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What does a digital freight broker actually do?

Digital freight brokerages have been emerging into the transportation market and making a splash in the past few years. They offer a pared-down, expedient way to get loads covered without all the back and forth that oftentimes occurs while traditional brokers are trying to get a load covered.

What is a Digital Freight Broker?

Digital freight brokers help match carriers with loads and vice versa. They typically operate on an online platform, often a mobile app so that truck drivers who handle load scheduling can pick up loads while they’re on the road.

Many digital freight brokers use algorithms to match freight with eligible carriers to streamline the process and get loads assigned more quickly. However, that’s not always the case. Many digital freight brokerages actually rely on staff to pull the levers that find drivers for loads, though the lack of back and forth can still make it seem like loads are assigned by magic (or technology, rather).

Examples of Digital Freight Brokers

Some of the most popular digital freight brokers out there right now are Uber Freight, Convoy, Transfix, and Loadsmart.

Pros of Using a Digital Freight Broker

There are some definite benefits to using a digital freight broker.

It’s quick to get a load shipped through a digital broker. Because they have a large pool of drivers available to take loads, they can oftentimes find someone to take yours in short order.

For companies that don’t ship much, a digital freight broker might be a good option. Maintaining relationships and the staff to work with a traditional broker or directly with carriers isn’t always cost-effective in a very small company, so a digital broker can step in and serve as an outsourced staff.

Cons of Using a Digital Freight Broker

It’s not all sunshine and roses, though, either.

Digital brokers take carrier relationships out of the equation entirely. While that’s not necessarily a downside for companies who don’t have the time or staff to maintain those relationships anyways, using a digital broker exclusively also removes the benefits that come with those relationships.

The drivers digital freight brokers often use are owner-operators, which presents its own new set of potential issues. Without the support of a company (and their bank account), owner-operators can have trouble getting back on the road if something goes wrong.

Both of these issues can lead to level of service issues and other problems, compounding the negatives.

Contact FreightFriend today

Are you looking for a more tech-savvy, less paper-filled way to get your loads covered without sacrificing quality and level of service? Reach out to us here at FreightFriend to learn more about our relationship-based approach to digital freight matching.


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