Digital technology drives today’s modern supply chain. There is no doubt about it and as the years carry on, it only becomes more prevalent. And one area of the industry tech landscape that has been gaining the most momentum second only to automation tech is on-demand services.
One of the increasingly critical pieces of software for logistics businesses to invest in is what is known as a digital freight matching solution (DFM).
You can think of DFM platforms as something similar to an Uber service for the freight industry. It connects truck drivers with local loads completely digitally and does so based on certain requirements such as truck capacity or location.
In this blog post, we will explain what exactly DFM platforms are, how they work, and the benefits they offer.
What is a Digital Freight Matching Solution?
If you have ever used Uber or understand even remotely how the service works, then you already have a pretty good idea of how DFM platforms operate. In fact, it is often referred to, alongside other pieces of software as an Uberization of the trucking industry.
By harnessing the power of the Uber model, carriers are now able to find local loads that need to be shipped and directly accept the job and head to the client to pick it up. And the best part? They can do this in their spare time, and they can do it all from the comfort of their smartphone.
It works pretty much just like Uber with a logistics twist. You simply download an app, create an account, search for loads that shippers have posted as needing to be transported, accept jobs that you are matched with and have the means to perform and once done... get paid. All from one single app on your smartphone or other wireless device.
The use of DFM solutions is advantageous for carriers and shippers alike. And, as mobile technology enters the 5G era, the use of these systems is only expected to expand from here.
What are the Benefits of Using DFM Solutions?
The great thing about DFM platforms is that they remove most of the frustration and stress associated with freight estimating, booking, and movement. This is achieved in a few really big ways...
It eliminates the post and pray mentality: Many shippers are hesitant about using automated software to post important freight movements. It’s called the “post and pray” shipping philosophy. It leaves many shippers uncertain that the rates they post, or the bid entered will be picked up by unprofessional carriers.
Shortens dead time: In carrier speak, dead time is that gap when the load is posted through a network, and a carrier decides to accept the job. DFM platforms expedite this process, allowing loads to be picked up faster and head to the destination with reduced downtime.
Eliminates outbound phone calls to prospective carriers: When you’re able to connect directly with a qualified pool of carriers from the app, the need to call them directly to engage in rate estimation battles is no longer an issue.
Automates finding qualified carriers: Today’s solutions are packed with tools that permit you to enter criteria for choosing carriers. The platform can provide you with the flexibility to enter rate levels, load capacity, even enter special handling requirements such as satellite tracking, HazMat and more.
The best DFM platforms accomplish much more than simply connecting shippers with carriers. It can likewise expedite receiving digital invoices, contracts, and messages. They can be configured with customized reporting solutions, allowing you to review carrier performance, rates, and metrics to further fine-tune your process.
Additionally, automatic matching and quick pay solutions can be customized, allowing you to spend less time working through invoicing tasks. It can also integrate with existing TMS solutions, connect to mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and much more.
Ultimately, DFM platforms are designed to simplify the process of booking shipments – especially those that are unexpected. If a carrier fails to arrive at your location, using a DFM platform is an exceptional way to weed through those carriers and more quickly get to the ones that are worth your time and money.
Every year, DFM platforms improve. They become more customizable, robust, easier to navigate, and filled with solutions that simplify freight booking. Interested in learning more about DFM solutions? Reach out to the experts at Redwood Logistics today!