• ITVI.USA
    15,299.350
    -21.430
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    25.450
    -0.420
    -1.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,283.310
    -26.860
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.670
    0.020
    0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.160
    -0.030
    -1.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.160
    -0.090
    -2.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.900
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.400
    -0.020
    -0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.820
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,299.350
    -21.430
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    25.450
    -0.420
    -1.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,283.310
    -26.860
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.670
    0.020
    0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.160
    -0.030
    -1.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.160
    -0.090
    -2.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.900
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.400
    -0.020
    -0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.820
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
NewsSmarter CapacityTrucking

Keeping carriers loyal requires more than competitive rates

For brokers hoping to retain carriers and cut down on so-called “one-load wonders,” creating an engaging carrier experience is vital. Competitive rates will convince a carrier to pick up a load, but the right combination of relationship and convenience will keep them coming back to the same broker over and over. 

Creating an environment that makes carriers want to stick around involves top-notch communication, ethical decision-making and making the process as easy as possible, according to Tom Curee, Kingsgate Logistics senior vice president of strategy and innovation. That means making calls meaningful, offering fair rates and keeping carriers in the loop.

When new technological tools hit the market, they are often lauded for their ability to eliminate check calls. This is an undeniable positive, saving brokers and drivers alike the hassle of picking up the phone at inopportune or even dangerous moments. 

Digital load tracking to cut down on check calls is one of the features truck driver Gerald Johnson appreciates most about the Trucker Tools mobile application. 

“The tracking is awesome,” Johnson said. “One of my biggest pet peeves has always been getting check calls when I am trying to sleep. With Trucker Tools’ tracking capabilities, brokers know where I am without having to call.”

Brokers should be careful, however, to ensure that eliminating check calls does not lead to eliminating all calls. Technology has made it possible to move a load without picking up the phone, but that does not mean this form of communication should be avoided entirely. Phone calls have always been a tool to build strong relationships for brokers and carriers. 

“Brokers need to make sure they are making phone calls for relations, not just phone calls for information,” Curee said. 

Beyond simply keeping in touch, there are other ways for brokers to communicate their respect and appreciation for their core carriers. One simple and effective way is by offering those reliable carriers good loads before posting them on public load boards. 

“Brokers should make loads available to their top carriers before sending them to the masses. There is a lot of perceived and real value in exclusivity,” Curee said. “You should be providing that to your core carriers. Too many people are living off load boards and discrediting their current carrier base.”

Overall, carriers are willing and ready to adopt new technological tools that effectively make their jobs easier. They appreciate fewer check calls, faster reloads and premium load access

“Drivers as a whole are pretty resilient,” Johnson said. “Forward movement is not a problem. If a tool makes a job easier, we should be open to using it.”

The oft-painted picture of the reluctant driver may have little to do with drivers’ distaste for technology and more to do with their hesitance to adopt redundant software or tools that simply do not perform as promised. 

“I get five emails a week about some new carrier capacity tool, and I think it is so important to identify a product that aligns with your goals,” Curee said. “Once you identify it, you have to go all in. Too many brokerages are trying to be jacks of all trades. You won’t get comfortable enough with any single product. Your operations team won’t know enough about all the tools to help drivers when they call with questions.” Adopting one multiuse tool – like the Trucker Tools suite – will encourage better driver compliance, stronger in-house familiarity and an overall more pleasant experience than adopting multiple single-use tools. 

Ashley Coker, Associate Editor

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.