IMCs: Getting Back to Marketing Intermodal
Intermodal marketing companies were founded for the purpose of selling the services of railroads to shippers. Rather than have every rail company work with all different shippers to get space filled on their trains, they’ve set a standard to use intermediaries instead who can provide expertise in that field.
As an intermediary, IMCs have to both sell the space that’s been given to them by railroads, and service the customer who is providing the freight. It can be a bit of a challenge to navigate both relationships, so IMCs are very keen on making sure things run smoothly, especially on the drayage side. Customers want to know the location of their freight, and any late arrivals on either first or last mile could disrupt the entire supply chain.
But when did IMCs become dispatchers? Having to call dray carriers and hunt down documents is time consuming and takes away from the true purpose of an intermodal freight broker: to market intermodal to their customers. Sure, part of the job is getting updates for your customer so that they’re satisfied with the service, but there needs to be an easier, less strenuous way to get that information and doesn’t shift the focus away from getting new business from customers your way.
Enter DrayNow. The technology behind the DrayNow platform gets loads in the eyes of thousands of carriers, while providing step-by-step updates on each trip, powered by location tracking, geofencing and integrations with Railinc. All a broker needs to do is check DrayNow and the live driver map and trip progress is right there in full view.
Having to call dray carriers and hunt down documents is time consuming and takes away from the true purpose of an intermodal freight broker: to market intermodal to their customers.
There is never any time that a broker has to engage with the carrier through DrayNow. All of the documents, accessorials, trip information, etc. live on the platform. Once that order is put up on the marketplace, our freight technology takes care of the rest. It’s our expertise. And with different features like electronic data interchange (EDI), brokers can put up freight on the platform and receive updates without ever leaving their TMS.
Just like the rails use intermodal marketing companies to sell space on their trains, IMCs can be using other resources to find capacity and provide updates. They can continue their specialty: managing and marketing the freight and rail space that they’ve been given. But for the grunt work involved with the execution of the freight, there’s technology that can solve a majority of their headaches.
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