In the last year, we have seen increasing numbers of digital freight brokers, online marketplaces that connect shippers with truckers via cloud-based platforms. Traditionally, shippers and carriers operate within a fragmented network of about 15,000 freight brokers, responsible for connecting truckers with potential shipping loads. Most of these deals are coordinated by email, phone, and some, still by fax, taking hours or days to confirm. With digital freight brokers, shipper demands are more immediately matched with carrier capacity.
Digital brokers perform two primary functions. They connect shipper’s cargo to carrier’s expiring capacity, primarily backhaul capacity, and they digitize the process for both carrier and shipper, creating better transparency, less paperwork (i.e. lower administrative costs), and real-time tracking. Digital brokers allow shippers, especially shippers with small or no transportation departments, to outsource the procurement of trucking capacity and the management of shipments once booked, saving hours of effort per shipment.
Digital brokers allow smaller carriers to connect with shipments that match up best to their needs, primarily sourcing cargo for their backhauls, improving utilization, and financial performance. These benefits are quantifiable and easily measured. As a result, these efficiencies can shave hours off the typical shipping process.
Companies in this space use algorithms drawing from real-time industry data sources on current lane rates to give shippers accurate and timely rates. Centralizing processes and procedures through an online, digital system means that carriers will need to access fewer channels to find shipping demand and making it easier for shippers to connect with truckers.
Opus9 has been refining its system over the past year. The Opus9 Marketplace enables shippers to get quotes with the latest rates in their lanes. The system also automatically sends daily, email updates on the rates in a shipper’s preferred lanes with Opus9 My Lanes. And, once booked, shippers can then track their shipments in real-time. Carriers who are members of the 9Network of preferred carriers can digitally check the Opus9 Load Board and choose a load.
Anytime you are booking cargo, check the spot rates on OPUS 9 to see if there is an opportunity for you to save money. www.opus9.com