If you’re looking to enter the world of logistics, there are many ways to do so. One option is to launch your own transportation business, which entails many risks and requires hefty amounts of investment. Another way is to become a freight broker, which allows you to become a middleman between freight companies and clients worldwide. If you opt for the latter, you’ve reached the right page.
Aside from being familiar with the nuts and bolts of the transportation industry, you also need to acquire specific tools to become an independent freight agent. These allow you to become well-versed with accurate information in the industry and make wiser decisions. By using advanced tools, you’ll be ahead of your competitors and earn more clients while ensuring to build professional relationships with them.
Here are some must-use tools to become successful and productive freight agents:
1. Booking And Scheduling System
Thanks to the innovations of modern technology, the logistics industry can maximize the use of different digital tools. One of which is very useful for freight agents like you is the booking and scheduling system. It is no secret that document management is a major challenge for many digital freight forwarders. All transportation transactions must be recorded, filed, accessed, and managed, from invoices and payments to delivery confirmations and bills of lading. Manually doing these tasks can result in stress and headache.
A freight broker can streamline this process by investing in automated booking and scheduling software to reduce wasting time and expedite documentation procedures. Data and records can be accessed on-demand with software that comes with integrated digital document management systems. Your clients will be able to check availability and book their preferred schedule.
2. Shipment Tracker
While drivers can access real-time GPS trackers, your customers would also want to discover and track their shipments. It helps brokers reduce disruptions by providing real-time visibility into shipments. Offering a shipment tracker for your clients and workers would be advantageous.
Using a real-time freight visibility platform, brokers can request drivers accept tracking. Drivers will input the updated location once the shipment is moved, transferred, or delivered. With an integrated shipment tracker software, you won’t have to constantly receive phone calls and inquiries from customers asking where their shipments are and when their ETAs are. This way, the broker does not have to log into dozens of websites just to track cargoes.
Another additional feature of a shipment tracker is that it comes with a distance mileage tool, which allows users to access the mileage data. This helps estimate the arrival time better and calculate costs for your business expenses. Drivers can also access different routes, allowing them to bring the cargo fastest.
3. Compliance Protocols Tool
Transporting cargo from one point to the next often requires legalities and compliance. By implementing compliance protocols and training procedures, networks can be automated and made more functional. There are several reasons why training and compliance regulations should be uniform. In this way, all team members can work together effectively and be aware of the standards and requirements for executing the task.
A compliance protocols tool will make all your staff aware of the legal requirements and industry guidance. Critical data and files can be shared in one dashboard, eliminating delays and loss of crucial legal documents. Successful freight brokers must follow unified submission and performance guidelines.
4. Customer Interaction Tool
As a freight agent, it’s your responsibility to communicate with your customers and update them regarding their transactions. You can automate communication through a web widget or function integrated into your app or website. This platform allows your clients to send inquiries, chat, and talk to your staff. This function can either be placed on your website or the tracking software.
Your clients appreciate that they can chat with a customer representative in real time. You can delegate a team to assist shippers so their questions can be answered immediately, leading to customer satisfaction. Allow this communication feature to include the possibility of sending files and images, so your customers can send essential files through it.
5. Workload Management Tool
A workload management tool is intended for managers and staff. If you’re a freight agent working with a team, this tool allows you to track and monitor everyone’s projects and tasks. When there are too many workloads, it’s crucial to utilize a tool that enables you to manage and monitor everything on one screen.
It doesn’t matter if you manage your workload on your own or hire employees to cover essential functions; what matters is to make use of workload management tools to increase work efficiency. You must have excellent time management skills to succeed as a freight agent. By accomplishing all workloads at their respective deadlines, you’ll be able to produce positive business outcomes.
6. Social Media
Logistic and freight forwarding companies use social media solely for business purposes. Often, they post advertisements and don’t mind interacting with customers. And this is where they’re missing out a lot. Social media comments about products, services, or even systems are untapped by companies. However, you can leverage those data to know what your clients want and which areas of your business to improve. A freight forwarder and its management can benefit from all the data gathered on their social media pages.
Brands don’t only use social media to promote themselves. It’s a platform to build followers, engage with them, and create relationships. Connecting with other community members is also possible with it. In fact, you can use this medium to promote your business based on its location.
Most companies outsource their social networking activities to enhance their reputation and provide excellent customer service. While this is a good decision, one alternative is to delegate your marketing people to manage your social accounts instead. If you have time on your hands, you can also personally read comments and discover your clients’ actual thoughts and opinions. Over time, you’ll reap the many rewards of using social media tools to grow your freight business.
7. Well-Designed Website
Freight brokers cannot ignore the importance of having a well-designed website. This is a must tool if you want to expand your business. In this modern era, most people find a company more trustworthy when they visit and check their website. A good website makes connecting with new customers and increasing sales easier. It’s crucial to make your UX design easy and convenient for visitors.
Make sure to include all your contact details on every page. To ensure your website is easily found online, you can go into
Aside from considering all the digital tools mentioned above, you need to focus on customer relationships, staff relationships, and relationships with other transportation providers too. As a freight agent, your tasks can be made easy with the help of the most effective tools, so it’s best to invest in them. Hopefully, you’ll try some of the tools listed above and generate outstanding business results.