Managing Editor, Features
Logistics Provider Says New Website to Speed Getting Quotes
Third-party logistics provider Interstate Logistics Group said it has launched an automated freight quotation service called QuoteMyTruckload.com.
The company said the service, which began Monday, allows shippers to obtain real-time truckload quotes online and then book and purchase transportation without requiring them to sign up for an account, Tim Higham, CEO of Interstate Logistics Group, told Transport Topics.
Through the new website, customers will be able to enter load information, including pickup locations and destinations and the value of the cargo, to generate a quote, he said.
“This rate is a firm rate,” Higham said. “We do so many loads across the country that we know what it costs to move a load from point A to point B and make a fair profit.”
After obtaining a quote, shippers can click a button to book. After the order comes in, a customer service representative calls the shipper to work out any shipment details and arrange payment via credit card or PayPal.
“We’ve tried to automate the process so we take all of the human being time and energy out of it until they’re ready to place the order,” Higham said. “I honestly believe this is going to be the future of brokerage quotation for smaller, mom-and-pop shippers.”
The announcement comes on the heels of the launch of another automated service, BuyTruckload.com, started by the founders of Partage LLC.
Higham said one of the biggest challenges at his brokerage has been the amount of time spent by staff to answer phone or e-mail requests for quotes.
“We need to make sure the smallest shipper is given an immediate quote, without us having to intervene until they decide to order it,” he said.
Even so, Higham said he believes it is important to maintain person-to-person communication.
“We want to talk to each other, because there are little nuances you can’t completely automate,” he said, adding that new customers typically want to begin the relationship with a broker through a phone conversation, which can transition to e-mail correspondence as the relationship grows.
Interstate Transport Inc., the brokerage division of Interstate Logistics Group, will be moving 100% of the loads booked through QuoteMyTruckload.com, Higham said.
The rating module used by QuoteMyTruckload.com was adapted from the transportation management software offered by InMotion Global Inc., another division of Interstate Logistics Group, he added.
Higham said it’s the ability to get a firm quote in seconds that distinguishes his company’s website from online load boards, where shippers and transportation providers post their available freight and capacity.
“I want people to be able to come to this, and within five to 10 seconds, I want them to get a number, and that is unheard of,” Higham said.
The alternative, he said, is placing numerous calls or e-mails, waiting for responses to come in and then compiling the various prices, he said.