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Automatic load booking can save brokers hours per load

Shared truckload is a triple win for carriers, shippers and the environment (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Moving loads from dock to dock is a race against the clock. In an industry where every minute counts, all players can see big returns when one member of the supply chain integrates innovative technologies and efficiencies into its processes. When brokers see their load-matching time go from a couple hours to a few minutes, the shipper and the carrier also win.

Kingsgate Logistics Services is using Trucker Tools’ new Book-It-Now feature to automate the entire load-booking process, driving average booking times down from as high as two hours to under 15 minutes. Kingsgate is one of the first companies to implement the tool, which allows carriers to select, secure and confirm posted loads with no human intervention.

The new feature is integrated into Trucker Tools’ highly successful mobile app, which has been downloaded by over 750,000 independent truckload operators. The app has gained traction in the trucking community because, in addition to facilitating tracking and visibility solutions, it offers drivers useful information like truck stop listings, routing guides, cheapest fuel locations and parking maps.

Kingsgate Vice President of Strategic Development Tom Curee said Book-It-Now makes his team more efficient by freeing them up to do more high-level tasks. At the same time, it allows carriers to save time and book their next load with the push of a button.

“Truckers are demanding more automation and apps with features that save them time and let them engage with many brokers in a standardized, common process,” Curee noted. “Book-It-Now greatly simplifies and accelerates the process for how a trucker accepts a load – literally taking it down to one click of a button. All the information is there, accurate and in real-time, for the trucker to make a decision. Once accepted, the shipment is booked, a rate confirmation is automatically generated, and all other shipment details are transmitted to the driver’s smartphone. Then he clicks on the pickup location and off he goes.”

Despite the ease of automated booking, Book-It-Now does not prevent carriers from contacting the broker if the need arises. Brokers are also able to contact carriers. This capability was important to Curee, and it has already proved useful. During the first week Kingsgate was using the feature, a dry van driver booked a load that required a flatbed. Streamlined access to a human helped clear up the issue quickly, and the load was assigned to someone with the proper equipment.

“A lot of times, carriers talk about their challenges getting ahold of a human. As we built out this solution, we made sure there was a lot of direct contact available to drivers and carriers,” Curee said. “They have a direct number and get to speak to a live person, as opposed to just being told to send an email or leave a message. When there is a problem, they want to call. So, we made sure to integrate that into our processes.”

Ultimately, Book It Now and other features of the Trucker Tools freight-matching and capacity management platform help brokers and carriers cover more loads more efficiently, according to Prasad Gollapalli, founder and chief executive of Trucker Tools, added that Trucker Tools first launched Book-it-Now in April and now has the app in full commercial production.

“Brokers become more productive. They gain more time to not only book more loads in less time but can respond faster when issues arise or unique loads need special attention,” Gollapalli said. “The driver isn’t getting calls from the broker at all hours of the day. The app ‘learns’ the trucker’s preferences and presents loads and reloads aligned with their specific profile and where they want to go next. They can leverage one digital tool to book in an automated way with many brokers, benefiting from a streamlined process that’s simple, fast and accurate.”

Ashley Coker

Ashley is interested in everything that moves, especially trucks and planes. She covers air cargo, trucking and sponsored content. She studied journalism at Middle Tennessee State University and worked as an editor and reporter at two daily newspapers before joining FreightWaves. Ashley spends her free time at the dog park with her beagle, Ruth, or scouring the internet for last minute flight deals.