The Internet has killed or diminished the crucial role of intermediaries in several industries including real estate, travel, taxi, and insurance. Similarly, freight shippers at some point or another have been advised to skip the middleman and save costs by eliminating the freight brokerage costs. Skipping the middlemen is not a new idea, and is not invented by the internet era. However, technology has made it easier and more practical to experiment with the idea of eliminating freight brokers to varying degree of success for shippers. Several (way too many to count) emerging companies are aiming to help shippers do just that. The influence from these companies can trim or potentially eliminate the share of the market available for freight brokers. One thing seems inevitable, numbered are the days of inefficient, non-transparent and fax-me-everything freight brokerage firms.Technology has made it easier and more practical to experiment with the idea of eliminating freight brokers to varying degree of success for shippers. So, can freight brokers be driven out of the market? Will they be potentially forced to specialize and be cornered in a smaller section of the logistics chain? Probably. By addressing the new challenges and embracing the new opportunities, freight brokers can adapt and play a more significant role in the market. The success of freight brokers may depend on how well they embrace technology and drive great value to both the shipper and carriers.The Internet has killed or diminished the crucial role of intermediaries in several industries including real estate, travel, taxi, and insurance. Track and Trace ShipmentsThe practice of manual "check calls" to drivers is time-consuming, and considering the number of available tools, mostly unnecessary. The implementation of GPS track and trace tools eliminates or reduces. By providing seamless visibility to all shipments, it makes it easier to drive efficiency, cut costs and manage service disruptions. The Ally TMS track and trace is included in all packages for free and currently restricted to early access users. Automated access to ELDs is also available in that program.The practice of manual "check calls" to drivers is time-consuming, and considering the number of available tools, mostly unnecessary. By keeping the shipper and carrier in the loop in the building and changes of a load, you gain an additional level of credibility. Providing on-demand information to your carrier and shippers is becoming vital. More and more tech-savvy individuals are hired by manufacturers and other shippers, making some software tools a requirement in dealing with them. Automating Repetitive TasksSeveral repetitive tasks are better handled or helped by software tools. Fetching for the right motor carriers, tracking and tracing shipments, document management, linking to load boards, payouts, communicating updates on loads and so forth. Access to data and information can help with making the best possible decisions. Provide instant ratesEvery broker has a way of making rate decisions, usually by a combination of historical data, the supply of trucks in origin, challenges in getting to the destination, season, and so forth. The decision making process once defined can be automated by software tools â making you significantly more competitive. Ally's automation tool is in 'early access user' program, can be enabled by reaching out to the customer support. Going the extra mileProviding value-added services by taking more responsibilities from the shipper is another significant way brokers can stay relevant to the market. Integrating with and supporting global air and ocean carriers, freight brokers can play a vital role in the supply chain of transporting goods from manufacturers to the retail shelf. Providing more value along with embracing the sharing marketplace tools and benefits, brokers can form a viable alternative to the shippers. Ally TMS is smart freight management and collaboration platform, enabling brokers, shippers, carriers, agents and other stakeholders collaborate on a freight.Cost effective and Smart TMSAlly TMS is smart freight management and collaboration platform, enabling brokers, shippers, carriers, agents and other stakeholders collaborate on a freight. Ally can be used to run entire organizations making it easy for you to manage every aspect of your load, and help you better collaborate with your colleagues and with other freight partners. urrently beta testing a cell phone program based on the Cingular network. They have amazing coverage throughout the US and have reliable service. Once the program is offered by Market America distributors, Cingular customers can switch their service over without penalty and will no longer have to have a contract, as all services are month to month. Fees will be lower and very competitive, too. Market America only partners with the best after exhaustive research, so I believe that Cingular must be the best. I can not wait for the launch.