Becoming a shipper of choice is largely based on clear communication between a shipper and carrier. From the many phone calls and emails I receive from carriers who are used by our customers (shippers) through the Auction Module, the RateLinx Auction Module is clearly helping shippers advance this goal.

The carriers are looking to see if we have other customers that would invite them to their auctions because they like the transparency and ease of use that the Auction Module provides the carrier. The carriers have visibility to the price that the shipper wants to pay to get the load moved and the carrier no longer has to guess how much they have to bid to win the load. The carrier can decide if the amount will provide them with enough margin to move the load and bid accordingly.

Auction Module’s Communication Tools

The Auction Module also provides an easy way for the carrier to invoice the shipper, and provide track & trace information. Even the smallest carrier can invoice and provide track & trace information via EDI without having to spend any money. The Auction Module allows the carrier to click a button to invoice the load via the Auction Module’s built-in EDI system.

The carrier can capture signatures at pickup and delivery and take pictures of freight to attach to the shipment’s electronic record. There’s also messaging functionality; a shipper and carrier can exchange messages about the load. Factors such as who to call for an appointment, or directions to the pickup or drop-off point can be easily communicated. All of this is possible through RateLinx’s Auction Module mobile app that is free for any smart phone.

Mutual Benefits

The Auction Module is used for obtaining a carrier for an ad-hoc shipment where the shipper does not have enough volume to establish a lane rate with a given carrier, and it’s used when a shipper has excess volume for a given lane and their primary carrier doesn’t have the additional capacity. The shipper vets their carriers and then sends them an invitation link through the Auction Module that allows the carrier to register and participate in that shipper’s auctions.

The advantage to the shipper is they can cast a wider net by replacing their old methodology of calling carriers to see who has the equipment and rate to move the load, or sending out an email to receive the carrier’s bid (once). Now the shipper can have the system send their shipment information to many carriers and receive more than one bid per carrier. The advantage to the carrier is they now have an opportunity to bid aggressively on the backhaul loads which allows them to reposition equipment.

Simplifying the Invoicing Process

Most shippers who utilize an auction for shipments have a very manual and laborious process for paying invoices. Because there’s no rate on their pricing agreement, they have to find a way to match the invoice up to the amount they were quoted. Imagine how difficult this is if you are writing down the bids and calling each carrier on your list. With the Intelligent Invoice ManagementSM component of RateLinx’s Enterprise Suite, the auction is matched to the invoice automatically and the invoice is often received via EDI through the Auction Module; the entire process is more accurate and faster.

Always Lowers Costs

Implementing the Auction Module always results in a lower cost to the shipper. It allows the shipper to become more objective and have more time to work on finding the right carriers that can provide the service in the areas that the shipper needs, and less time on finding a carrier for the one shipment they have today.

If you’d like to learn more about the Auction Module and other strategies to become shipper of choice, send me an email.