This Sucks! Eliminating The 5 Biggest Time Sucking Activities in Your Transportation Business

Brad Zaytsoff Blog, Business Insights, Freight Broker, Trucking

Time Sucking webinar image
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Time Sucking Activity 1. Constantly responding to questions from Customers

Customers are the lifeblood of your business. They are also one of the biggest time sucks. What if you could provide them with better service – though in less time?

You know those customers that are always calling, looking for up-to-date tracking information, when their load will be delivered, how much you are charging them, freight rates, when they will get the invoice… on and on (and on).

Example Customer Portal login screen

Now while the telephone was a great technological leap forward, another more subtle one can help you with this time sucking activity – a ‘Customer Portal‘. This is a dedicated secure webpage. Each customer gets a unique login allowing them access to all the information they need, and saves you from answering their never ending list of questions. A quality Transportation Management Software (TMS) application should have this.

Time Sucking Activity 2. Digging Through Rate Histories

How much time do you spend a day looking up miles for a lane, trying to figure out where you might have to run the truck for the next load, calculating the miles by a dollar per mile rate to try and ensure that you have enough money to cover any deadhead miles you have to run? Some people use excel for this, and some people are still just using pen and paper.

Wouldn’t this task be a lot easier if all your “Rate Histories” were available in one place, though accessible wherever you are? No need to call the office to check a spread sheet, or search for that piece of paper on your desk. All modern Transportation Management applications should be accessible anywhere through your web browser.

Time Sucking Activity 3. Searching for late or lost Proofs of Delivery

How many hours have you spent processing PODs?

How about trying to flatten out the creases in the POD that the driver crumpled and stuffed into his trip envelope?

Anyone who has spent time working on the admin side of a transportation business knows this is one of the most time-consuming and boring tasks out there. But now, there’s an App for that!

Tailwind Proof of Delivery Software

Tailwind POD Complete

Your driver’s can just capture a signature on their phone, tablet, or other onboard technology they are using. The days of mailing in PODs are numbered – and when you get your PODs faster, you get PAID faster.

Make sure your taking advantage of the free applications out there that integrate directly to your trucking software.

Time Sucking Activity 4. Duplicate Data Entry

This problem goes to the very heart of what a TMS does – it brings all of your data, and people, together. It brings Operations – your Dispatchers and Brokers – together with the Administrators by automatically moving completed Dispatches over to the Administration side for Invoicing to Customers, and Payment to Drivers/Carriers.

Tailwind TMS workflow

Tailwind TMS workflow

Time Sucking Activity 5. Waiting for Load Confirmations 

As a Freight Broker, or even as an asset-based trucking company that brokers loads, you spend a lot of time on the phone negotiating rates with your carriers. And once a rate is negotiated, you then have to email out a load confirmation and sit and wait. And wait…

Well, with a TMS like Tailwind you can actually issue an electronic load confirmation and receive the electronic acceptance back, eliminating both time and guess work.

When you issue an electronic load confirmation, your carrier will receive an email from you with city pick up and delivery details, and the rate you are offering. Your carrier does not receive any information on the loading or unloading facility addresses until they accept the load – which protects you against back solicitation. Once the carrier accepts the load electronically, your button in the Tailwind application will change color, showing you that it has been accepted. You can also click the button to see who has accepted the load with date and time of acceptance.  This completes the circle of the legal binding contract.

Once a Carrier accepts the load, they will then receive the full load confirmation with all details needed, automatically – with no extra work required by you.  Another great time saving tool!

Wrapping it up

There are solutions out there for your biggest time sucks. By embracing them, you can free up time to focus on landing that next big contract… or maybe even taking a weekend off! Want to hear more on how Transportation Management Software can help you move your business forward? Register and watch this free, on-demand Tailwind TMS webinar.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated in December 2020 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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