We’ve all heard the phrase ‘digital freight matching’ been thrown around a lot in the recent years. If not, I’m sure you have heard at least one person in your network talk about how trucking has been ‘Uber-ized’.
No matter what term people use, it all refers to the same thing — the ease of getting trucks on demand. This need has become all the more urgent today as technology makes it increasingly easier for us to get online deliveries at our doorstep in the blink of an eye. It’s no surprise then that the trucking industry has also joined the fray to become more efficient in connecting carriers with shippers and brokers. Every important player in the industry is drawing up plans to make their digital freight matching platform better than competition.
Definitions of digital freight matching can also vary across industries. But what exactly does the term mean?
What is Digital Freight Matching?
In the simplest terms, Digital Freight Matching is an online platform which acts as a bridge between shippers and truckers. This process aims to eliminate brokers by facilitating complete transaction on a digital platform between all the stakeholders involved. This kind of platform will provide stakeholders all the information they need about their goods, the kind of transportation being used, driver assigned, time taken, destination, price, etc. Basis this information, truckers can pick up a consignment basis their interest and complete the transaction.
What Are the Benefits of a Digital Platform Like This?
The digital freight matching sector has seen tremendous growth over the years, with over $180 million in venture capital investments since 2011. This alone justifies the benefit of moving to a digital freight platform, but there are also other reasons you should consider –
1. Improved Efficiency
Increased efficiency is one of the biggest advantages of adopting digital freight matching. That’s because truckers have the freedom to choose the type of load they can transport, which in turn, helps them better plan their capacity utilization, vehicle allocation and also their finances. This also eliminates time spent in making frantic phone calls by shippers, trying to find or book the appropriate load, while completely automating the process of finding a qualified trucking partner.
A digital freight matching system clearly elaborates all details regarding the load, before a shipper or trucker takes a final call. This increases trust among all stakeholders by removing any discrepancies that may have otherwise cropped up at the time of completing the transaction. At any given point of time, a shipper can also easily see a truck’s location, get complete transparency over associated costs, and also gain deeper insights into critical points like on-time delivery.
3. Lower Prices
A digital platform establishes a direct contact between shippers and truckers, thus eliminating the need for any middlemen who tend to add a significant cost to the overall transaction. Moreover, as more and more stakeholders get on the platform, the availability of shippers and vehicles also increases, thereby increasing competition so that everyone provides genuine freight rates.
4. More Return Load Options
The fact that digital platforms are not restricted to a particular area means that the availability of load increases at every destination that the platform serves. Since there is no barrier of being present physically in a space, which gives truckers more options to pick up return loads as well.
What is the Future of Digital Freight Matching?
While all the benefits of being on a digital freight matching platform seem to be reasonable, it still needs to prove its efficacy in order to build trust among all the stakeholders it serves, especially among the older generation of people operating in the industry since they are more likely to resist technological changes. The adoption process might be slower; hence, it is the job of new-age digital trucking platforms to bring about a behavioural change, rather than imposing it. This might be a time-consuming and expensive process, but considering how many other areas like online food delivery, taxi services, etc, have already shown great ROI, it might encourage newer players to enter this field.
The need of the hour for the Logistics and Transportation sector is to adopt digital freight matching in a format that is scalable and will bring sustainable ROI over the years. This will ensure increased transparency and autonomy in the industry, thereby opening the doors to a trucking revolution.Authored by:Rohit Jain