How Freight Matching can Increase Efficiency for Forwarders and Carriers Alike

10/18/2022 | 4 min

The roads in Europe are filled with trucks, and it will get even busier with road freight volume expected to rise for years to come.

At the same time, 30% of trucks are moving around empty. 20% of these trucks are completely empty, while the remaining 10% is divided across partly empty trucks. There is literally a tonne (or thousands of tonnes) of room for improvement.

Getting administration costs down and increasing the efficiency of transport operations are critical points of focus in the industry. At the same time, the transport industry is struggling with several challenges. There has been a driver shortage for years, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution. The shortage is now even worse due to the war in Ukraine. In the past two years, we have seen many supply chain disruptions, and supply chains worldwide are still in recovery mode.

Data is the new gold

One way the logistics industry can bring administrative costs down, increase efficiency in operations, and improve service levels is through digitalisation.

Traditional forwarders and transport companies rely on the knowledge and experience of their people. One of these companies’ greatest assets is highly experienced planners with specialised knowledge and a vast network — that is, until they decide to leave. Digitalising this knowledge and experience allow companies to scale their operations and leverage that knowledge across their organisations.

If the enormous amounts of data available at all levels and links in the supply chain are used in a more advanced way, it can increase efficiency. A data-driven approach is the main differentiating factor between traditional and digital freight forwarders.

Digitalisation is no longer an option

There is so much data available in the freight forwarding industry that digitalisation is no longer an option. It is a must. Just think about the many options available when you try to match a shipment to the right provider. So many factors can influence such a decision, so it is impossible for a human being to oversee this and make the best decision.

This is where artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced algorithms save the day. Algorithms can analyse huge amounts of data at warp speed and, for example, connect the right provider, to the proper shipment, at the best price, according to all requirements. Artificial intelligence is matching the freight. Transporeon’s Transportation Management Platform and its Freight Matching for Forwarders solution does precisely that.

Challenges for Forwarders and Carriers

A big challenge for forwarders and carriers is finding good people. And still when they do have good people, it can be challenging to use them effectively. The more manual processes there are, the more time people work on menial, administrative tasks that add no value. The more people manually handle data, the higher the chances of errors. In logistics, mistakes can be costly. Incorrect goods are shipped out, a shipment may be sent to the wrong address, or shipments get delayed because of erroneous or missing paperwork, etc.

Another challenge for forwarders and carriers is missed opportunities. When processes are manual, a lot of communication is needed back and forth. Forwarders are trying to find capacity for the best price, while carriers are trying to find loads for their empty trucks. Much time is wasted.

When a load-matching platform matches loads and capacity, forwarders and carriers can spend time building relationships and adding value to their respective customers.

The benefits of digitally matching freight

Digitally matching freight through Freight Matching for Forwarders can be done in three ways. If you want to assign a load to an existing partner in your network, you can use Direct Matching. You can use Spot Matching if you want to receive spot offers from the partners in your network. The most advanced feature of the freight matching platform is the Auto Match option. You send spot offers to your carriers based on advanced analytics instead of asking for bids. These speed up the process, and your partners can instantly accept the offer and proceed with the shipment.

Because all the data regarding your shipment and your carrier network is on one platform, you have complete visibility of all your offers, bids, and loads transported in real time.

Digitally matching freight will enable freight forwarders to maximise the capacity in their network while collaborating better with their partners. Reduced manual labour will save time, increase the efficiency of your operations, and free up time for your people to solve problems and add value for your customers. Because artificial intelligence can automate part of the operation, it is easier to scale, as you need fewer people for the same amount of work. Connecting the freight matching platform to your TMS makes it easy to automate processes and take full advantage of its capabilities.

If you want to learn more about what Next-Generation Freight Forwarding will look like, listen to Hermann Ude, Transporeon Supervisory Board Chairman and TTS Managing Partner, and Gruziana Hoxha, Transporeon’s Executive Director, Carrier Management, discuss the future of Freight Forwarding in one of the latest episodes of the Does Logistics Matter? podcast.

If you want to hear more, then listen to the Next-Generation Forwarding episode here:

min left

Next Generation Freight Forwarding

Martijn Graat, founder of the LogisticsMatter platform, invited our Freight Matching product experts to contribute on some of the biggest questions in transportation right now for another episode of Does LogisticsMatter?

Hermann Ude, Transporeon Supervisory Board Chairman and TTS Managing Partner, and  Gruziana Hoxha, Transporeon’s Executive Director Carrier Management, take the guest spotlight for a conversation dedicated to the role of digitalization in logistics, the power of data and close collaboration, and what’s in store for the next generation of freight forwarders.

Discover how Freight Matching optimizes your end-to-end forwarding chain and boosts your operational know-how.

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