Technology continues to change the way that the trucking industry works. Not only have digital advances such as free load boards changed the way that freight brokers structure and manage their businesses, but shifts in the industry continually force us to rethink our business models.
On-demand trucking, which has been touted as “‘the Uber of the trucking industry,” gives businesses the ability to log onto a website and find a shipper themselves. While it is still a relatively new development, the Wall Street Journal and other news outlets have reported that companies and individuals that use on-demand trucking websites like Convoy, KeyChain Logistics and Trasfix to find a shipper can instantly get a cost estimate for their shipping service as well as track their shipments in real-time online.
Will there still be a place for freight brokers in the industry?
It’s easy to see why some freight brokers are concerned about on-demand trucking services, but brokers providing a high quality, efficient business at a fair price shouldn’t be too worried about new on-demand trucking websites.
Some people suggest that one of the reasons companies have started to use on-demand trucking sites is because they have become frustrated with long waits for freight brokers to secure shipments. For example, one international supply chain director at World Vision told a reporter with mepsupplychain.org that their business has moved to on-demand trucking tools because fast processing is crucial for their business. This need for speed wasn’t being met by the freight brokers that they were using in the past.
Another reason for businesses to opt for on-demand trucking tools is the perception of inflated prices from freight brokers. While a global supply chain professional with years of experience might be able to spot unfair shipment prices at a glance, many small business owners don’t know the ins and outs of trucking. Even when a price is in line with common practice, they can become skeptical of what they are paying freight brokers.
How will on-demand trucking effect the average freight broker? The likely answer is that offering an fast service at a fair price will keep you in the business for many years. However, it is important that brokers keep up with changes in business models, such as on-demand trucking sites. Embracing technology is a part of being a successful entrepreneur and new tools and developments will always be coming to shake things up.