There is a big push in the transportation industry for load boards to offer a simple “book it now” option that allows carriers to book a load with the single click of a button.
The technology involved to make instant freight booking happen is already on the way, so take a look at what it is at this time, what it could be in the future, and how it’s going to help the entire transportation industry work faster, smarter, and better.
What is book-it-now freight/instant freight booking?
The thought process behind book-it-now freight or instant freight booking is that a shipper posts freight to a load board, a carrier sees it and wants the load, and all the carrier has to do is tap a button to accept the load.
Typically today, carriers sort through a load board – some may use multiple load boards – looking for the load that works best for them and as well as a rate they think is fair. When a carrier contacts a shipper to talk about the load, it usually kicks off a negotiation process in which the carrier tries to increase their profits by getting the shipper to come up in their rate, while the shipper tries to increase their profits by contracting for the lowest rate possible from the carrier. The negotiation process can be lengthy and annoying and often leaves both parties feeling like they got the short end of the stick.
An instant freight booking option allows for more transparency between the carriers booking the loads, and the shippers posting the loads.
What are the benefits of book-it-now freight/instant freight booking technology?
In the current system, carriers and shippers may spend as many as four hours searching for and booking a single load. Book-it-now/instant freight is a very appealing idea because it eliminates the need for lengthy negotiations, awkward phone calls, and time-consuming paperwork.
- For carriers: A lot of time is lost in searching for loads; that’s time that could be better spent moving freight or at home with friends and family. More loads means more money in their pockets.
- For shippers: Getting loads covered faster means they have time for other business tasks. For many, that could mean expanding their business which equates to more money in their pockets.
An instant freight booking option also eliminates the problem of old loads remaining on a load board. Not all load boards are cleaned every night (Doft’s is), so loads can reappear over and over again making a load board look like it has a lot more loads than it really does.
How does book-it-now freight/instant freight booking work?
A shipper will post a load including several details like exact weight, dimensions, pick-up and delivery address, and a rate for the carrier to complete the load. Carriers will see the freight on a load board and either accept the load as is at the rate posted by clicking a button; ignore it because the rate or lane isn’t right for them; or if it’s close to the rate they’re looking for, they may request a higher rate from the shipper through an online negotiation system.
As soon as a carrier clicks to accept the load, carriers will enter the standard onboarding process, or if they’ve worked with that shipper in the past, they’ll likely skip the onboarding process because they’re already an approved carrier.
A book-it-now freight system solves one of the biggest struggles that carriers suffer from – not having enough information to do their jobs easily. A book-in-now freight/instant freight booking option eliminates that since a shipper must list all details of the load in order for a carrier to know whether or not they can accept it.
Is book-it-now freight/instant freight booking available?
It is available in varying degrees from a small handful of load boards that don’t have the capacity of shippers and carriers needed to truly make it “easy.”
At this time, no one is offering a neutral freight matching marketplace in the spot market.
Technology is getting there, and an “easy button” for freight will arrive in due time. Stay tuned for updates and information on what Doft is doing to push innovation and provide a solution to the book-it-now freight/instant freight booking dilemma.