness the power of generative AI responsibly and sustainably.

Cost pressures and their impact on margins

At the current point of the cycle, brokers face the most significant headwinds, with both margins and volumes hitting rock bottom. New contract rates entering portfolios are at a significant discount to prior levels. Brokers must adapt their strategies to weather the storm and find innovative ways to maintain profitability.

Security and fraud

In an era where information is power, double brokering has become a significant concern. Safeguarding transactions and network governance is now a top priority. The logistics industry is a prime target for cybercrime, emphasizing the need for a robust fortress and continuous network monitoring. 

At DAT, we’re taking proactive steps to protect against cyber threats via: 

  • Implementing stronger password criteria 
  • Round-the-clock third-party security monitoring and testing
  • Enabling two-factor authentication
  • Creating a fraud protection resource library and a live dashboard where you can check for alerts
  • Enhanced network participant vetting processes
  • Maintaining a 100% response rate to reports

For more insights, contact

Looking to 2024

Down market dynamics

Shippers are increasingly seeking brokers to provide consistent value, including cost savings, dependable capacity, and streamlined processes. In turn, brokers are expected to leverage automation, analytics, and integration to meet these demands and find efficient carriers for freight movement.

Net revenue dynamics

Larger brokers, especially those specializing in services like LTL and reefer, can offset margin challenges by increasing volume and market share. Brokers handling multiple modes and complex freight moves can achieve resilient growth, given these services often yield higher margins and maintain a consistent demand profile.

Increase in broker penetration

Adapting to short-term rate and volume fluctuations will be crucial for brokers aiming to capture a larger market share annually. Strategies to mitigate negative macroeconomic impacts will be essential in navigating the complexities of the evolving market.

DAT’s Freight Focus: Your guide to 2024

For a comprehensive resource on the latest trends and insights, read our Freight Focus Report. This report is an invaluable tool for brokers looking to stay ahead in a changing industry.

2023 posed many challenges and opportunities for brokers. Adapting to technological innovations, navigating cost pressures, and fortifying against security threats were pivotal. Looking ahead to 2024, brokers must position themselves strategically to meet the evolving demands of shippers and the dynamic logistics landscape.

For an in-depth discussion of these topics and much more, click here


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