How can freight teams book loads with difficult-to-locate owner operators?

Owner operators help create flexibility within the freight management industry. These one-man teams are part of the 630k carriers that operate within the United States.

Being able to evaluate their availability based on forward-looking capacity and lane history, and then automatically offer them loads is essential for freight brokerages to maximize profit and save time.

The Challenge of Booking Owner Operators

The current freight landscape poses unique challenges when looking to book owner operators. These processes are time-consuming and require effort on the part of the brokerage team.

Limited Carrier Networks – Many carrier networks are not large enough to source the kind of qualified owner operators required to maintain margins and stay flexible in volatile markets. Many brokerages and their networks are limited to siloed technology and knowledge within their company (often known as tribal knowledge). Having a large enough network to reach owner operators is key to combat this challenge.

Tribal Knowledge – When freight teams rely too much on tribal knowledge (relationships and knowledge held within the company in an unstructured/undocumented way, generally by a few employees) teams have a lengthy process of email, calling, and directly contacting owner operators when the usuals are not available. Not only is this process extremely inefficient, but it is extremely time-consuming in ways that don’t add value to the business.

Accessing Owner Operators – Owner operators are more difficult to get a hold of due to their time and technological limitations. Constantly being on the road means owner operators can’t be contacted via email or phone without delays in communication.

Unreliable Load Boards – Load  boards are a great carrier sourcing tactic, but you’ll find data may be stale or unreliable at times. When load boards are latent, they are considered inefficient due to unverified data. The end result being additional manual communication and added risk.

Inefficient Sourcing Tactics – Freight teams may be used to booking carriers in a rushed capacity. Take for example, booking a carrier based on lowest cost. This may end up costing freight teams in the long run. Said carrier may be inexperienced in certain lanes, have poor performance ratings, and are not used to weather components in the region. All these are driving factors to subpar service and experience.

How To Book Owner Operators In 2022

Economic changes and supply chain disruptions have changed the ways freight brokers and 3PLs book owner operators. Organizations require the right technology and systems in place to book owner operators more efficiently to help counter rising carrier costs.

Treat Carriers How They Want to Be Treated

This is the modified golden rule of carrier management. To truly make carriers happy, the goal of freight technology should be to meet and source carriers based on their current technology while providing flexible options. Booking carriers today doesn’t require lengthy email conversations and delayed responses. Looking for and using ways that make things easier for carriers is a good way to cultivate stronger relationships.  

Auto-Offer Owner Operators Through a Mobile App

Carriers want offers that are a good fit for them. Brokers need a way to book carriers on the fly. This requires an auto-offer process that can source the best-in-class owner operators and carriers based on forward-looking availability, lane history, location, and equipment for the job. This eliminates the need to spend countless hours contacting operators. Let freight teams get back to valuable business work and enable them to do more, without more effort. <this next sentence needs to be rethought/rewritten – it automatically jumps to assuming the reader has access to an app, also assumes the owner/operator is using the same app. Separately needs to speak specifically to the benefits of apps from the carrier/owner op stand point.>Now, you can offer owner operators loads on a mobile app where they already do business.

Enable More Strategic Sourcing

Avoid sourcing carriers through inefficient or rushed tactics. Choosing the right owner operator or carrier for your load is essential to finding success in the transportation management industry. Strategic sourcing allows freight brokers to offer loads to the right carriers, at the right price. That’s a win-win for everyone, which helps increase service levels and build relationships. Different factors will come into play when sourcing. With a capacity sourcing platform, strategic sourcing can be filtered to a freight team’s needs to help find a best fit.

How the Descartes MacroPoint Mobile App Can Help 

Descartes MacroPoint offers a mobile application ‘MacroPoint for Truckers’ for download on IOS and Android platforms.

With over 1 million downloads and a 4+ rating by drivers and owner operators, the MacroPoint for Truckers app is the most downloaded application in the freight visibility industry.

How can owner operators use the app? The Descartes MacroPoint app levels the playing field for owner operators from a technology perspective by improving

the value as a carrier within their network.

The app also allows owner operators to begin tracking their open loads as soon as the app is downloaded to their phone.

Within the app itself, by simply checking off “Enable Load Offers” owner operators can join the Descartes MacroPoint capacity network and start receiving auto offers on loads based on their current location, lane history and equipment type. No need to change processes, start receiving load offers right away.

How the Descartes MacroPoint Capacity Sourcing Platform Can Help

Digital freight matching and strategic capacity sourcing allows freight organizations to confidently book loads faster up to 15x faster than old fashioned booking methods. Improve your performance and customer service by sourcing the right carriers/owner operators for your loads.

  1. Automated load matching – Streamline the process of booking of carriers and owner operators, giving your team more time for valuable business practices
  2. Evolving data and insights – AI machine learning means real-time data and insights constantly updating to our system. This helps our users make the best decisions possible
  3. Expanded carrier network – Tap into MacroPoint’s massive network with access to over 325k carriers at your disposal. We’ll help you narrow down your choices and you’ll pick the best-fit.
  4. Risk Management – Eliminating the risk of time loss and low profit margins by finding the best fit carriers (lane history, performance, on time delivery, carrier history)

Ready to see Descartes MacroPoint Capacity Sourcing in action? Consistently find the capacity you need—fast. No more time-consuming web searches or hours of phone calls to carriers. Descartes MacroPoint matches your load with available capacity based on real-time conditions in the market, automatically finds the best solution for your goods and proposes a price. Click here to schedule a demo with an expert.