|Back in 2009, I attended a conference in which a speaker told us that soon, shippers would expect us to provide real-time GPS tracking and visibility. When I heard that, I thought, We’re toast! How could we possibly provide that level of technology to our customers? After all, as a broker, they aren’t our trucks.
Fast forward to now, and I’ve recovered. We’ve incorporated real-time tracking, as well as a boatload of other benefits, into Able’s toolbelt, thanks to technology. We’ve advanced 50 years in about ten years.
Some brokers, though, have taken it too far. They labeled themselves as \”tech-leading,\” or \”tech-enabled brokerage,\” and shippers bought it. At a steep price. Because reducing the human touch diminishes the shipper’s experience and creates an environment carriers are likely to fail in. Even worse, in the complicated flatbed, heavy haul space, it can contribute to service failures.
The bottom line is that algorithms can’t get your freight from Albuquerque to Kalamazoo. A smart, service-focused freight broker who leverages technology and experience can.
None of us knows what the future holds–although that speaker at the 2009 conference came pretty close. I learned that technology is a powerful tool, but it can’t replace the wisdom and warmth of an experienced freight broker.
Do you have questions about the intersection of tech and customer service in the freight industry? I’d love to talk with you.