By Randy Seals, McLeod Software Customer Advocate
Everyone knows that carriers have lanes, but do brokers and logistics providers have lanes, too? Absolutely. That’s what you bid for. That’s your yield. That’s where your money’s generated. In this sense, lanes are assets, so even brokers have assets. If you don’t claim your lanes as your assets, you’re ignoring a valuable source of information that can be used to improve your business.
McLeod’s PowerBroker system contains a wealth of valuable data about lanes, so why not put it to productive use? When this data is analyzed and studied with care, you gain invaluable knowledge about your business. You can see in fine detail the role that lanes play for your company, and you can determine precisely which actions are needed to expand capacity, improve margins, and increase volume. Empowering you to boost your business in these ways is what Lane Analysis is all about.
Secure and Expand Capacity
Lane Analysis can help you strengthen your relationships with your carriers so that you secure more capacity. You can examine your freight patterns to see where your sweet spots are. Your goal is to know your lanes backward and forwards. Learn about every factor that may affect carriers, such as fuel prices, weather, and traffic. Lanes brand a broker in the eyes of a carrier.
Then put the Lane Analysis data on your website. What’s your average LOH? Let them know that, too. In this way, Lane Analysis becomes your carrier-attraction tool. This in-depth knowledge improves your ability to market your business to carriers. If you can show them in detail what you need, you’re more likely to find the right carriers, and finding these carriers will expand your capacity.
And when you send them somewhere, help them get back out. As a broker, you may not have to deal directly with backhauls and deadhead, but if it’s a problem for your carriers, you need to think of it as your problem too. Find out what your carriers need, then look at the data on your lanes and see if you can find ways to help the drivers get back out after they drop the loads they carried for you. Look at your lanes by state and also by market. Be sure to get everything in view and find carriers that want to work every lane that you run.
Improved margins show up directly on the bottom line, and an excellent strategy for making improvement is knowing your lanes inside and out. Use Lane Analysis to look at all of the variables that affect margin in each lane, including inbound versus outbound, volume and margin percentage per state, commodities, claims and accidents, carrier pay, and accessorials.
Concentrate on expanding your good lanes and scrutinize your bad lanes. Lane Analysis can show you where your good freight is, so that you can get more of it. The lanes that have the highest margins are where your salespeople need to be focusing. But not all freight is good freight. You have decide what you want and what you don’t want, and then build your identity around that.
Use the data from Lane Analysis to look for backhaul opportunities. There are sales opportunities there. Another angle is examining all of the geographical data concerning your lanes, including the state, the consignee’s location, and the zip code. This makes it easy for you to see what freight might be in the neighborhood. Go after that freight and build up your density in those lanes. You can also use Lane Analysis to pitch your lanes to new shippers. When they see that you specialize in running the lanes they need, you have a much better chance of getting their higher volume business from the start.
We Can Help You Do More
The Lane Analysis tool within your PowerBroker system is one more way you can maximize the value of McLeod Software. Our goal is to help you work smarter, not harder.