7 Ways to Find Truck Loads Available and Get on the Road

Time is wasting, get on the road and make money now. Read about the 7 ways to find truck loads available when demand is down.

Truckers don’t have it easy. With big customers like Wal-Mart and Amazon bringing their fight to our front doors and changes all over the industry, it can be a challenging time to be working as a freight professional.

Without the best tools for supporting your business it can be a struggle just to make ends meet. And finding truck loads available for freight can be more competitive than ever these days.

With multiple contacts, big competition, and new technology, it seems that getting to truck loads available can be a chore. The right tools are required to make those tasks as easy as possible and get you on the road.

We can help. Here are 7 ways to find truck loads available starting now:

1. Load Boards

Which are the best load boards? Which load boards do you use?

It seems like the only game in town anymore is load boards. But trucking professionals know that even load boards can be a burden if you use the wrong ones.

Also, load boards can favor the companies and drivers that have been there for a while. After time it seems like the same trucks are getting all the work.

The technical aspects can be challenging as well. You may susceptible to more SPAM messaging than actual notifications of available loads.

There is no question that internet technology has made much of the back end of trucking and freight easier for finding loads. But make sure you are using load boards that don’t make integration and access more difficult than need be.

2. Focus on Service

Too many trucking and freight professionals think that load boards and auctions have changed the industry so much that low price is the only issue.

But if you don’t have great and reliable service low rates won’t matter.

3. Freight Brokers

Freight Brokers are another way to find truck loads available for hauling. The good news is if you have a great relationship with a freight broker you will likely have access to available loads.

The bad news is that the industry is so competitive that freight brokers can eat away at your income if you use the wrong services.

It is no good to find and haul the loads if you are only making money for freight brokers. Like every other aspect of driving, these services should help your business and make life easier for you getting on the road.

trucking load board

4. Auctions

There are auto auctions out there that constantly need drivers to move cars from one location to the next. If you are looking for truck loads available then a relationship with auto auctions can help stabilize your business.

The great benefit is that you can count on the work. In today’s industry, there aren’t many clients you can depend on to consistently deliver work.

The bad news is low rates. You will also need to commit to a certain amount of service.

Many truck drivers understandably try and avoid being tied into a low rate service with a commitment. Make sure you calculate what the possible negatives to your business will be against the influx of loads.

5. Watch Your Safety Record

Getting truck loads available means taking care of your business every mile you travel. Nothing is more important to brokers and dispatchers than trusting a freight carrier with a great safety record.

If you are letting your safety record slip it will be that much harder to successfully secure the loads that are available on the market.

Since safety is such a concern it is important to go above and beyond when documenting your precautions.

Are you up to day on the latest rules for texting from the FMCSA? How is your compliance with their medical requirements?

It’s not okay to leave safety to chance. Make sure you document your compliance and keep your performance on track.

6. Stay Ahead of the ELD Mandate

While many in the industry have worked to try and delay the adoption of the ELD Mandate it seems positioned to go into effect in December of this year.

Nearly 3 million drivers will be affected by this mandate. Your customers and potential clients are well aware of the looming changes and you need to be as well.

Securing the available truck loads will require that you show potential clients your are in full compliance.

Now is the time to adopt ELD to make sure you are ahead of the competition when the changes take effect.

7. Start Early

The old adage about the early bird getting the worm goes double for freight and trucking professionals who are looking for the best loads available.

Finding loads is one thing. You want loads that are the right price and benefit you and your company.

Clients will always want the lowest rates possible. But they also want safe, insured service.

If you start early each day you will have a better chance at scoring the best loads. Brokers, shippers, and clients of all shapes and size post the most and best loads early in the morning.

Making sure you get a leg up on the competition and start early is as important as anything else when being matched to the right loads.

Truck Loads Available Are Waiting for You

Are you watching the competition succeed and wondering what you’re missing? The truth is that there are truck loads available right now waiting for professional freight carriers to handle and deliver them efficiently.

At ComFreight we help freight professionals find truck loads available 24/7.

Even better, we make it as easy as possible to find those loads and get paid from every device. You won’t have to juggle various contacts any longer.

You can get alerted when shippers post, view match results, view approvals for credit and factoring, and take care of every aspect of finding the best loads for you.

Don’t wait another day to get on the road with the quality loads you are looking for. Contact ComFreight now and find out more about how we can help your trucking business starting now.

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

How Digital Tech is Transforming Freight Payments

freight payment

With over 70% of the freight moved in the U.S. going on trucks, the industry is only growing each year. But it’s also constantly changing with new technological advancements.

One of the areas freight shipping has been most affected by the digital era is in invoicing and payment. Freight payment systems continue to be shaped by ever evolving technologies.

And they’re not done advancing — these fast developing tech movements are going to continue to shape the industry over the next decade.

Let’s talk about five digital trends that are currently shaping freight payment.

5 Digital Trends Shaping Freight Payment Technology

1. Last Mile Delivery

The big dogs like Amazon, FedEx, and UPS are investing in last mile delivery technology. This makes it a quick developing sector for freight.

The technology is advancing in unique ways. Drones, bike couriers, and autonomous vehicles now deliver goods to the consumer much quicker in the “last mile.”

Local delivery companies are stepping up to the plate as well, shuttling only short distances from warehouse to consumer. They are capitalizing on filling the gap where large companies haven’t yet.

Many local delivery companies work with large corporations to cover their last mile delivery services. This allows the larger company to focus on their long-haul efforts.

What does this mean when it comes to freight payment? Simply put, consumers are willing to pay more for instant gratification. In fact, 30 % of younger consumers are willing to pay a high-cost premium for same day and instant delivery.

Advancement and investment in last mile delivery technologies mean freight companies have a chance to get ahead of the curve. The adoption of meeting this need will become a differentiator. Inevitably, it will set them apart in the future and allow them to make more money by offering their consumers faster delivery.

2. Digital Invoices

There are several challenges in keeping freight costs down. One major factor is internal and external payment processes. It’s key to have them as transparent as possible.

Technology is helping with transparency and simplicity. Advancements are improving freight quotes, invoicing, and payments. Digital efforts are taking freight payment processes off paper and into the digital space… improving efficiency and lowering costs.

Your digital invoice system should meet the following requirements:

  • Each shipment should be verified for legitimacy and accuracy. This means checking for duplicates and ensuring the numbers are correct.
  • Full backup detail. It should be clear on the invoice all the shipment activity for the specified payment period.
  • Secure payment method. Internal processes for payments should be secure and have a paper trail.

Consider all these factors when choosing your digital invoicing system. You want to ensure accuracy and efficiency above all else. But not all digital invoicing systems are created equal.

Carefully weigh out your options before you invest.

3. Tracking Loads

When it comes to finding and tracking loads, technology is ever advancing in the digital space.

Transportation Management Systems (TMS) used to be unattainable for many. They were financially unrealistic to most small or medium sized freight companies. But now, investment in the industry has allowed affordable advancements in tech to make TMS more available.

In addition to tracking loads, a proper TMS system has many great benefits. They include but are not limited to:

  • Keeping quotes organized
  • Matching loads with proper couriers
  • Collecting data for future reference

The newfound affordability of this technology is quickly making it an industry norm. TMS is now standard when it comes to tracking trucks and ensuring invoice payments.

Gone are the old days. Manual driver check-ins have turned into GPS tracking. This allows for regular accountability and constant access to location information.

Make sure you find a TMS system that integrates with your existing internal processes. It’s also important the technology won’t be extinct in the next few years. It needs to be at the forefront of advancement and constantly bettering their system.

4. Better “Big Data” Analysis

When it comes to Supply Chain Management, there’s a place for big data analysis.

Previously, big data wasn’t considered scrutinizing. The convoluted and time-consuming manual process wasn’t worth the investment.

But now, new developments in technology are making it easier to understand the quantifiable data. Yes, the technology collects numbers. But it also turns those numbers into meaningful insights.

These insights are critical for making better business strategy decisions.

So what does this mean in relation to freight payments?

Analyzing big data allows companies to make sure payments are correct and ready before they’re invoiced, rather than after. Let me explain.

Big Data analysis takes information from multiple sources — route schedules, delivery times, payment collection — and turns it into predictions. This data allows you to make real-time decisions based on what’s happened in the past.

Then, you can work preemptively to fill orders before they’ve actually come in.

You’ll be more prepared, and therefore more efficient, in the freight payment process. Big data analysis, to an extent, allows for predicting sales.

5. E-Commerce Logistics

With over half of Americans saying they prefer to shop online, e-commerce is becoming an increasingly popular retail strategy.

This means retailers will continue to widen their distribution networks and e-commerce efforts, creating more business for freight companies. Mastering e-commerce freight payment methods and the ability to deliver quickly will continue to be top priorities for the industry.

As this business to consumer sector of the freight industry continues to grow, it’s important to adapt. Invoices are no longer less in quantity and larger in value. Smaller dollar amounts in large quantities are the wave of the future — so managing freight payment records is more imperative than ever.

Going forward, an extremely efficient invoice management system will be the only way to stay on top of the e-commerce trend curve.

The Freight and Tech World, Going Forth Together

With technology advancing regularly, the freight industry must accept digital evolution and adapt it into their freight payment processes.

If you’re having trouble with taking a tech savvy approach to your freight business, we can help. ComFreight is an app that takes a big-picture perspective on the freight industry. It helps shippers get the best freight bids, carriers find loads and get paid, and brokers find shippers on trucks.

No matter what area of the industry you’re in, find out more about how this technology can help you.

Join our mailing list to get weekly updates!

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

How Trucking Companies Can Avoid Hidden Factoring Fees

factoring fees

Having money tied up in unpaid invoices is a challenge that many small trucking companies face. Receivables factoring is one way that a company can get their money sooner.

A factoring company pays the invoice to the trucking business up front so that they don’t have to wait for 30, 60, or 90 days to receive payment. In exchange, the loaner, or factoring company, charges a fee.

The invoice is then paid directly to the factoring company in most cases. If you make a delivery and the invoice is for $1000 with a fee of 4%, the factoring company would pay you $960. This service seems pretty straightforward on the face of it.

There is a problem with this service, however: hidden fees. If you aren’t careful, factoring fees can add up, causing you to question whether the service does more harm than good.

It’s not only factoring companies that are hiding fees in contracts. These hidden fees are costing Americans billions of dollars each year! It’s become so commonplace that many people have accepted it, but you don’t have to!

Let’s look at some questions a company should ask to avoid surprise fees.

What is This?

You should never worry about asking what something means. Often, people will let things slide because they want to give off the appearance of being knowledgeable.

Never fall for this. The only bad questions are the ones you don’t ask.

If you don’t understand part of an agreement or it rubs you the wrong way, don’t be afraid to speak up. You are the consumer in the arrangement, so it’s the factoring company’s job to answer any concerns and earn your business.

What is the Minimum Volume Fee?

Most factoring companies have minimum factoring fees. If the fee is 25.00 per invoice, and the rate is at 5%, your invoice has to be $500 or more to avoid paying extra. Small businesses doing local routes might not hit the mark.

Make sure you know what the minimum and the fee is before signing up for factoring service. There will be months when business is slower, so you’ll want to factor this into your decision.

What Are the Length of Terms?

Most companies don’t want to pay factoring fees forever. Much like a payday loan, they just need a little help to get them through a rough spot while waiting for clients to pay their bill.

Some factoring services will try to get you locked into terms for a while, however. Length can run from invoice to invoice to a year. If you are a small company, a year is a long commitment. Find out upfront so you can make the best decision.

Is There a Termination Fee?

Speaking of the length of terms, find out if there are termination fees if you decide not to use the service anymore. You don’t want to be forced to use a service for a year if you only need it for a few months.

There are some factoring services out there that will charge you $1,000 to get out of an agreement early, in essence punishing you for your success. Don’t let them get you to sign a contract that you’ll regret later.

Do You Offer Non-Recourse Arrangements?

This question can save your company a lot of money. When using a factoring company, your client will pay them instead of you since you have already received funds.

Recourse factoring terms are such that if your customer doesn’t pay the invoice, you are responsible for it! This arrangement could take a heavy toll on your company if you have a frequent customer that decides to default.

Non-recourse arrangements mean that the factoring company takes on the risk of the invoice in the hopes that more people will pay than won’t.

Even with non-recourse agreements, companies will still find ways to charge you. If a customer doesn’t pay the invoice, they will make you pay processing or other fees.

Often, these charges are excessive and can cause you severe hardship. You don’t want to think everything is going great, only to find out an invoice from 3 months ago has to be paid by you.

What Other Factoring Fees Do You Charge?

One way a factoring company will protect themselves from taking on risky invoices is to run a credit check on your customers. It’s an understandable step, but you shouldn’t have to pay for the credit check!

Make sure they don’t try to sneak that charge onto you. There are other random fees that a factoring service will try to put on you as well, such as:

Rush Funding Fee

If you run a small outfit and one of your trucks goes down, you might need your money a little faster than usual to get it back on the road. Most companies offer rush funding, helping you receive your funds faster.

This service comes with a fee though, sometimes flat rate and sometimes percentage. Find out which it is so you can make a better-informed decision.

ACH Fees

An ACH is a direct deposit payment directly into your bank account. It shows up quick and is the preferred method for receiving money for a lot of businesses.

Factoring services often charge fees for this. If you use rush funding, the service could charge you a fee for ACH and rush funding! Clarify this with the service before deciding what to do.

Miscellaneous Fees

When a company notifies someone that they have a claim on a debt it’s called a UCC-1 filing. A factoring service will deliver this to your customers if need be to let them know who to pay.

Some companies will charge you for this. At $100 bucks or more a piece, it can get expensive if you are on a long-term contract with a factoring service and a few customers fall on hard times.

Some companies will charge you if they have to send someone a copy of an invoice! This practice is one of the more frivolous fees out there, and you should be suspicious of any company that does it.

Some companies will charge you a closing fee once you have setup a contract with them. Make sure you find out before signing anything, and look for someone else if they charge this fee.

Avoid Factoring Fees the Easy Way!

If these factoring fees make your head spin, you aren’t alone. We hear from people in the industry all the time that just want a straightforward and honest way to get the funds they need.

That’s why here at ComFreight we’ve come up with the HaulPay service. It’s factoring made easy; you get the money you need without having to worry about hidden fees. You provide honest and dependable service for your clients; now we want to provide the same for you.

We will even show you how much you’ll save per year with us vs. other factoring companies! Go here, look at our simple fee sheet and see the difference for yourself.

If you like what you see, sign up here today!

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

5 Trucking Office Pains Only Managers Understand

trucking officeSmall business owners and independent trucking professionals know that operating your small trucking company can be incredibly rewarding.

But the industry is changing. Large customers like Wal-Mart and Amazon may restrict independent truckers from getting work with their competition. As a result, there is more stress everywhere in the business.

Plus, with changing regulations and customer requirements, it can be a large task to juggle all the paperwork required just to bid a load and get paid for it. Even using technology to operate your trucking office can be a chore.

Some companies charge huge hidden fees for factoring just to help truckers get paid!

You’re not alone. Here are the top 5 office pains only managers understand:

1. Personnel Shortages

Personnel shortages aren’t just a problem for small companies and independent trucking professionals. From hiring and keeping truck drivers to managing back office tasks, it is difficult to recruit and retain the best talent.

Small trucking office staffs aren’t the only ones who face this challenge. While the numbers are improving, larger carriers report over 80% turnover.

Some economists suggest that as the freight economy improves, these statistics could become worse. As a result, employee retention has never been more important.

Many truck drivers perform both roles. It’s important to make performing the necessary trucking office work as simple as possible to alleviate headaches and keep drivers happy.

2. Driver Satisfaction

The stress of owning and operating a trucking office extends to truckers themselves. While some of the 1.7 million individuals working as long-haul truck drivers in the U.S. perform their own office work, others face headaches with navigating the changing needs of their office managers.

Long-haul truck driving is hard work in itself. Add in the stress of a changing industry, poorly trained office staff, and fighting to get paid, and many drivers are feeling the crunch.

It’s important to make it easy for drivers to perform their core tasks. Those tasks should focus most on safe and efficient transport of freight.

Too much additional processes and paperwork will make it difficult to keep drivers happy.

And poor driver satisfaction means dissatisfied customers.

Give Them a Break

The needs of clients and the industry aren’t going to be erased overnight. Giving drivers the tools they need to perform trucking office tasks fast and efficiently can improve overall satisfaction.

On top of being personally detrimental to relationships and health, changing regulations may even give truck drivers fewer breaks.

And when they do get breaks on the road that time should be spent recharging, not performing office work.

Streamlining the needs of your trucking office will make every part of your business run better.

3. Locating Shipments

If you don’t have shipments you don’t have a business. And if those clients you are sure are long term relationships seem able to fall away in a day, you’re left scrambling to find your next job.

For independent operators, this situation can mean a missed mortgage payment. For small business owners, you may have a group of employees that you’re paying to stay home.

Technology has made the freight industry increasingly competitive. But we all know there are loads out there that need to be moved from Point A to Point B.

The faster you locate and secure them the better your business will do.

Using the right load boards will allow you to connect with shippers fast and efficiently. Plus, knowing how to use the technology can help you show your overall value on the market.

The freight industry isn’t all about low price. You can connect with clients who value efficiency, experience, and safety too.

4. Factoring

Taking care of invoice factoring has long been one of the biggest headaches for trucking professionals. Unfortunately, changes in client needs and freight technology have made matters worse.

Many trucking office professionals have turned to tools and technology that have proved costly. With hidden fees and confusing technology, factoring seems harder than ever.

The right tools will let you ditch old school factoring. You or your drivers will be able to focus on hauling the load and letting the technology help you get paid for it.

Beyond getting paid, your technology also needs to calculate taxes owed and make the entire process as easy as possible.

Make sure you are getting the best of both worlds. You need technology that is easy to use. And technology that doesn’t force you to forfeit big fees for the service.

5. Getting Paid in Your Trucking Office

Between customers, procurement departments, and long lags in invoices getting approved, sometimes getting paid can become a huge challenge. While some of these headaches are on the part of the customer, if you don’t get the invoice right it can cause huge delays.

If you have delays in accounts receivable your whole business will suffer. You may have to borrow money from the bank at costly interest rates just to stay afloat.

You spend the time performing the work, calculating the rates, and creating an invoice. If any step isn’t performed according to client and government regulations it means your invoice will get returned.

You’ll have to start the entire process over again. This might mean getting approval from various levels in your client’s company or going back to the receiver and getting additional information.

By using technology to capture all the required information, capture data for the client’s needs, and create and send an invoice at the press of a button everything is easier.

You will alleviate headaches by using a central app to streamline the process.

Cure the Pain

For owners and truckers with small trucking companies, the question is how to cure the pain. You need to get payments 24/7, ditch old school factoring, and get credit decisions in 24 hours or less.

Haul Pay can help. At ComFreight we provide an app to help trucking companies find loads to haul, and an app to factor their invoices and get paid faster.

ComFreight is changing the way load boards work and improving freight matching! The fast, open load matching and freight bidding marketplace of the future is here!

Ditch the hassles and hidden fees of managing your trucking office tasks. Try ComFreight’s Haul Pay today.

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

The Freight Marketplace Reimagined

 

One of the hottest topics lately is the concept for digital marketplaces. This is not a “new” concept in many other areas of commerce and business, however, in Logistics and Trucking, this is a relatively new phenomenon.

So why a marketplace? What does that really mean?

A Marketplace is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as…

  1. 1a:  an open square or place in a town where markets or public sales are heldb:market<the marketplace is the interpreter of supply and demand>

  2. 2:  the world of trade or economic activity:  the everyday world

  3. 3:  a sphere in which intangible values compete for acceptance <the marketplace of ideas>

In this example, the first definition is the most relevant. However digital marketplaces used in today’s modern 21st-century economy are upsetting this archaic definition.

Over the past several years there has been a resurgence in attempts to address the massive complexities in the trucking and logistics industries with increasingly advanced solutions. These solutions have been compared to various digital on on-demand businesses, with the most popular analogy being “uber for trucking.”

But what does that really mean? Uber is in effect a transportation broker. They (or their algorithms) decide which driver is most appropriate based on rating and the driver’s acceptance of a potential trip. This an excellent solution to the transportation sourcing problem, but does it really constitute a true, open marketplace?

Trucking and logistics are undoubtedly some of the largest industries in North America and the around the world. It is also one of the oldest and most durable, in light of various examinations of the market and economic history, both domestically and globally.

So how do we build a true, open marketplace that is also secure and efficient?

Amazon has addressed the marketplace from the e-commerce side. Multiple options, with internal ratings and vendor validation, helps create a level of trust and efficiency in online purchases and shopping.

International logistics has seen a new set of entrants attempting to smooth out the incredibly complex workflow of international freight forwarding, air freight and ocean transport as well as customs clearance into a single solution.

So what is a digital marketplace truly defined by? What features are redefining what a digital marketplace is in business overall? Some consider a digital medium for interacting with other parties a marketplace, while others consider a more self-service platform a true marketplace for allowing for commerce to take place.

When does e-commerce end and the new vernacular of “marketplace” take over?

Many questions arise as we look ahead to the future…

How will driver assisted and the potential of driverless trucks affect the trucking industry? How will it effect marketplace models? Will APIs be able to solve the massive differences between various proprietary systems that so many businesses already rely on to service their supply chain and critical business operations?

How much more efficient could you make a marketplace model in onboarding new potential vendor options by leveraging the latest technology? How could you increase the speed of vetting to increase the volume of options and marketplace participants in these models?

As a company, ComFreight is addressing these opportunities from a different angle, and we’re starting with the day to day annoyances, demands and wishes of the people who work in the industry every day.

By addressing the demand for a true forum, with the correct and efficient vetting to ensure an increasing level of confidence, we’re able to create a more expansive and more available set of options for price, service level and available opportunities for businesses who use our marketplace.

Helping to enrich the smaller businesses that drive 80% of the trucking industry in North American is the next big challenge. Through improving core technologies and capabilities, we strive to provide a highly polished and tested tool to the industry to improve sustainable growth and to help these businesses (quite possibly even yours) keep up with the tides of change.

Regardless of automation technology changes and acceptance, the need for efficient pricing decisions, market data to fuel those decisions and visibility to secure options will continue to be the largest ongoing demand for marketplaces in logistics.

Through improving core technologies and capabilities, we strive to provide a highly polished and tested tool to the industry to improve sustainable growth and to help these businesses (quite possibly even yours) keep up with the tides of change.

The Freight Marketplace is the future of logistics today. How the freight marketplace will continue to adapt as a model is yet to be seen, but it will be an ongoing opportunity for all involved in solving some of the largest problems in one of the largest industries.

More updates to come. Stay strong and stay safe, and keep on trucking.

-Steve Kochan, Co-Founder & CEO

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

Top 5 Ways Shippers Can Eliminate Freight Bid Headaches!

 

Shippers. Yes, You. If you’re reading this blog then you are already much more open minded, solution seeking and probably successful than some of the decision makers and logistics professional counterparts at other businesses that have to ship freight off of their dock on a regular basis…and that’s a good thing!

We need to talk. When I say we I mean everyone who provides logistics services, trucking assistance, dispatchers who dispatch the trucks to pick up your loads, freight brokers and yes…even the “new guys” like us who represent logistics tech. We need to talk about how we can help you save even more time, money and sanity on your logistics costs and keep all of us sane and operational to your benefit as well!

Shippers come in all shapes and sizes. There are the large shippers that can move thousands of truck loads, both dedicated and contracted and spot-market per month. There are also the smallest of shippers who only have a pallet or two that they need a pick up for on an ever fluctuating basis. We love you all! We really do! Well…most of the time.

So what are the top 5 EASY ways that SHIPPERS can cure their freight headaches for the freight that needs to move? Let’s start!

1. Make sure you know the commodity of the freight. By commodity I don’t just mean freight class, I mean what exactly is it that the logistics provider is going to be hauling when they come to pick up your load after you award them a freight bid. This might sound funny to some, but misreported commodities lead to rate hikes and big problems.

2. Include your ACCESSORIALS or any you think you might even possibly have in the additional details or notes in the descriptions of loads you post up for bid. What are accessorials? They are any additional handling, labor or special requirements that will incur costs or require special equipment or preparation to properly pick up and haul your load. Failing to clearly list these requirements could mean a big surprise on your invoice after the load is already picked up and in transit for both you and the carrier.

3. When in this load picking up? The actual time. When is it picking up? Are you sure it’s picking up at 2:37 AM Eastern Time? When entering the time window for pick up onto an online freight service marketplace like ComFreight an inaccurate pick up window can cause a truck that was originally booked based on your info by the bidder to have to cancel because the correct pick up time is not communicated until after dispatch. This can cause an increased cost to you as you scramble to find another option.

4. Delivery. Delivery. Delivery. Did I mention Delivery? When does this have to deliver? It’s not required (yet) on ComFreight to place the delivery date/time into a load post but many other systems also have a field or area to enter this as well. Why is this important? If a load has to pick up in CA on a Monday but needs to delivery to NY that same week by Thursday morning, and most of the carriers or brokers bidding on your load or offering services assume you require a single driver in the truck, all those bids you just got aren’t accurate because you need a set of team drivers to make the transit time.

5. Last but certainly not least…your reputation. Reputation on a freight marketplace can be driven by many factors. At ComFreight we are a true marketplace (unlike all of our competitors) and that means that what you put in is what you put out. Your reputation on ComFreight is based on word of mouth from other logistics providers, carriers and brokers in the industry and ratings from other users. What’s one of the biggest destroyers of reputations for shippers? We call them TONU for short and you probably do too. Canceling a load at the last minute after you have already sent a rate confirmation can throw an instant wrench in a relationship and means that in that off chance you have a hot load that hast to move and can’t find a truck it could be even more challenging due to a tainted reputation for too many canceled dispatched orders.

BONUS TIP: Be sure the weight and dimensions (weight and length) of the freight in the post and rate confirmation matches the final Bill of Lading and freight at the time at pick up as closely as possible. Extra size means extra fuel costs, especially for truck load carriers. So avoid unexpected increases in your invoices. We promise it helps!

In summary, info is KING. Correct info is…well what’s higher than king? Well it’s really up there! Better than great. Although some “marketplaces” or “Uber…cough Goober for trucking apps” require the shipper to enter 100 items simply to post a load those items still tend to be incorrect even after requiring all of those fields.

At ComFreight we take a more open approach and let you enter as much detail as you like, or even tell a story for the load before you post it up for bid. We’ll soon be adding the ability for you to connect even more media to load posts which means even better communication of the correct information and improved transparency.

Thank you for reading this post and check back for more updates soon.

-Steve Kochan, Co-Founder & CEO

Copyright © 2016 – ComFreight.com™

E-Log Mandate for Trucking: The good, the bad and the ugly…

 

Well the time has finally come. The DOT has published the E-log mandate’s details we’ve all been wondering about and have announced the mandate will take effect on December 11th 2017. This means paper logs alone will no longer be enough. There has been so much confusion that several trucking magazines even inaccurately reported that the legislation will not affect trucks built before the year 2000, when in fact it will.

This news comes as capacity is already tight and the driver shortage is only getting worse. It’s hard to find a silver lining as this legislation feels like a direct attack against smaller carriers and owner-operators as well as medium sized carriers who are already having a tough time convincing new drivers and veterans to continue driving or to join their ranks. Is there a silver lining? The greater trucking industry will answer that.

We believe connecting shippers with carriers and smaller brokers who are taking care of their carriers will be helpful in continuing to support the 90%+ of trucking companies who are at the 10 trucks or smaller mark in fleet sizes. Although there is almost two full years to prepare for the legislation, many smaller carriers and owner-operators are already grumbling about preparing to leave the industry when the clock strikes midnight and the mandate goes into full effect.

One ‘positive’ area could be carriers and owner-operators who have already been using ELD or E-logging technology in their current fleets will have an even more stable economic sphere to operate within if the worst actually happens and we see a huge shedding of smaller carriers leaving the industry. Education and support from trucking associations about the new legislation is one area we think is a great opportunity in 2016 and could help smaller carriers prepare for the mandate.

Leaving 2015 on a more positive note, smaller carriers are seeing new and increased revenues in direct shipper interactions, contract lanes won via online marketplaces and are leveraging other new technology to improve their prospects and continue to modernize. You can count on ComFreight to be there in 2016 for you with more shippers and more business to support your growth as a smaller logistics company.

You can read more Here on Overdrive online’s coverage about the topic.

If you intend to get compliance going sooner than later and need some temporary help with financing to get your trucks equipped just send us a quick email and we can connect you with our financing partner to help you out asap. [email protected]

Happy holidays and all the best in the New Year!

Sincerely,

Steve Kochan, Founder & CEO at ComFreight.com

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™

Why You Need to Automate Your Spot Market Freight Quotes

 

If you’re a mid sized or large sized shipper (or even if you have regular LTL) you’re probably going to run into the issue of having to reexamine your freight costs or reexamine your whole operating procedure to find out how to lower your logistics costs. Blasting hundreds of carriers or brokers on an email list or haggling over service requirements or price with one specific carrier or broker is a daunting task and doesn’t lend well to long term cost controls or securing capacity in the spot market…and it also costs you and your logistics staff or purchasing team lots of time.

The Spot Market Controls You – Not The Other Way Around…

If you think that you’re in control of your spot market rates or have anyway of truly aggregating your quotes together so there is real transparency through the old methods of phone and email you’re just plain wrong. You’re either paying too much (in most cases with most mid-sized shippers especially) or you’re paying too little and because of this you’re missing purchase order delivery windows and your whole supply chain is starting to suffer because of failed pick ups or broken promises by your limited pool of contacts for spot freight. You can stop the madness. Automating spot market RFPs (requests for pricing) or RFQs (requests for quotes) can help save you a ton of headache.

Marketplace freight models work by helping you get real, asset based carriers and/or real logistics companies who have much better control and access to the available spot market capacity than you have immediately available through your network. In fact even if you are partnered with a large freight broker, chances are they aren’t leveraging technology in the optimal ways to maximize your purchasing power in the spot market on every load.

Cut out the noise. Get Real Offers From Real Available Capacity.

Finding trucking capacity is only getting tougher. If you know your ship date and you know how big that load is going to be then you’re about 90% of the way to finding a truck to pick it up if you’re using transparent marketplace methodology. Once you receive bids or quotes and these companies are allowed to counter offer in real time, without anyone on your team having to step in and get involved in the mess, the friction immediately starts to dissipate. Now you have mined the best possible options from qualified carriers, automatically. Chose the option you like best, send the rate confirmation and you’re done.

Post is written by Steve Kochan, Founder and CEO of ComFreight.com.

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™

Top 5 Reasons To Use a Freight Rate Index

 

The trucking and logistics industry is always changing and rate data can end up being your most valuable tool in securing more business or it can be your worst enemy.

We count down our top 5 reasons to use a good third party freight rate index…

  1. Checking your recent internal freight lane rate history just isn’t enough.
    Why a freight rate index and not just your own internal lane history? Your own internal rate or lane history is probably lying to you OR it’s just too small of a picture to give you a good read on what the larger market is doing. These web based Rate Index and Rate Checking applications are able to aggregate thousands of rates in the same amount of time your company moves a few loads through your TMS.
  2. Your recent freight bills are even more biased to your own negotiations.
    Reviewing your own freight bills whether they are from you billing your customers or bills that you received from carriers are only a tiny part of the picture and are usually tainted by your own negotiating style or your vendor/carrier’s negotiation styles.
  3. Filtering accurate data in the right time period is just not that easy.
    Getting thousands of rates that are pulled from the most accurate possible places in the freight market is not an easy task and crunching all those numbers…well frankly is what computers and software applications were designed to do best.
  4. Get an accurate picture of what’s going on in major lanes easily at anytime.
    Web Apps like ComFreight allow you to access and quickly pull average line haul rates from thousands of bids or rate transactions instantly from anywhere and at anytime. No more filtering through hundreds of lines of loads in your TMS or having to go back to your office to give an accurate quote. You can login, check and give an accurate rate with confidence (especially if you’re a carrier or broker) anywhere.
  5. In the grand scheme an extra check on the freight market costs you nothing!  
    Being able to accurately cross check your own lane rate history against 3rd party data that’s aggregating and tracking a much larger stream of data is worth its weight in GOLD. Most rate indexes cost around 20-30$ per month. That extra check could be adding an extra 100-300$ to each load you move or saving you even more when booking or deciding if pricing provided to you is accurate. In fact at ComFreight we provide our Rate Index Free of charge to anyone who is a paying subscriber. A little more visibility means an exponential increase in your decision making power.

ComFreight provides it’s freight rate index free of charge as an added additional feature for all paying carrier or broker subscribers. Shipper users can also access this tool by upgrading their account to a full access account from the Settings menu while logged into their account. Access the Rate Index from the ComBoard (your home login screen).

Post is written by Steve Kochan, Founder and CEO of ComFreight.com.

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™

Benefits of Sharing Your Available Freight

 

Often the logistics and trucking industry is one on that is closed and very private. Privacy is necessary for security in many cases but in the case of getting bids or offers for freight in your network the more visibility the better. So how do we improve our visibility and get real offers for freight in our network as a shipper or as a broker? And how to we continue to save on our logistics spend while also improving service to our end customers (as shippers or vendors) or to our shippers (as brokers or carriers).

You’d never usually hear anyone say this in logistics but sharing really is caring. Caring for your customers, vendors and drivers in your network and company operating in the logistics space. Is it easy? It really can be!

Social media platforms offer an excellent way for you to broaden your networks and improve your potential partnerships. Even more so is having the ability to easily and quickly share available shipments. One of the things we’ve focused on is making it easy for any user to easily share their available capacity or RFPs for freight.

Watch this quick video on how to quickly create a load and then share it faster. 

So share your RFPs. Mass email lists and manual processes for achieving the best possible rate and quality for logistics operations are tedious and time consuming. Start sharing and start finding and inviting more to your network by working smarter.

Questions or need more ideas on sharing your RFPs or empty capacity?

Email us anytime at [email protected]

Copyright © 2015 – ComFreight.com™