Digital freight management helps bridge gap between shippers and carriers

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Image: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

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Choptank Transport is on a mission to turn its remaining manual processes into more efficient digital strategies. The quick-growing logistics service provider is hopeful that the transformation will bring revenue growth and help scale the business.

Choptank has partnered with Trucker Tools to make the transition. The company began using Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity digital freight-matching and automated shipment load-tracking platform last year, and it has since become Trucker Tools’ fastest-growing user.

Choptank Founder and CEO Geoff Turner described digital products like Smart Capacity as the next generation of load-tracking technology, bridging the gap between how carriers want to run their businesses and how customers want to receive updates.

“It is that transformational item that is connecting customers and carriers, as well as making us more efficient in the middle,” Turner said. “You hear so much about the digital freight market. I think there is still that balance between being able to satisfy the needs of your customers and the needs of the carriers. Making items more efficient through some kind of digital transformation is really a key to our growth.”

Choptank’s load-matching efficiency and accuracy have both improved since the company introduced Smart Capacity, according to Turner.

“Size and how fast you can scale is an important aspect of survival in the brokerage industry,” Turner said. “You can’t afford to stand still and let technology pass you by. We felt a sense of urgency to adopt effective digital technologies to make our brokers more productive, wean us off legacy manual practices, do more with less and respond faster and more accurately to customer needs.”

Turner founded Choptank 20 years ago with just six employees. Today, he oversees the $300 million business and employs over 300 people.

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“We needed a platform and a partner we could engage and integrate with quickly, and that would grow with us over time,” Turner said. “We wanted better tools to predict and execute the most efficient match of truck to load and the ability to engage with far more small fleet ‘micro’ carriers. We are getting all that and more by teaming up with Trucker Tools and sharing those advantages directly with our customers.”

Founder and CEO of Trucker Tools Prasad Gollapalli sees his company’s role as a technology visionary that helps bridge the gap between the promise of digital transformation and real-world business needs.

“I recognize the role technology can play in helping logistics providers get to the next level of performance and fend off those who would try to disintermediate them,” Gollapalli said. “In truth, we are an enabler. People drive trucks, deliver freight and book loads. The integrity of what we do as technology providers and how we do it for logistics firms and carriers is our currency of success.”

Since introducing Smart Capacity, Turner said the company has a more developed “micro carrier” base. A micro carrier is a carrier with nine or fewer trucks.

Choptank’s capacity network includes over 20,000 owner-operators and micro carriers, with the average carrier in the  company’s network operating between five and 10 trucks.

“We want to be easy to do business with from a carrier perspective,” Turner said. “We always want to have the ability to respond quickly to the needs of carriers. It has helped us keep them loaded more. We’re able to digitally know where the driver is going to be and match them up with the next load without even having to call.”

Turner said the transition to digital load-matching has afforded carriers more freedom while simultaneously keeping customers in the know, a powerful and beneficial combination of perks.