Introducing new truck broker productivity tools
Trucker Tools LLC, which provides shipment visibility, carrier capacity management and predictive freight-matching solutions for the transportation industry, has announced the introduction of new broker productivity tools that automate email processing and accelerate the provision of up-to-the minute, highly accurate truck capacity on the market.
A new feature of Trucker Tools Smart Capacity carrier management and predictive freight-matching platform, the software program automates the handling and processing of the hundreds of emails brokers receive from carriers daily advertising trucks available for loads. It also continuously updates the Smart Capacity database with fresh information about available trucks, eliminates stale data, and places at the broker’s fingertips, with unprecedented speed and accuracy, the most up-to-date, reliable capacity data with which to book loads.
“Today, when a broker comes to work, there might be 100 or more emails from carriers waiting to be reviewed in his or her in box, all with capacity information,” noted Prasad Gollapalli, founder and president of Trucker Tools. “That broker may then spend an hour or more digging through the backlog, sorting and manually entering data on available trucks. And as the day goes on the emails mount up. It’s a tedious process.”
That presents two issues, Gollapalli noted. The first is the wasted time the broker spends manually dealing with carrier emails throughout the day, physically keying data or cutting and pasting from emails into other documents. The second is data integrity. “By mid-morning, many of those trucks are already booked and no longer available. That data goes stale pretty quick,” explained Gollapalli.
Trucker Tools solved the problem—and freed up hours of time for brokers—by applying sophisticated natural language processing tools, combined with artificial intelligence software into an automated email read-and-analysis program. The company then added to that data cleansing and validation features and an integration with the Smart Capacity database.
Brokers can initiate the process by simply setting up an “auto-forward” rule redirecting to Trucker Tools emails received from carrier or trucker contacts. Once in the system, the software reads, analyzes, parses and then pulls key data points from the email. These might include truck type, current location, driver, last time stamp or other data items.
Then, Smart Capacity’s freight-matching algorithms combine the information gleaned from the processed emails with other updated capacity data sources to match optimal trucks with available loads. The broker is presented with both a real-time, visual “heat map” graphically depicting all available trucks in proximity to loads, as well as a Google-style ranking that shows best-match options on top.
Importantly, the program, on the broker’s behalf, also turns around and concurrently advertises matching loads to the carrier. This significantly increases the carrier’s efficiency in searching for loads. And it narrows the number of calls the carrier makes to the broker to secure a load.
The program does one additional check. Before being displayed in results, the software examines the information from the email, principally the truck, its location and last time stamp, and then runs that against current information in Smart Capacity on the truck’s status. If the analysis reveals that truck already has been booked, it is removed from the list of available trucks, and not shown in the broker’s results. This feature ensures that no stale or obsolete capacity data is presented to the broker.
Time from emails received and processed through the natural language and matching algorithms, to new data on available trucks appearing in the broker’s Smart Capacity dashboard: less than 30 seconds.
“The name of the game is speed and how fast the broker has access to fresh, reliable and trusted capacity data,” said Gollapalli. “The quicker the broker has the data, the more efficient they can be in identifying the right truck for a load and being the first to call and book that truck. That’s especially important in today’s dynamic, capacity-constrained market, where carriers are turning down five or more loads for every one they take.”
Gollapalli added that the productivity benefits for brokers are equally as valuable. “With a broker, time is money. What we have done is to dramatically shorten the time a broker spends researching and validating available capacity,” he said. “Every hour we can give back to the broker is another hour they can generate more revenue and cover more loads for their customers. It’s a huge competitive and productivity advantage.”
The email workflow automation program is a feature of the Trucker Tools Smart Capacity portfolio of freight-matching services and tools. It is available only to subscribers of Smart Capacity. Over 100,000 carriers are actively engaged with Smart Capacity. The platform also is integrated with the Trucker Tools Mobile Driver App, which since its launch in 2013, has been downloaded by more than 500,000 drivers.