If you were to ask a group of transportation analysts where freight rates are heading, most would say higher. That’s not surprising, considering we’re riding one the “best global growth rates in seven years,” according to Logistics Management magazine. Many carriers, shippers and industry analysts associate increased costs with the driver shortage, ELD mandate and external factors that are out of one’s control. However, there are ways for shippers to control costs despite the dynamic market and rate volatility.
Digitizing core logistics operations is one of the most effective methods for driving overall cost savings and efficiency. A recent JOC.com article discussed one component of the digital transformation in logistics noting the transition from paper to electronic BOLs has a, “far-reaching impact” on controlling LTL costs, yet the LTL industry still handles about, “75 percent of shipments using paper.”
The key to digitizing core logistics operations, like adopting electronic BOLs, is effectively integrating your business systems with carriers and logistics service providers.
4 Ways Integration Drives Cost Savings
Advanced Integration Without IT Resources
When people hear “advanced integration,” many assume it also comes with high cost and extensive IT resources. Fortunately for shippers, TMS vendors, like GlobalTranz, are providing advanced integration and custom development resources so any size business, even without in-house IT resources, can integrate their systems and digitize their supply chain. And all at a price point that’s affordable for any company.
Learn more about how you can integrate your entire supply chain without a budget or IT Team. Call 866-275-1407 or connect with an expert.
The competition for freight brokers and independent freight agents is fierce. There is a constant pressure to add value for clients and show them consistent improvement of their freight operations and spend. At the same time, freight broker agents need to dedicate time to finding new clients and growing their business.
Technology is a perfect enabler to take a freight business to the next level. The right TMS platform will help a freight broker agent solve their clients’ logistics challenges, find new revenue sources, and increase their efficiency to free-up more time to grow their business.
Here’s a breakdown of a TMS’s top five benefits for independent freight agents and brokers:
TMS software can harness the power of big data, which helps you discover insights about your business. You can use this data to make faster and smarter decisions that solve complex logistics problems for your customers. These tools will help you win more business and grow faster.
From fees and tariffs to damage claims, freight agents must deal with scores of data points for each shipment. A TMS with advanced AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities will optimize carrier selection, rating, routing and help you choose the most efficient and cost-effective routes for your customers. You won’t waste time manually inputting data and updating shippers on shipment status as a TMS will automate manual processes. The result: you’ll reduce overhead and increase net profits. Additionally, by providing your customers a TMS like GlobalTranz’s GTZship™, you’ll empower them with full control and transparency into their shipments.
Some freight agents outsource the financial management functions of their business to a third party rather than risk mismanaging their financials. However, with the right TMS software, you can manage your own financial functions. The right software, such as GlobalTranz’s GTZcommand™, will help you invoice shippers, pay carriers and process insurance claims all yourself. You can accomplish it all through a single interface while producing informative, detailed reports to share with your customers.
When you provide consistent, excellent service, customer retention improves sharply. Customer churn is expensive, and a robust TMS will help you drive efficiency into your customers’ supply chains and overall cost savings. GlobalTranz’s TMS, for instance, helps you surpass your customers’ expectations with total control tower visibility. Your customers get real-time carrier capacity, rate information and tracking which results in the right carriers being paired with your customers’ loads every time.
Author Alan Lakein famously said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” And whether you’re a solo freight agent or run a business with other employees, you need to plan. The good news is a TMS can provide you with all the data you need to forecast, plan and grow your freight business. Harness the information that’s in the system to help you better manage your agency, quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year.
Learn how a TMS can help your freight business grow and attract new customers. Get a demo of our industry-leading GTZcommand™ TMS for freight agents, brokers and 3PLs.
For today’s logistics professionals, machine learning is more than a buzzword. If you’re shipping goods anywhere in the world, there’s a chance you’re already the beneficiary of machine learning technology – an innovation that is helping reshape the logistics and supply chain industry.
But you don’t have to be in the industry to experience machine learning. Every time you order from Amazon or watch a series on Netflix, you experience machine learning. Algorithms passively monitor your habits and serve up similar products and content with now familiar suggestions like “You might like this,” and “Recommended for you.”
“Machine learning uses massive computing power to recognize patterns in data that humans could never see, and then learns from every new piece of data it receives to get smarter and more accurate in real time,” says JOC.com. Machine learning is just one specialty within the broader universe of artificial intelligence.
In the logistics industry, we are using machine learning to make quicker and better decisions that help shippers optimize carrier selection, rating, routing, and quality control processes that save costs and improve efficiencies. With its ability to gather and analyze thousands of disparate data points, machine learning can help you solve a problem you don’t know is there. For example, if you’re looking at lane planning, a traditional analytical model would look at a fixed set of assumptions. Analytics based on machine learning can consider dynamic attributes like weather or traffic and self-evolve over time to recognize patterns that humans would not see.
The power of machine learning comes from leveraging data across multiple systems and data sets. We can combine all the data we have in our carrier network with outside data sources like GPS systems, historical pricing performance and FMCSA to help shippers more accurately predict demand, analyze trends in supply chains, monitor seasonal calendars, and track daily patterns within lanes.
To analyze multiple carriers and lane variations for thousands of companies, we use machine learning to create simulations that help determine the best combinations of carriers and lanes for delivering loads. Simulations tap into raw data and extract valuable information in near real-time, helping to improve operational efficiency, conflict avoidance and improved service levels.
Overall, this intelligence can help shippers lower risk, optimize routes and even learn new lanes at lightning speeds. No longer does it take six months to optimize a lane and work out all the kinks.
Natural language processing (NLP), another form of machine learning, is also drastically improving the efficiency of supply chains by speeding up data entry and auto-populating form fields.
When integrated with a transportation management system (TMS) and email, chat, text and voice communication, NLP systems monitor and learn from these exchanges. Over time, the system recognizes the behaviors of specific users and begins to anticipate what they want by auto-populating shipping orders, bills of lading, and other transactions, which saves the shipper valuable time.
The benefit of using natural language processing technology is that it’s always learning. This “unsupervised learning” also improves the classification accuracy of tracking status by analyzing inputs such as weather conditions and traffic patterns.
In an example of how you can apply sophisticated analytics through machine learning, at GlobalTranz we are helping a large manufacturing company, with multiple locations, track financial forecasts, pace and flow of production, and order processing. These data points, combined with deep insights into carrier capacity, results in a flexible plan optimized for both time and cost.
This information allows the company to answer real-time questions like “Are we operating within budget? “How much can we increase manufacturing without going over our freight budget?” or “How many more orders can we service within budget for a given set of lanes?” The company uses our GTZ Technology platform to access analytical tools, custom dashboards, and easy-to-understand data visualizations that help them make faster and better business decisions.
With so much data within reach, it’s much easier to predict what in the past has been unpredictable. As JOC.com said, “You can’t drive true efficiency unless you can predict every event and foresee every contingency.” These cutting-edge machine learning systems give us the tools and intelligence to make faster and more effective business decisions.
Gain better insights into your supply chain. Request a TMS demo of the GTZ Platform
By Bob Farrell, chairman and CEO of GlobalTranz
Consumers and businesses buy everything online – from furniture and electronics to toilet paper and fresh groceries. There is hardly anything you can’t buy online. Digital shoppers account for an amazing 90% of Internet users and the National Retail Federation estimates 8-12% growth in US e-commerce in 2017. According to market researcher eMarketer, e-Commerce sales will grow to $692 billion by 2020, up from $389 billion last year. Whatever the numbers turn out to be, the consensus is that growth will be strong and fast – and that means shippers and logistics providers need to be ready to handle the seismic shift from brick and mortar to online retail.
Online shopping has penetrated our society so much so that Amazon created the Amazon Dash button, which allows consumers to instantly reorder many household products with the push of a button synced to their Amazon shopping cart. Supply chain technology vendors – particularly those focused on the retail industry – have long envisioned a world where product supply chains are so synchronized from raw materials to retail shelves that supply would automatically replenish to meet demand as items were sold in retail outlets. Amazon Dash is the first implementation of this vision at the consumer household level.
But what does this mean for the major players in the logistics industry – shippers, retailers, carriers and freight agents? There is no question that as online ordering becomes mainstream, the impact on the supply chain is profound. Manufacturers, retailers, freight brokers and carriers all have the potential to significantly benefit from the uptake in online ordering – but not without transforming how they do business.
e-Commerce and the success of technologies such as Amazon Dash require a whole new level of visibility, responsiveness and agility across the entire supply chain. Manufacturers and other shippers need to have complete confidence that every single participant along the supply chain can keep up with the increased pace of online shopping – from raw material fulfillment to distribution to rapid transport to the end customer. With retail and manufacturing sales growing at such a rapid pace, shippers, retailers, carriers and freight agents need to ensure the right people, processes, and technologies are in place to efficiently handle the increased volume of orders at the lightning pace that is now expected.
Shippers and retailers need to trust that their freight brokers, freight agents and carriers are equipped to meet the increased demand and pace that comes with e-commerce growth. One area that significantly impacts the entire supply is transportation and freight management. Transportation of supplies, work-in-process, finished goods and direct-to-consumer deliveries all have the potential to be a bottleneck in the process.
To provide the level of transparency that customers demand, shippers, freight agents and carriers need the right technology, back-office support and data in place – and need to create strong working relationships with each other.
As a freight agent or shipper managing your own freight movements, without a robust freight management platform in place, there’s no way you can view and actively manage in real-time the entire picture of all of your current shipment activity, let alone double the volume and increase the pace of shipments. Strong freight management technology providers (such as GlobalTranz) offer robust and easy-to-use tools to quote both LTL and TL shipments quickly, dispatch shipments, monitor weather patterns, track orders, collaborate with carriers and connect trustworthy carriers to shippers. If a shipper is managing their own freight, they should be able to view in real-time the exact location and status of the each shipment. If a shipper is working with a freight agent, freight agents should be able to provide real-time information on every order using live dashboards and analytics.
Visibility is power – it gives shippers, freight agents and carriers greater control in communicating with their clients and making real-time decisions and adjustments in transportation to ensure goods are delivered on-time. Advancements in freight management technology deliver this visibility. So when unexpected surprises pop up (as they always do) and shipments need to be rerouted or expedited, only those empowered with the right freight management technology platform can guarantee the best rates and transit times with the confidence and consistency needed to win shipper loyalty.
Whether you’re a shipper, freight agent or carrier, are you truly prepared for the rapid e-commerce growth that’s happening now and will continue to skyrocket over the next few years? And can your current freight management infrastructure deliver the visibility, agility and control you need to be successful?
Contact GlobalTranz today to get the right freight management technology and resources in place to ensure you’re ready to ride the e-commerce growth wave.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – April 11, 2017 – GlobalTranz Enterprises, Inc., a leading technology-driven freight management solution provider, today announced the launch of GTZrave™ – its next-generation technology platform. The GTZrave logistics technology platform delivers a comprehensive suite of capabilities designed to align shippers, carriers and freight agents for more efficient and effective movement of freight.
Over the past few years, GlobalTranz has emerged as a market leader in technology-driven freight management and third-party logistics (3PL). GTZrave is the company’s latest innovation in logistics technology and is expected to transform how shippers, carriers and freight agents do business, helping them better manage capacity constraints and respond to changing market dynamics.
GTZrave is a comprehensive, collaborative platform that will enable shippers, carriers and freight agents to:
“GlobalTranz has quietly been delivering some of the most innovative and effective technology solutions for managing freight,” said Greg Carter, chief technology officer of GlobalTranz. “The GTZrave platform capitalizes on that foundation and brings a whole new level of integration, visibility and collaboration to the freight brokerage market. GTZrave has the power to transform how shippers communicate with carriers and how freight agents manage their operations.”
GlobalTranz will introduce the GTZrave platform to its freight agent network at the GlobalTranz Freight Agent Conference later this month.
GlobalTranz is a technology-driven freight brokerage company specializing in LTL, full truckload, third-party logistics and expedited shipping services. GlobalTranz is leading the market in innovative logistics technology that optimizes the efficiency of freight movement and matches shipper demand and carrier capacity in near real-time. Leveraging its extensive freight agent network, GlobalTranz has emerged as a fast-growing market leader with a customer base of over 25,000 shippers. In 2016, Transport Topics ranked GlobalTranz as the 12th largest freight brokerage firm in the U.S. For more information, visit www.globaltranz.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @globaltranz.
The start of the New Year is often a time when we pause to think about how we can do things better or make our lives happier, on both a personal and professional level. And because technology has become so fundamental to our daily lives, often technology innovations have the ability to help us improve – whether it be the latest fitness tracker or a new application that helps us do our jobs better.
Whether you are a seasoned freight broker with a booming business or a new freight agent trying to navigate a complex industry, your success is dependent on the freight brokerage platform you use. So the question is – how well is your current freight brokerage platform serving you?
Managing a freight business that delivers exceptional customer service and competitive rates is no easy task. There are so many moving parts going on behind the scenes that require your attention. Like most legacy technology, a freight brokerage platform of the past is not likely to leap frog you into the future. If you want to build a reputable, trustworthy and profitable freight management business in 2017, you need reliable and innovative logistics management technology solutions that support both your day-to-day activities and long-term business goals.
If you’re reading this post, it’s safe to guess there’s something wrong with the freight brokerage technology you’re using today – or you’re less than happy with it. And if you’re not sure, here are three red flags that mean it’s definitely time for you to start looking for a new freight brokerage platform:
At this point you understand the technology roadblocks that are getting in the way of your success, but do you know about some of the partnerships you can make to invest in the future of your business? If you really want to bolster your freight brokerage business in the New Year, you should think about partnering with an organization that is committed to growing your freight business with you.
GlobalTranz offers a freight agent partnership program that helps freight agents run and grow their own agency. Agents leverage GlobalTranz’ world-class freight brokerage technology and network of 14,000 truck-load (TL) and 100 less-than-a-truck-load (LTL) carriers to fuel their business growth. Not to mention you can maximize your earnings through aggressive commission splits, real-time commission tracking, simultaneous load board posting and marketing programs to help you generate leads. You also have complete access to a business transition team and a back-office support team to help you streamline and optimize your freight management business processes and systems. And you have nothing to lose, so why not explore the opportunity of becoming a GlobalTranz freight agent?
2017 is full of potential! This year make it a priority to take advantage of a freight brokerage technology solution and freight agent support program that can truly drive your freight brokerage growth and success in the New Year.
GlobalTranz is investing heavily in logistics technology innovation and leading the market with its freight brokerage technology products for less-than-truckload (LTL), full truckload (TL), carrier selection and freight agent lead generation.
This week, GlobalTranz CTO Greg Carter participated in a Q&A interview with Superb Crew in which he elaborated on the value GlobalTranz delivers to shippers, carriers and freight agents. The interview also explored how innovations in technology — from the Internet of Things to 3D printing — are disrupting the logistics industry.
Read the full Q&A with GlobalTranz CTO to get the full scoop on how logistics technology innovation, combined with market-leading freight brokerage services and a nationwide freight agent network, have propelled GlobalTranz into the list of top freight brokerage firms.
Amazon has nearly 80 fulfillment centers located throughout the U.S. That is partly how they are solving the last-mile issue. But for the typical freight agent, it’s not only cost prohibitive, it is often financially unfeasible to build one fulfillment center —let alone more than six dozen. With faster on-time delivery demand coming from consumers and trickling down to freight agents, how do you minimize those last-mile logistics challenges?
The good news is that the demand for freight agents is only going to increase as consumer expectations for fast, on-time delivery continue to soar. The bad news is that this trend toward on-demand shipping is only heightening last-mile logistics issues for freight agents. Here are the types of expectations your shippers are up against:
While the survey conducted by Voxware showed that 60% of consumers will forgive two delivery errors, a great many others will drop a business after just one mess up. That puts even more pressure on you as the freight agent called in to assist shippers with meeting that demand.
It is the home stretch and your load has just a few short miles left to go before the shipment is fulfilled. Yet it is in this final leg that most freight agents encounter logistical challenges that make meeting increasing consumer demands even harder.
#1: Smart Planning for Distribution Centers and Warehouse Facilities
Many freight agents will be called in to fill in the last-mile as part of an overall supply chain. It accounts for close to 30% of your overall shipping costs. You won’t always be managing freight from end-to-end. In those instances, you will need to have a smart plan for enabling your carriers to drop off and pick up at different locations throughout your region.
Third party logistics providers are filling in the gap and competing for last-mile shipments by co-locating their distribution facilities and warehouses throughout the U.S. By partnering with other logistics firms providing warehouse and fulfillment processing centers, you can slash overhead costs while increasing your capability to meet the last-mile challenge for your customers.
#2: Real-Time TMS Management with Carriers
One area where the last-mile issue comes up is in both metropolitan and remote areas. Weather, traffic, and accidents can create bottlenecks in the overall supply chain resulting in late deliveries. If you fail to meet expectations, the shippers that have invested in your ability to meet delivery requirements will suffer the repercussions in lost business, and you will risk losing valuable business accounts.
In order to offer the kind of last-mile logistics performance that attracts the big shipper accounts, many companies use transportation management system (TMS) technology that can be utilized by their carriers —offering real-time reporting. For instance, GlobalTranz’ CarrierRate gives you and your carriers real-time alerts about detours, accidents, weather, and more, including a “live chat” feature and dashboard reporting.
#3: Supply Chain Coordination with Carriers and DCs
Using a technology-driven platform for internal purposes won’t work unless it can be coordinated or integrated effectively with carriers and distribution centers. The transportation platform you choose should allow you to better coordinate your supply chain using interactive mapping and customizable interfaces.
#4: Utilize Local Facilities to Complete Last-Mile
Delivering over the last-mile requires some crafty route planning that utilizes local facilities and delivery hours to your advantage. For instance, some locations, particularly where distribution centers are located near residential areas, have restrictions for when freight can and cannot be delivered. Remember to take into account local limitations as well as opportunities for getting a jump on next-day and same-day delivery by planning for night time deliveries.
#5: Optimize Route Planning for Contingencies
All along the shipment route, your freight could run into problems delivering on time. However, no part of the trip accounts for more delays than the last-mile. In order to optimize your routes to plan for contingencies, you should factor in the typical traffic in the areas where your carriers will be delivering.
Are there alternate routes that have fewer traffic lights and higher speed limits? Will your final destination be in a high traffic area? Always plan for contingencies by optimizing several different routes for on-time delivery.
#6: Look to New Technologies
Meeting the last-mile challenge will soon take to the sky with the use of drone technology for front door deliveries. However, until that time, many freight agents are avoiding congestion by evaluating self-driving vehicles for delivery and incorporating machine-to-machine (M2M) technology into their supply chain processes. These new technologies in turn will give smaller freight agents more leverage in a competitive logistics industry.
#7: Customize Delivery Options to Meet Demand
Just as individual consumers want more delivery options, freight shippers also want choices. By customizing your delivery options to meet their customer demands, you are able to reel in more business, even with a small regional freight business. Many companies are taking advantage of third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to fill in those gaps in their supply chains over the last-mile.
#8: Use Data Analysis to Predict Consumer Behavior
How do big companies like Amazon wager that they can come out ahead by offering so many free shipping options? They use data analytics based on user behavior to come up with times that work best for their customers.
By doing so, they increase the chances that a customer will choose their business over another. Advanced customer retention software can help you zero in on the types of user behaviors that can be understood in order to cater your services to your customers.
#9: Manage Consumer Expectations
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to meet consumer expectations. For fastest delivery, you may have to charge higher rates; but for lower rates, you likely have to offer slower service. Today’s consumer doesn’t want to make an either-or choice. They want it both fast and cheap and so do big shippers.
Because an online retailer has an influx of sales, the need for fast deliveries to meet demand could require the aid of multiple third-party providers. Yet in order to compete, you will either need the type of robust networks that can guarantee on-time delivery, or you will have to better manage customer expectations.
#10: Skillfully Coordinate Fragmented Freight Services
Finally, the freight services market has become completely fragmented. No longer is it one company shipping out their products using their own trucks locally and cross country. Instead, even some of the biggest retailers are only using their vans and trucks for the very last leg while the heavy lifting to get the goods in the vicinity is carried out by 3PLs.
You have an opportunity here to skillfully coordinate the fragmented freight services market to give your customers a seamless experience when they interact with you. Good freight logistics requires both the technology to accomplish your goals and the know-how to utilize those benefits to your advantage.
GlobalTranz’ freight brokerage technology platform, CommandCenter, is the ultimate solution for freight agents trying to solve the last-mile logistics issues plaguing on-time delivery stats. The more reliable your solutions and the more innovative your logistics technology, the faster your business will grow.
Now that 3PLs are in such high demand, you can no longer wait to catch up. You need the best TMS and CRM platforms on the market in order to ensure the success of your freight management business. Take your freight business to the next level – contact GlobalTranz now for more information.
Relationships are the basis for everything meaningful in life. Knowing someone personally to help arrange a critical shipment of inventory to your distributor is crucial to your success. Having that relationship in your corner means that you and your organization can succeed. GlobalTranz’s technologies serve one higher purpose, which is to bring you closer to the people on your team. Our software is built to help grow the relationships between brokers and carriers, agents and customers, accounting and support. In a recent brainstorming meeting, GlobalTranz Capacity Manager Paul Jones said it perfectly, “Our value add is people!”
Joining the GlobalTranz family is more than just adopting a new technology platform to run your business, it’s adopting a family of relationships to keep in your pocket for when you need them. Our products are designed to help you find those relationships at the right time. Clean and efficient product workflows also give you more time to build your own relationships. With our incredible technologies and your dedication, you’ll have the time to take care of the most important relationships in your life: family.
Our value add is people; our technology only serves to bring our people closer.