Industry Trends

CapRelo Insider November 2023

Team meeting around table

For our November Insider, we’re spotlighting news from an important, but often overlooked relocation service: household goods shipments. Keep reading for global carrier insights into freight brokerages, a look at the impact of the evolution of AI and van line operator health.

The Evolution of Freight Brokerages in the Trucking Industry

A freight broker is an intermediary between a shipper and a freight service provider. Three years ago, freight brokerages represented a mere 6% of the trucking industry. Fast forward to 2023, and these brokerages now handle over 20% of all trucking freight.

Freight brokerages have become a significant player in the industry, reshaping the typical freight cycle. Back in the early 2000s, they were mostly used as a last resort or for low-quality loads that carriers didn’t want.

The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 deregulated the trucking industry, leading to the rise of the freight brokerage industry. Before this, the industry was tightly regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission. Deregulation increased competition, leading to the need for freight brokers.

Small carriers have admittedly gained an edge through freight brokers. With the industry’s growth and changes, many small new carriers have entered the market. And over the past decade, freight brokerages have helped maintain load volumes even when rates drop. This, in turn, has slowed down the removal of excess capacity in down cycles.

Historical data suggests it may take a while for the market to reach a supply-demand balance as the trucking market has more fleets than historical trends indicate.
While freight brokerages have evolved into a significant force in the trucking industry, supporting small carriers and reshaping the way freight is managed, the market is expected to face challenges in achieving balance between supply and demand.

The Impact: A well-managed relocation management company like CapRelo provides mobility programs with a comprehensive solution that combines the benefits of both worlds. We offer the same connections with smaller carriers as freight brokerages through our small shipment program. But, instead of requiring mobility managers to handle distinct relationships with a freight brokerage and various relocation providers separately, CapRelo offers extensive move management support, simplifying the process and taking care of the logistics on your behalf.

This leads to a lower-stress relocation for both the employee and your mobility team as the RMC manages transferees’ and assignees’ moves from beginning to end, including managing household goods carriers and freight forwarders to ensure your employee’s belongings are cared for and depart and arrive on time.

Revolutionizing Trucking: The Five Ways AI is Driving Change

Featured in a recent headline of the Commercial Carrier Journal, it is said that AI is making significant changes in the trucking industry in five key ways: autonomous trucks, safety and compliance, dispatch and routing, fraud detection and prevention, and workflow automations.

AI’s influence on the trucking industry will have several implications for relocation management companies, and these effects can be seen as follows:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: AI-powered logistics and optimized routes can lead to more efficient transportation of goods, translating into more cost-effective shipping services for relocation management firms.
  • Improved Tracking and Visibility: AI enables real-time tracking of shipments, providing relocation management companies with accurate, up-to-date information on the status and location of clients’ belongings, boosting transparency and client satisfaction.
  • Cost Savings: AI can reduce transportation expenses by optimizing routes and enhancing fuel efficiency. Lower shipping costs can mean cost savings for relocation management companies, making their services more competitive.
  • Punctuality: AI-powered route optimization and weather forecasting can ensure on-time deliveries, aiding relocation management firms in planning and executing moves with minimal delays and disruptions.
  • Fraud Prevention: AI’s ability to detect and prevent fraudulent activities within the supply chain can safeguard relocation management companies from unscrupulous practices and fraudulent service providers, preserving the integrity of their services.
  • Customer Experience: AI-based tracking, proactive notifications, and overall service improvement can lead to a superior customer experience, enhancing client satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Data-Driven Decision-Making: AI generates valuable data and insights. Relocation management companies can use this data to make informed decisions, optimize their operations, and adapt to changing market conditions.

The Impact: AI is transforming van lines in ways that will impact mobility leaders and relocating employees. Real-time tracking enabled by AI provides clients with accurate, up-to-date information on the status and location of their belongings, enhancing transparency and satisfaction. AI-powered route optimization and weather forecasting can ensure on-time deliveries, aiding in planning and executing moves with minimal delays. Finally, AI’s ability to detect and prevent fraudulent activities within the supply chain safeguards companies and their employees from dishonest practices.
In summary, integration of AI in the trucking industry can lead to more efficient, transparent, and cost-effective relocation services, ultimately enhancing the overall experience for clients.

Trucking Along: Nurturing the Health and Happiness of Trucking Professionals

As mentioned in the Worldwide ERC Mobility Magazine, Commercial truck drivers are the backbone of our economy, responsible for moving 70% of all U.S. freight and 80% of essential supplies. The moving industry, too, relies on van operators who need mental resilience and physical fitness for success.

The pandemic brought unique challenges to these essential workers, with loneliness, depression, and sleep problems on the rise. Post-pandemic re-entry compounded issues, impacting mental and physical health, especially among male van operators.

Promoting holistic wellness that focuses on both physical and mental health is crucial. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is revamping its approach to incorporate mental health support, recognizing the need for a cultural shift.

To improve well-being, drivers and companies can work together to identify stressors, provide access to professional resources, create a stigma-free atmosphere, encourage exercise, support preventative care, maintain work-life balance, and recognize driver contributions.

Prioritizing well-being yields numerous benefits, from improved morale and reduced turnover to lower costs and increased road safety. As the holiday season approaches, taking action to support these essential workers is a meaningful step toward a healthier, safer future.

The Impact: For relocation management companies, like CapRelo, prioritizing the health of our workforce and, by extension, our suppliers’ workforce is not just a moral imperative but a strategic necessity that directly impacts service quality, employee retention, business continuity, cost control, reputation, and regulatory compliance.

CapRelo’s move management team plays a critical role in ensuring successful relocations for our clients. Relocation can be a stressful process, and our team often deals with clients during significant life changes. Team members who are mentally healthy are better equipped to handle stress and provide empathetic and efficient assistance to clients. By prioritizing mental health, we can create a supportive and positive work environment, leading to increased job satisfaction and overall well-being among team members as well as better outcomes for our clients and their relocating employees.

Global Mobility Radar

CapRelo’s Mobility Radar provides valuable insights into trends worth monitoring. This month, we have detected important global mobility updates in Dubai, Germany, and Brazil.