Staying Competitive: Real Time Freight Data & Broker Apps

2021-10-20T06:39:14-08:00October 19, 2021|

For many companies, logistics and shipping costs are just an unavoidable part of doing business.

Since they don’t contribute to the bottom line in the way that production or marketing do, little effort is put into optimizing shipping methods.

As a result, there is little motivation for shipping providers to innovate. Businesses accept freight quotes without question.

At the end of the day, customers suffer when the shipping provider fails. They blame the business even though they aren’t directly involved in the logistics of the delivery. Trust is erased.

Real time freight can give you the advantage over other businesses still using older methods. With reliable tracking, you can manage customer expectations. You can deliver in full, on time, and consistently. 

Keep reading to learn how you can leverage the advantages gained through digital freight brokerage.

Build and Maintain Customer Trust

In the past year, supply chain operations have become increasingly unpredictable. The world stopped, as companies were forced to come up with creative ways to get products into the hands of clients. 

Yet bottlenecks could pop up at any point in the supply chain. With many working at home, freight providers had an incentive to ship products quickly. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult to meet customer expectations using outdated methods.

Real time shipping can rebuild the customer trust you may have lost during the pandemic. Base delivery times on time-specific data, not estimates from historical ETAs.

With freight tracking throughout every stage, you set the precedent for customer expectations. They no longer need to wait for sporadic scanning updates to know the status of delivery. They’ll know it in real time.

Build Adaptation Into Your Logistics Operation

The only constant in logistics is change. As much as freight brokers want to guarantee an exact ETA, there’s always a 1% chance that something could go wrong.

Although it rarely happens, you want to be ahead of the problem when it arises.

Real time tracking can provide insights into traffic, construction, or weather conditions that could influence delivery timeframes. Rather than facing these issues as they happen, address them beforehand.

Adjust automated routes and find a new path to the destination. If a situation is unavoidable (e.g. extreme weather), you can inform the customer prior to dispatch and give delivery alternatives to alleviate their concerns. 

Adaptation is essential to survive in today’s competitive e-commerce climate. Using accurate technology will buy you more time to find a solution for your clients.

Improve Processes With Real Time Freight Data

When seeking out ways to improve your process and reduce shipping costs, it can be quite difficult to aggregate historical data. Most, if not all, information around previous deliveries lives within the freight broker’s database.

This data is not readily convertible into a spreadsheet. Some crucial figures may be removed. If you know know what you’re looking for, it may all seem fruitless.

A digital freight broker that collects real time data will often be happy to share the insights they have collected. Their goal is to keep you around a long-time client. 

If they can find a way to save you money through grouping shipments or optimizing your frequent routes, they will help you make it happen.

You can also use the data collected to adjust your own internal processes.

Things to Look For in a Broker App

When searching for a broker app for your shipping operation, they are a couple of essential features to be aware of.

No matter if you are sending textiles or perishable goods, these features are important in creating a high-quality experience for your customers.

Real Time Tracking

This is hands down the most essential feature for a broker app. You don’t want to spend countless hours calling freight forwarders when a customer hounds you for an ETA.

With constant, instantaneous tracking there’s no need for back and forth between multiple parties. All the information you need is right in the app. 

Climate and Weather Monitoring

If you shipping perishable goods like chocolate or meats, you know how important it is to have consistent temperature throughout the parcel journey. You also spend additional money to ensure parcels can weather unpredictable conditions. 

A good broker app should give you the ability to monitor external weather patterns. A great broker app will track internal truck climate from delivery to drop-off.

If you don’t ship perishable goods, you might think that this doesn’t affect you. Keep in mind that the increase in extreme weather patterns continues to shape the landscape of logistics. You’ll want to be ahead of the curve when unfortunate events happen. 

Compiling Data to Create Insights

Once you have more access to the delivery journey, you’ll want to make use of the incoming data. An app that lets you access this data in an easy-to-read format will save you time when analyzing raw numbers. 

Drawing connections between previously unrelated plots will give you the cut-through advantage over other competitors. You’ll discover ways to ship products quicker while saving money for the business and your clients.

On-Time Delivery Rate

A high on-time delivery rate will help you manage customer expectations. Ideally, a brokerage app should be able to deliver on time over 95% of the time. Anything less increase the probability for unpredictable issues to occur.

High on-time delivery rates give you the confidence to set delivery timeframes for your customers. In some cases, you can start offering time guarantees as an incentive to purchase.

Superior Customer Service

In the rare event that things fall apart on the shipping journey, you’ll want to speak to someone who can empathize with your situation. Broker apps should have someone on the other end ready to address your concerns at any time they might arise.

Read customer reviews on various apps before investing. A high Net Promoter Score is good social proof of exceptional customer service.

Stop Using Obsolete Metrics 

It’s time to leave the old painstaking ways behind. You shouldn’t have to accept what your current shipping provider offers if it doesn’t work for you.

Streamline and simplify your operations with real time freight. The rest of your company will be wondering how you got freight costs down. And customers will keep coming back happier than ever.

Reach out to our team of freight experts to get started. 

Go to Top