- New “digital assist” online price negotiation tools and workflow streamline price bid and counter offer process; eliminate excess phone calls and emails
- Shortens price negotiating cycle, reduces downtime waiting for loads, improves accuracy and speed on load pricing
- Advanced “lane search” tools enable carriers to search by preferred lanes and city pairs, presents current available loads, continually updated, ranking best lane-specific loads highest
- Utilizes artificial intelligence to analyze historical lane-based business patterns, generates predictive best-option choices; carrier maximizes high-quality repeat loads, increases asset utilization
RESTON, VA – Trucker Tools LLC, which provides shipment visibility, carrier capacity management and predictive freight-matching solutions for the transportation industry, announced the launch of two major feature and function enhancements on the Smart Capacity carrier relationship and capacity management platform. The enhancements include:
Digital-Assist Online Price Negotiation. In traditional industry practice, before a carrier has accepted a load from a broker, a mostly manual process of phone calls and emails ensues as the parties parry back and forth and settle on a price.
Trucker Tools is streamlining this process by integrating into the Smart Capacity platform easy-to-use tools and workflows that allow these negotiations to occur in a secure, private, online forum. With Digital-Assist Online Price Negotiation, brokers can view and consider multiple trucks for a load, then sort into the best options, weeding out those they want to drop. Then, with the click of a mouse, the broker can send carrier-specific pricing to multiple selected carriers at the same time. The carriers, in turn, can respond via their smartphone through the platform with counter offers or acceptance.
The broker no longer is tied up on the phone for extended periods of time making multiple individual phone calls to carriers. At the same time, the carrier also eliminates unproductive calls, and views all current available loads from all brokers on one platform, with far fewer steps required to complete a negotiation and reach an agreeable price for the load with the preferred broker.
“Ultimately, the platform shortens the negotiating cycle, so both carrier and broker get to the right load at the right price quicker and more accurately,” said Prasad Gollapalli, founder and CEO of Trucker Tools. “Once again, we are giving time back to – and taking out costs – for the broker and carrier. That’s additional time which now can be applied to booking more loads and generating more revenue.”
Lane Search. Smart Capacity provides several options by which carriers and owner-operators can search for available loads. The most recent functionality improvement adds the capability to search by specific lanes and city pairs. Searches can be saved for lanes in which carriers want repeat or recurring loads.
Using artificial intelligence tools, the lane search feature goes further. Based on driver and carrier data compiled from the Trucker Tools Mobile Driver App, the software analyzes historical carrier volume and lane patterns, and makes two predictions:
- What are the carrier’s most popular and sought-after loads and lanes based on history, and;
- When typically, is that carrier most available by days of the week or time of the month, again, based on historical behavior and operating patterns.
“We are unique in this capability due to the popularity of our mobile smart-phone app with drivers, which gives us years of history on lane volumes and driver preferences,” explained Gollapalli. “We are showing the driver an updated list of available loads in the most desirable lanes at the most desirable times, based on where they’ve historically run in the past. They get the perfect match quicker.”
Over time and as more data is utilized, the match continues to fine-tune. At the end of the day, the software’s analytics and data processing does the heavy lifting. The driver has at his fingertips a list of results presenting best available load in the most desirable lane. The driver is far more productive and spends less idle time searching for loads. “We are proactively showing them quality loads and reloads, so when they reach their destination, they have another load lined up,” said Gollapalli. “And not just any load, but one that precisely matches their historical preferences, profile and geography.”
Since it was introduced in 2013, the Trucker Tools Mobile Driver App has been downloaded by more than 500,000 truckers and is actively used by over 100,000 small fleets and owner-operators.
Lane Search also works for brokers who can input specific city pairs, and search for available capacity based on individual lane configurations. This is a useful feature for brokers whose customers have regular, recurring loads in specific lanes, and who want to keep their preferred carries busy by giving them regular, repeat loads in those lanes.
“The broker can input a specific lane or city-pair, as well as other search parameters, such as preferred carriers, and the platform will return results showing all available trucks in those lanes, where they are currently and a projection of when they will be available for the next load,” noted Gollapalli.
Also, based on artificial intelligence analysis of historical data, the platform generates results showing other carriers and trucks that typically have operated in the broker’s specific, selected lanes. The results present not only available trucks in those selected lanes, but by analyzing past operating behavior and data, makes predictions about where a carrier will likely be and be available in the future. All of which helps the broker more accurately plan and execute on behalf of the shipper.
New Feature Enhancements Continue Progress, Momentum of Platform Improvement
Trucker Tools’ introduction of Digital-Assist Online Price Negotiation and Lane Search follow the roll out earlier this month new broker productivity tools which use natural language processing and machine learning to cut down manual work and automate processing of hundreds of emails brokers receive daily.
The email auto-reader software program automates how hundreds of emails brokers receive from carriers daily advertising trucks available for loads are read and processed. Once it reads, analyzes and parses the emails, key data points are uploaded to the Smart Capacity database, adding fresh, timely information about available trucks. The broker no longer spends hours digging through backlogs of email, often with old information. Stale data is eliminated, and the broker’s planning dashboard is continually refreshed with up-to-date, reliable information on current trucks available to book.
Time from receiving emails into the program, to fresh clean data appearing on the broker’s Smart Capacity dashboard – less than 5 seconds.
Trucker Tools CEO to Present at 2018 McLeod Software User Conference
Prasad Gollapalli will be discussing recent Trucker Tools developments as well as other industry topics at the 2018 McLeod Software User Conference, which opened today in Birmingham, Alabama at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. His breakout session, titled “A New Era Dawns for Brokers: How Technology is Redrawing the Blueprint for Success” is scheduled for Tuesday Oct. 2 at 10:45 a.m. The panel discussion will include representatives from FedEx Custom Critical, Syfan Logistics and Decker Logistics. McLeod’s Power Broker TMS is integrated with Trucker Tools Smart Capacity platform.