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11 Best Freight Broker Software Tools for 2023


What are you waiting for? Find capacity and increase margins. Buy now.

Brokers need freight brokerage software that makes each step of the process more efficient. With the freight broker market only expected to grow, software can help make your job easier and give you a solid understanding of your business’s needs.

Automating your processes allows you to spend your valuable time booking freight instead of doing administrative work. To manage the fast-paced business of matching carriers and shippers, choosing the right freight broker software is essential for your success as a broker

Especially if you’re just starting, you might think an off-the-shelf accounting package or generic transportation management software will do the job. But freight brokers need specialized software solutions that help manage carrier relationships and perform freight matching needs, invoicing, payments, and financial tasks.

Software functions you should consider to improve you business include:

  • Transportation management software (TMS) 
  • Freight load boards
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) 
  • Accounting software 

You can use an all-in-one suite or cherry-pick the best option in each category but finding the right combination is essential to helping you maintain and grow your freight brokerage business. 

Best types of software to improve your business

What’s best for you will vary based on the size and growth projections of your business and where you can benefit from creating efficiencies. However, there are a few key aspect to consider for each.

Transportation management software (TMS)

A freight broker TMS uses data to analyze, automate, and improve processes to help your business run more efficiently. 

When researching a TMS, you should consider: 

  • How it finds and analyzes rates and  what sources it pulls from
  • How it tracks shipments from pickup to delivery
  • Ways it can generate and ensure compliance documentation
  • What reports are available and if they can be pulled with ease

Freight load boards

A freight load board can help you grow you business by giving you less downtime and keeping trucks on the road. It helps you find drivers and check market freight rates quickly and with accuracy.

There are both free and paid load boards available on the market. However, paying for access will increase you visibility in the market, help keep your personal data secure, and give you more options to find carriers and rates that are best for you. 

Customer relationship management (CRM) 

CRM tools help you track and cultivate relationships with your business partners, shippers, and carriers. It also helps you track your communication, best contact information, and rate and lane preferences to help you make meaningful connections.

CRM tools range widely in capabilities and price. It’s important to find the software that will help you scale and grow your business while providing excellent customer service. Your business is buit on relationships and taking the time to manage them properly will pay off. 

Accounting software

Tracking and managing your financial transactions is non-negotiable. But accounting software can do much more. It can automate processes like creating and tracking invoices, and keeps historical records to show revenue, expenses, accounts payable and receivable, and trends over time.

Key features to look for in freight broker software

Here’s a review of the features your freight brokerage software should include. If you select a solution without these capabilities, you could be spending too much time completing the essential tasks for running a freight broker business. Before you choose software for your business, check to see if it includes:

Load search and posting

One of the most critical tools for freight brokers is load searching and posting to match loads with carriers. It’s your bread and butter to match vetted carriers and shippers with freight and book the loads immediately. This function is provided by a load board service and may be integrated into a freight broker TMS.

Carrier vetting

Brokers must vet or research carriers to ensure their credentials, safety ratings, and compliance records, including CSA scores, meet standards before booking loads. Carriers that don’t meet your criteria should be excluded. Carriers without the proper insurance coverage or acceptable CSA scores could lead to higher liability in case of an accident or product loss.  A thorough vetting process provides brokers and shippers with protection against risk.

Carrier onboarding

After vetting a carrier, brokers must onboard them into the freight broker software system. You’ll need to input carrier records, payments, and other information into the system to set up the carrier to accept loads. Look for a system that automates this step as much as possible so carriers are ready to book loads faster. Speed up your onboarding by as much as 80% with tools that help you automate your compliance process. Explore your options for a streamlined, time-saving carrier onboarding and monitoring solution.

Carrier monitoring

Once carriers are vetted and onboarded, continuous monitoring is necessary to ensure the carriers continue to meet safety and performance standards, even after you’ve onboarded them. Ideally, your solution will provide alerts whenever there’s a change in a carrier’s status.

Invoicing

Every shipment requires an invoice, so your software should make invoicing easy to help keep your cash flow coming in. Ideally, you should be able to create and send an invoice with just a few clicks.

Payment processing

After you invoice, payments will start to flow in from your customers and out to your carriers. Your payment solution should be able to handle all types of payments and connect with your accounting software to simplify the process for everyone.

Document management

Paperwork is a fact of life, so look for a solution that manages documents, such as broker agreements with carriers and shippers, load tenders, rate confirmations, bills of lading, insurance certificates, and other critical pieces of information. Handling these documents in a digital form saves time and errors and provides a higher level of security and backup. It’s easier to share documents internally and externally.

Electronic data interchange (EDI)

To eliminate or reduce paper processing, exchange load information using standard formats among shippers, brokers, and carriers. Eliminate manual data entry for seamless communication that speeds up shipments and payments.

Routing and dispatch

Your freight broker software should support selecting the most efficient routes and dispatching carriers. Select routing that avoids delays and optimizes fuel use, and takes traffic information, speed limits, and fuel prices into account. Pick a solution that eliminates the need for phone calls and faxes to get the freight moving in the right direction quickly.

Load tracking

Shippers want freight visibility, so load tracking is a critical function. Brokers can save time by not having to call carriers for updates, and geofencing provides alerts for selected events. Carriers appreciate working with a broker that can help prevent fines.

Third-party Integrations

Your freight brokerage software solution should connect with other critical tools without additional programming or costs. If you have a TMS in place, your favorite load board should be accessible through it for a seamless experience and connect with your accounting software.

11 best freight broker software tools for 2023 (by use case)

 

Truckstop Load Board for Brokers

Used for: Integrated portfolio of freight broker solutions

Truckstop offers a full-featured portfolio of solutions for brokers integrated with the industry-leading load board that pairs carriers and shippers. The easy-to-use automated tools accelerate daily workflow, helping brokers close more deals faster, and improve customer service. It integrates with a variety of TMS’s, accounting, and CRM software solutions. Financial management features include creating invoices, setting credit limits, and managing accounting tasks. You can also integrate carrier management functions, including sourcing, vetting, onboarding, and monitoring.

Key features

  • Truck/lane searching
  • Predictive carrier sourcing
  • Load management
  • Carrier vetting
  • Carrier onboarding
  • Carrier compliance monitoring
  • Real-time updates
  • Payment processing
  • Supports dual authority brokers

Pricing: $99 – $349/mo.

 

QuickBooks

Used for: Accounting software

Aimed at small and medium-sized companies, QuickBooks handles the financial basics of running a business, from invoicing to payments and taxes. There’s a range of pricing options to fit your budget. While QuickBooks has its place as a bookkeeping solution, it is not specialized freight broker software. If you want load management or routing/dispatching functions, you’ll need to purchase add-ons or integrate with other freight broker tools.

Key features

  • Track income and expenses
  • Invoice and accept payments
  • Maximize tax deductions
  • Track miles
  • Manage 1099 contractors
  • Manage and pay bills
  • Track time
  • Manage employee expenses
  • Batch invoices and expenses
  • Customize access by role
  • Automate processes and tasks
  • (Advanced version)

Pricing: $15-$100/mo

Xero

Used for: Accounting software

Created for small but growing businesses, Xero is easy-to-use accounting software designed to help you keep all your business financials running smoothly—in one place. 

Xero offers industry specific information that helps you use the program with the most efficiency. The mobile app also connects to over 1000+ other apps to run your business seamlessly. It even allows you to import data from other accounting software, making it even easier to get started.

Plans are  affordable and can be upgraded or downgraded at any time. You can also cancel with just one month’s notice if it’s not a fit.

Key features

  • Track and pay bills with a clear view of accounts payable and cash flow
  • Manage spending and submit expenses with management tools
  • Secure bank connections
  • Track invoices, costs, and profitability
  • Reconcile bank transactions daily
  • Manage contacts
  • Automatically store documents and key data
  • Reporting to show accurate accounting and trends
  • Automates invoices

Pricing: $13 – $70

 

FreshBooks

Used for: Small  to medium sized business accounting software

Also targeted at small to medium enterprises, FreshBooks is a cloud-based option that you can access via mobile app. FreshBooks will send invoices, track time, manage receipts and expenses, and accept credit cards. While useful for small-business bookkeeping, FreshBooks is not a specialized freight broker solution.

Key features

  • Customizable invoices
  • Automatic late fees
  • Received invoices
  • Receipt attachments
  • Automatic payment recording
  • Automatic expense recording
  • Automated bank reconciliation
  • Generate P&L reports
  • Time tracking

Pricing: $17-$55/mo.

 

HubSpot

Used for: Customer relationship management

One of the best-known CRM tools, HubSpot offers a free version. It’s a flexible tool that integrates marketing with sales and follow-up but doesn’t offer much in the way of broker-specific functionality. You can sign up for higher levels of contacts and more functions as your business grows.

Key features

  • Build customer database
  • Track leads
  • Contact deal and task management
  • Email tracking and engagement notifications
  • Email templates and scheduling
  • Document sharing
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Live chat
  • Sales quotes

Pricing: $0-$3,600/mo.

 

Salesforce

Used for: Customer relationship management

Salesforce is a comprehensive CRM tool that provides a 360-degree view of shippers and consignees for brokers and manages carrier relationships. The integrated systems provide real-time visibility throughout the entire shipping experience. It’s scalable as your company grows and steps up its marketing and operations footprint.

Key features

  • Manage quotes and pricing
  • Manage carriers and routing
  • Integrates systems and data onto a single platform
  • Automate processes
  • Streamline workflows
  • Integrate data from any system
  • Proactive tracking updates
  • Targeted marketing functions

Pricing: N/A

Zoho Books

Used for: Customer relationship management

Zoho is a robust CRM software that has the unique ability to integrate with a variety of other business tools, making managing customer relationships easier. It also offers solutions based on your industry and company size for the most ideal business use. 

With Zoho, brokers get a comprehensive suite of features to manage carrier and shipper relationships, track shipments, and improve daily business operations. The automated processes save you time and help you get more done, faster.

Key features

  • Store and manage contact information including notes and activities
  • Automate workflow for communication 
  • Sales automation tools to manage forecasting
  • Generate and track invoices
  • Track communication across sources like email and phone calls
  • Automatically capture new leads from social media
  • Create dashboards to analyze business trends
  • Customizable to your needs and preferences

Pricing: $14 – $52

 

AXON

Used for: Freight broker software

Axon is an integrated transportation management software that manages all aspects of operations for brokers and trucking companies. Brokers can increase staff efficiency and load visibility by automating most processes. It does not include load board functions.

Key features

  • Manage carriers, shippers, consignees
  • Accounting, payroll, and web application integration
  • Broker accounting applications
  • Accounts receivable, billing & collecting integration
  • Customizable order history
  • Visual dispatching
  • Fleet management
  • Load tracking
  • Real-time updates

Pricing: N/A

 

Strategy Live

Used for: Freight broker transportation management software
An integrated TMS for freight brokers automates many functions and supports custom reporting for dynamic management and planning. It automates billing and carrier settlement and manages fuel taxes, driver tracking, pickup, delivery details, and payments. It is customizable for specific broker requirements.

Key features

  • Trucking dispatch software
  • Automated rating
  • Electronic document management
  • Live load tracking
  • Customer relationship management
  • Customizable management dashboards
  • Billing and auditing
  • Carrier settlement
  • Configurable EDI
  • QuickBooks integration

Pricing: N/A

 

Tailwind

Used for: Transportation management

Tailwind is a cloud-based transportation management solution geared toward small and medium sized freight brokerages. 

Tailwind manages your cash flow, pays suppliers, and tracks your account receivable. It also offers a host of features from a carrier portal to dispatch management that help reduce human error. 

It is easy to use and customizable to your brokerage business allowing you to store information about trucks, drivers, and all of your expense data.

Key features

  • Accounts receivable and payable management
  • Business document customization
  • Tracks claims, incidents, and accidents
  • Dispatch and shipment tracking
  • Tracks equipment maintenance
  • GPS confirmed shipment and event tracking (25 loads/month)
  • Integrate with QuickBooks
  • Offers SaferWatch FMCSA data feed

Pricing: $99 – $199 per month

 

AscendTMS

Used for: Transportation management

AcendTMS is growing in popularity for freight brokers due to its ability to show you live load sources on a single screen. You can track delivery schedules, movement of goods, and carriers in a central location. It also shows the load consignment financials of your  for the most profitable options for a more complete logistics solution. 

It’s free to get started and launches right away with easy-to-use online tutorials. 

Key features

  • Carrier portal
  • Real-time truckload rate index
  • Load and dispatch management
  • Document management 
  • Finance and accounting management
  • Carrier tracking
  • Customizable payroll management
  • Real-time reporting
  • Integrates with load boards seamlessly

Pricing: $0 – $99

Which freight broker software is right for your business?

Selecting the right freight broker software is a big step. You need a freight broker transportation management system that sets up your business for success. With ITS Dispatch from Truckstop, eliminate time-consuming paperwork and spend time where it pays off–with your customers and growing your business. With the range of tools at your fingertips, you can integrate workflows to increase efficiency, automate processes, and accelerate growth for your company. Don’t settle for off-the-shelf software that only does part of the job. Invest in an integrated solution with a toolbox of solutions specifically designed for freight brokers.

Sign up today, or book time for a demo with one of our freight broker experts.

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