As spot rates decline and pricing power continues to shift from carriers to shippers, some companies may be wondering how to continue taking advantage of the technological solutions they adopted to help them weather a tight market.
Even in a loose market, technological solutions aimed at optimizing freight movements remain useful. In some ways, these technologies shift from rate negotiation tools to relationship building tools, which is an important part of proving relational consistency and ensuring service levels stay high.
“In a loose market, carriers start shifting more to relational-based decision-making,” said Tom Curee, VP of strategic development at Kingsgate Logistics. “At the end of the day, they know our team, and they know we have been consistent. In times like this, they dig a little further into that relationship.”
Digital freight matching, predictive freight matching and automated booking, in particular, continue to help brokers cultivate improved carrier engagement and support their core carriers with efficient and positive interactions. These tools help ensure carriers are getting good freight that helps them earn a decent living and continue operating in a challenging market.
Trucker Tools offers an entire suite of tools – including digital freight matching – that help bridge the gap between carriers, brokers and shippers, no matter what is happening in the market. The brand is also famously trusted by drivers, making it easy to reach every member of the delivery process through one simple platform.
In addition to staying focused on relationship building, Curee encourages brokers and shippers to be wary of companies agreeing to aggressive rate cuts out of a sense of doom or panic.
“There are a lot of people right now that –out of a moment of desperation – will put out some really aggressive pricing. The trick is figuring out if they’re going to be able to sustain their service levels at those prices.”
Curee encourages brokers and shippers to evaluate the full scope of service that a carrier is offering them, not just the rates. Taking a holistic approach in the beginning will help these companies better understand what to expect and do a better job of protecting their own customers.
Ultimately, companies across the supply chain have become more committed to honesty, transparency and fairness over the past few years. This shift has come as new technologies that boost visibility have hit the market, making it easier than ever for companies to collaborate instead of simply competing. This mindset shift will likely help all companies navigate market shifts better now than ever before.
“I think that people are more receptive of good, fair business practices. I don’t want to say that – five years ago – everyone had shady business practices, but I think that level of transparency has just brought a level of fairness. We all understand that there’s a need that we have to fill in the supply chain, and we all need to work collaboratively to do that.”