A freight exchange is a digital platform for the transportation and logistics industry. It connects shippers, carriers, freight brokers, logistics service providers, and other stakeholders in a centralised marketplace where they can exchange information and services.
The platform offers a range of helpful features, such as load posting, freight bidding, real-time tracking and visibility, document management, payment processing, and other logistics-related services. It aims to simplify and optimise the freight management process by providing all parties involved with comprehensive tools and functionalities.
How a freight exchange works
A freight exchange provides a centralised platform where carriers can search for available freights and optimise transport routes. Freight companies or shippers post their freights, allowing carriers to easily find and engage with them.
1. Connecting shippers and carriers
A freight exchange connects shippers and carriers by offering a centralised digital marketplace. Shippers list available freights, and carriers search and bid on those freights.
Whether you’re a shipper or carrier, you can simply register on KleverCargo and start posting loads or bids with ease — No broker required. You can use it to manage your business and track freight and bids without missing a beat. Here’s how that looks on the dashboard:
2. Freight and vehicle searching/posting
The main goal of freight exchange platforms is to simplify searching for and posting freight and vehicles. How they enable users to do this varies by platform, but it tends to be as simple as possible. For example, if you’re looking for a vehicle to transport your cargo, you want to do it quickly and efficiently. Here’s how you can use KleverCargo:
If you need transportation for your cargo, here is the process explained step by step:
1.Log into your KleverCargo account
2. Click on Find Offer in the top left part of the dashboard
3. Choose the Transport option
4. Find available offers and select the one that suits your schedule and needs.
5. To publish your offer, simply click on “submit your cargo” in the small window where the offer is displayed.
6. You need to fill in all relevant information if you want to generate CMR.
If you’re a carrier looking for a load, process is similar, check it step by step:
To create offers, simply click on the Create New option located above the Find Offer button.
Afterwards, choose either the:
1. Transport Request if you offer cargo or
2. Transport Offer if you have an available vehicle.
Once you’ve entered all relevant information, click on either Create Transport Request or Create Transport Offer. Your freight or vehicle will then appear in searches on the platform, and a freight carrier or shipper will bid on it.
3. Filtering criteria
When searching for freight or carriers on a freight exchange, you’ll encounter a large number of options. Filtering through them is essential if you want to find the best deal.
Freight exchanges offer various filters to make this process easier. You can sort the search results for freight and carriers with simple criteria such as the posting date, total weight, offer rating and similar criteria. Alongside these options, KleverCargo offers more complex filtering criteria that allow you to narrow down your search. If you want more specific results, click on the Filter option above the search results.
This will bring up a menu on the right side that will let you filter cargo and vehicle offers depending on your needs. If you want to narrow down cargo offers, you can check when the cargo is available, the departure point, arrival point, and any additional cargo info. There are further filtering options once you click on Show Advanced Options.
When looking for transport, you can filter based on route and vehicle information. There are some more detailed options in the advanced options screen.
4. Communication tools
Usually, freight companies and carriers communicate through brokers, or they can directly interact with each other. When making offers, you can share relevant information about the route and freight details with the other party, which will simplify the process. By providing this information, you can easily track the freight and vehicles on the exchange platform, eliminating the need for phone calls or other apps.
Freight exchange platform — example of usage
Let’s say you’re a freight company from France that wants to transport goods from Paris to Warsaw. You must find suitable carriers that can make the trip on a specific date. A mediator might not be able to find several carriers that can transport the different goods within this timeframe. You sign up for KleverCargo and post freight with your specific requirements. Carriers starting in Paris or moving through the city will check out your offers and submit their vehicles for the job. You’ll have the necessary transportation for all the goods you need to ship.
As a carrier from Austria, you might be making a trip from Vienna to Madrid to transport cargo. However, you have nothing to transport on the way back, which means you’ll end up with an empty run. Not a problem. Just log into your KleverCargo account and create a transport offer from Madrid to Vienna. You’ll have one or more offers to fill up your truck for the return trip, making the trip more profitable. You can also search for cargo for that particular route if any are available. You double your profits while investing the minimal effort.
Extra services of freight exchange platforms
1. Real-time tracking
Tracking cargo is a much-needed feature for businesses in the logistics industry. You want to know where your cargo is located during the transportation process. Many freight exchanges offer these services to their users.
2. Direct collaboration
Negotiating an agreement can be challenging when done through third-party mediators. Freight exchange platforms make collaborating directly with freight companies and carriers easier. On KleverCargo, you can just accept an offer that works for you, and you’ll have a transport order ready for the transaction.
3. Rating and review systems
If you don’t know much about a carrier or freight company, how can you trust them to adhere to an agreement? Freight exchanges solve this by implementing rating and review systems on their platforms. When you search for offers, pay attention to the ratings.
KleverCargo has two types of reviews: the KleverCargo score and the Score of users of the platform. Users score is a star system that informs you about other shippers’ or freight companies’ experiences with these offers. KleverCargo score is based on 6 parameters taken from the state commercial register. Learn more about this feature here.
4. Document management
You want proper documentation when negotiating an international transport agreement with the other party. Luckily, exchange platforms can provide this with the click of a button. Whether you want a CMR, invoice, or packing list, you can generate it automatically.
Once you’ve input your information on a KleverCargo transport request, choose which documents you want to generate and upload before you submit the request. The CMR will contain all the necessary information you’ve submitted previously.
5. Payment processing
Payments are made according to the terms in the transport order. The price of transport and the date of payment are agreed upon once the offer is accepted.
Are load board and freight exchange the same?
Many confuse the two, but the difference is actually pretty big. A load board is a term used in the USA trucking industry, and it refers to an online marketplace where all participants of the transportation chain are connected.
Freight exchange is a common term in the European logistics glossary. It provides more extensive services and features for streamlining logistics operations and promoting collaboration within the industry. On the other hand, a load board is primarily for posting loads and identifying available ones. Find more information regarding the load board here.
Benefits of a freight exchange
Using a freight exchange platform streamlines the process of matching available loads with suitable carriers and optimising routes. This significantly increases efficiency for carriers and freight companies.
Providing a centralised digital marketplace, exchanges enable carriers to access a range of available freight and expand their business opportunities. Similarly, freight companies can showcase their freight to a larger pool of carriers, improving their chances of finding suitable transport.
Expanded network reach
Shippers and freight companies can expand their network reach by collaborating with numerous partners in the logistics industry. Freight exchange platforms make it easier by bringing shippers and carriers in one place. You can choose who to work with, without the need for an intermediary to connect you with a specific company. This allows you to expand your network with each collaboration you make.
Improved logistics planning
Planning logistics routes can be an incredibly complex process. If you want to find carriers for multiple shipments going to different countries on the same continent, you need the connectivity that exchange platforms offer.
Better optimisation of transport capacity
As a carrier, maximising the efficiency of your transport vehicles is a top priority. If you offer LTL transport, your goal is to fill up a truck with cargo. This can be challenging if you can’t find enough cargo for a particular route.
A freight exchange platform allows you to connect with many companies that offer freight. Using KleverCargo, for example, you can easily accept multiple offers to fill up your truck. This will help you avoid empty runs for your routes.
The freight exchange platform will take your business to the next level
Freight exchanges are platforms that connect carriers and freight companies in the logistics industry—optimising load matching and transport efficiency. By leveraging freight exchanges, both parties can expand their networks and reach untapped markets.
KleverCargo is one of the market’s most reliable and advanced freight exchanges. Register today to enjoy the full benefits of the platform and improve your logistics efficiency. Learn more about how KleverCargo can help take your business to the next level through a simple tutorial.