Freight procurement is a critical process within the supply chain. The key to success is moving goods on time while paying a fair market price, so end customers’ sales orders arrive on schedule. One of the primary puzzle pieces to freight procurement is securing compliant carriers (trucks and drivers) to move the freight. Unfortunately, the carrier onboarding process is cumbersome. According to Dean Corbolotti, VP of Managed Services at Sleek Technologies, “Onboarding new carriers correctly can take hours at best. And with everything else the transportation team has to juggle, it’s no wonder they limit the number of carriers they do business with.”
Finding and Vetting Carriers
Finding and vetting carriers is a time-consuming process, which is required before any carrier can be added into a shipper’s network. Traditionally, shippers would go to a public board and look for carriers based on specific criteria. They would dig into things like compliance, safety, accountability (CSA) scores, insurance/ liability, and operating authorities. Once a carrier passes the initial screening process, forms and data entry are required to solidify the new partnership which slows down the process even more.
Automating Carrier Onboarding
Updating the manual process of finding, vetting, and onboarding new carriers with automation software makes the process much faster. It goes from hours to seconds. Using a shipper’s specific load attributes, along with the carrier’s attributes, AI/ML algorithms go to work to dynamically match loads to compliant carriers. All of the onboarding leg work is done dynamically, eliminating the need for manual research. Plus with automatic daily compliance checks, shippers gain peace of mind!
Expanding Freight Capacity
Without automation, shippers rely on a very small segment of the total carrier population that is available to them– in essence, they are putting all their eggs in one, little basket. Shippers who have automated the carrier onboarding process instantly expand freight capacity, and when shippers have more carrier options (capacity) they:
- Drive healthy competition to ensure they are always getting the best price and service from all onboarded carriers. They are no longer at the mercy of just a few carriers because they now have more options ready to go.
- Reduce truckload price by avoiding the costly spot. Plus, automation empowers shippers to add carriers directly to the network, eliminating the need for broker middlemen. Shippers set a load price, and then only compliant carriers are invited to directly on the load, cutting out the middleman’s hidden fees.
Advancing the Freight Procurement Process
More and more shippers are turning to automation technology to update manual, outdated processes– like onboarding new carriers– to speed time to market. When shippers have instant access to more compliant carriers it is much easier for the transportation team to achieve their goals of delivering goods on time while paying fair truckload prices.