Supply Chain Change

The Supply Chain Industry’s Changing, Are You Keeping Up?

It’s no secret that the world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and supply chain professionals are scrambling to keep up. The trends affecting the global marketplace are having an impact on an industry that has relied for years on a very tangible regimen of pickups and drop-offs. As technology continues to shape the world, supply chain executives must keep pace with the trends and incorporate them into daily processes to keep their companies competitive in the new, dynamic environment.

Concepts supply chain executives can leverage:

Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Technology isn’t only becoming more widespread, the technology itself is getting better. Have you ever thought about the ads you see on your social media? If not, consider whether the ads appear catered directly to you, odds are a machine has learned your likes and dislikes. Technology now has the ability to ‘learn’ from accumulated data to predict future actions, like your shopping habits. This is particularly important for supply chains which can leverage predictive learning and AI to estimate unloading times, carrier performance, traffic delays, and more.

The Internet of Things (IoT) – The web of everyday objects connected to the internet is becoming more and more commonplace. Wearables (think FitBit) are everywhere, Dash Buttons let us order more detergent when we run low and even our homes are “smart,” letting us control the thermostat from anywhere with the touch of a button. This concept is rapidly being adopted by supply chains. Prominent among them is the ELD Mandate, a federal mandate requiring all trucks to monitor driving time to be compliant with hours of service (HoS) laws. RFID tags are being used more frequently too, letting supply chain professionals digitally track individual containers, pallets or even products.

Blockchain – Bitcoin is the largest example of a company using blockchain, but this concept isn’t only reserved for transferring money over the internet. Broken down into its simplest form, blockchain is a digital ledger that can be used to exchange, track transactions, make payments and sign contracts. It’s highly transparent, extremely efficient and scalable in nature. This new method of exchange is reshaping globalized trade, making it easier to interact with companies and customers abroad. Supply chains can use blockchain to keep better track of their products, deal in foreign currencies without the need of an intermediary and store better data for record keeping.

What do all of these concepts have in common?

Each one of these concepts is rooted in connecting people and processes together more efficiently via technology. All three make it easier for companies to access their customers, forge useful relationships and scale their businesses. One result of employing these connectivity strategies is a Network Effect where “more usage of the product by any user increases the product’s value for other users” (Evergreen). Each layer of connectivity serves to support the other users, building customer loyalty and adding value to the organization.  For supply chain professionals, this can mean providing better customer service, having better on time delivery rates and streamlining tracking and tracing processes.

Supply chain offices deserve their own network to build upon, one where they can find the latest technology to improve their operations and keep up with market trends. The Kuebix Global Logistics Community is serving just that purpose. As a collaborative group of shippers and carriers from around the world, members work together to discover opportunities, foster cost reductions and build trusted-partner relationships.

Driver Shortage

O Truck Driver, Where Art Thou?

The driver shortage is real, and getting worse. The American Transportation Association says that the US needs to hire about 900,000 drivers to keep up with demand. According to an industry analysis by DAT Solutions, just one truck (and driver) was available for every 12 loads to be shipped at the start of 2018. If there isn’t a driver for a truck, the truck won’t be going anywhere.

The strong growth of the economy and rise in e-commerce orders means more deliveries need to be made, so more drivers are needed. To make the shortage even worse, the average age of a truck driver is 55, which means many are retiring. Young people don’t want to pursue a truck driving career because they fear the quality of life of always being away from family, long hours of solitude on the road and low pay.

At the 2018 National Industrial Transportation League Annual Summit, the CEO of a large trucking firm said that, “of the 113K applications they received last year, only 3% were qualified drivers that they could safely put on the road. This challenge has led trucking companies to increase driver pay in order to attract qualified drivers, which in turn means higher rates.”

One problem is that drivers have to be 21 to drive a truck on the interstate, although drivers can obtain a commercial driver’s license at 18. So even if young drivers are recruited, they have to be 21 years old to drive trucks across states. The DRIVE-Safe Act will hopefully ease the situation by helping to qualify more drivers for the trucking profession by allowing 18 year-olds to take the wheel, yet require them to perform more rigorous training.

The reality is that the truck driver shortage is here today and causing deliveries to be missed and transportation costs to increase. According to USA Today, “Trucking companies have increased rates 6% to 10% in the contracts they’ve signed with shippers over the past year to offset higher wages and take advantage of the strong demand and limited supplies.”

What is the solution?

Truck drivers want better work/life balance. They want to be paid well, receive benefits and have time at home with their families. Some carriers are rewarding drivers for good driving behavior, others are offering a guaranteed minimum number of miles/week so that pay is more predictable. Drivers want to be treated with respect and offered training programs for continuous improvement. Many carriers are offering programs to improve driver health with access to exercise equipment, both at the office or in the truck. Most importantly, drivers want to get home more often, so they want shorter routes and fewer overnights.

All of this costs money, but having happier drivers will be the result.

Shippers can address the truck driver shortage by leveraging technology in the form of a transportation management system to help them work smarter and gain access to a much larger community of carriers. Kuebix TMS allows shippers to compare all carrier rates side-by-side, then book the best carrier for a particular job. After scheduling a shipment, Kuebix creates and prints required paperwork, tracks shipments, audits invoices, manages claims and more.

Using Kuebix TMS, shippers gain control of their transport operations, allowing them to work strategically with their carriers of choice to build long-term relationships. This can lead to improved services, more capacity and available drivers.

Digital Supply Chain Kuebix

Digital Supply Chains are Becoming the Industry Norm

In the Material Handling Institute’s (MHI) 2018 annual survey on next generation supply chains, 80 percent of the respondents “believe that the digital supply chain will be the predominate model within the next five years—with just 16% saying it’s happening today.” The report describes digital supply chains as “information ecosystems in which a connected and carefully coordinated set of movements and actions must be tracked at every level in order to maximize efficiency and meet customer demands for increased flexibility, visibility and transparency.

Sounds like the foundation of the ecosystem should be a transportation management system – one that allows users to track and trace all movements of freight through all parts of the supply chain, providing SKU-level visibility from the supplier to the end customer.

The digital supply chain has several distinctive characteristics:

  •      •     It is always on – 24/7/365. Because supply chains are global, they must operate around the clock.
  •      •     It’s hyper-collaborative with carriers, suppliers and shippers connected to a robust network where everyone can communicate and collaborate with everyone else on the network, coordinating loads for continuous moves, consolidation and more.
  •      •     A digital supply chain focuses on customer service to better meet the exponential increase of e-commerce orders with faster delivery times and Amazon-like experiences.
  •      •     It’s driven by predictive analytics that utilize real-time data feeds from across the enterprise, producing deep insights for better decision making.
  •      •     It can adapt and grow alongside a business by adding modular features, such as dock scheduling to keep trucks moving while eliminating wait times.
  •      •     It can respond quickly to disruptions so as to mitigate risk due to sudden weather changes, socio-economic issues and other challenges.
  •      •     The digital supply chain reduces fuel and energy consumption which minimizes environmental impact and benefits sustainability initiatives.

The digital supply chain includes a number of innovations that will disrupt the status quo and give competitive advantage to participants. These technologies include: robotics, predictive analytics, Internet of Things, sensors and automatic ID, inventory and network optimization tools, artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles and drones, wearable and mobile technology, cloud computing, blockchain and 3D printing. All of these innovations can work together to create operational efficiencies and competitive advantages.

A digital supply chain is a connected ecosystem that orchestrates activities end-to-end, bringing visibility, risk mitigation, cost reductions and greater efficiencies that contribute to shareholder value. The technology for a digital supply chain starts with a transportation management system like
Kuebix TMS that supplies the digital connections, collaboration and coordination needed to maximize efficiencies and innovation.

Don’t get left behind, waiting to see what others are doing. Your digital transformation can begin today with rapid on-boarding and implementation of Kuebix TMS.

Kuebix TMS - Cargo Theft Claims Management

Cargo Thieves’ New Strategy Hitting Shippers Hard

Cargo theft continues to be a pain-point for shippers in every industry as metrics from Q1 of 2018 roll in. Though technically the overall total of cargo related thefts has decreased 23% year-over-year in North America (CargoNet), it is presumed that many more cargo thefts are going unreported by shippers. All cargo theft numbers are voluntarily reported, meaning operations and finance teams who are already scrambling to ascertain their losses may be neglecting to report the theft to the proper authorities. Potentially more worryingly, shippers may not be realizing the extent of their missing products because of inadequate claims management.

Thieves targeting trucks in transit are using a new strategy to carry out their crimes. As opposed to stealing entire loads or many pallets of product, thieves are being more selective in what they are taking and only lifting a small amount of product at a time. Besides the obvious benefit of increased speed to avoid detection, thieves may also be leaving shippers unaware that there was a theft at all. Pallets go missing all the time for perfectly legitimate reasons that can be tracked down, but shippers without a system to track their historical claims may not be aware to what extent they have been targeted by thieves.

Food and Beverage remains the commodity with the highest losses, closely followed by Household Items and Electronics. In the first quarter of 2017, the average value of a reported cargo theft was $164,185. In the first quarter of 2018, the average value of reported goods stolen rested at $90,883. On first glance, this seems like a success story for law enforcement, but it could also paint the picture that pre-meditated theft sizes are actually dropping. Without ascertaining the accurate number of cargo thefts, it will be impossible to determine whether the number of individual events is rising correspondingly.

According to SensiGuard, 92% of large-scale incidents occur in unsecured parking areas. Other locations reported include warehouses and secured parking lots. Often, determining the exact location of the incident, if it is even noticed by the driver, is difficult. Drivers often travel hundreds of miles before unloading, and if they do not do a thorough walk-around of their vehicle at each stop, determining the exact location of the theft becomes more and more unlikely. The best way to catch a theft early is for drivers to remain vigilant about checking their trailer’s seal or lock.

3 Steps to Prevent Cargo Theft

  1. Check it – Drivers should thoroughly check their trailers’ seals and locks after leaving their truck even for a short period
  2. Report it – Notify the proper authorities if cargo has been stolen to encourage appropriate action be taken on thieves
  3. Track it – Make sure to track all historical claims to determine the scope and pattern of incidents, whether benign or malicious

Many shippers lack a process to track and manage their claims with carriers when items don’t arrive at their destinations as planned. This causes a lot of confusion and lost revenue if managed incorrectly, especially if those items have actually been stolen and their value can’t be recouped. By leveraging a Claims Management system like Kuebix TMS’s, shippers can tie claim information directly to the shipment to make tracking and research easy. By maintaining historical claim details no claim goes overlooked and patterns and totals can be discovered, making a real impact to a company’s bottom line.

Kuebix ERP Integration Highway

The ERP Integration Highway

Many companies are discovering the benefits of using a TMS to streamline their transportation operations. A well-rounded TMS offers many modular features to support the changing needs of any type of supply chain. One of the most universally beneficial features is the ability to integrate purchase orders automatically from an ERP system directly into the TMS.

Why is integrating POs directly from an ERP so beneficial?

Integrating POs directly from an ERP system facilitates the rapid creation of shipments by avoiding the need to re-key a long list of order line items, ensuring 100% order accuracy.

Since the integration is two-way, shipment data is populated back into the ERP system for record keeping and to provide stakeholders with complete visibility. This enables information down to the SKU level to be leveraged in claims management, meaning the shipper always has the information they need to protect their company’s interests. Shippers can also better understand the true landed cost of goods to make smarter decisions regarding their company’s bottom line when they integrate purchase orders directly from an ERP system.

Use the ERP Integration Highway to get started:

  1. The TMS should leverage a common middleware connector that maps ERP order and item information and automatically creates orders within the technology.
  2. These orders are stored within the TMS in preparation for shipping departments to simply scan or enter the order number into a lookup field to get rates and begin shipping.
  3. Once the order is shipped, the TMS notifies the ERP system and updates the ERP order with shipment details. (Tracking number, cost, carrier, time in transit, GL code, etc…)
  4. Each ERP highway connector includes a configurable trigger function to automatically create orders, status changes or approval processes to tell the TMS to pull the order details. This process allows for a seamless flow of data between the two systems.
  5. Once shipped within the TMS, shipment details are mapped back to the target ERP system for accurate record keeping and visibility for all stakeholders.

Kuebix TMS leverages this methodology to provide shippers a pain-free way to integrate their ERP system directly into the TMS. The ERP Integration Highway is a common integration approach to all ERP systems, meaning the process is smooth and efficient for shippers with any ERP system. To learn more about Kuebix integrations, click here.

Carrier KPI Reporting Scorecards

Tracking KPIs on Carrier Scorecards to Improve Shipper-Carrier Relationships

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are an effective way to measure the performance of your transportation operations, including the performance of your carriers. With transport costs having a direct impact on the bottom line of the business, KPIs are of the utmost importance for managing cost. Plus, shippers can leverage KPIs to strengthen the relationship with their carriers while harnessing greater control over transportation operations and freight spend.

To start, you will need to identify the metrics that are most important for your logistics operation; specifically, the ones that will help you meet your business goals. If your goals are to reduce costs, then you will need to choose KPIs that measure cost-related activities.

Measurements must be easy to understand and well defined. Measurements used in KPIs are not meant to finger point; instead they are designed to encourage appropriate behavior, so should reward productive activities. A consistent open conversation between carriers and shippers can eliminate any surprises.

There are an unlimited number of KPIs to measure your logistics operation and each company should have unique measurements to reach their corporate objectives. Some of these include:

  • ·       On-time arrivals of pickups and deliveries
  • ·       Average loading and unloading times
  • ·       Percentage of shipments that equal the bill of materials
  • ·       Percentage of shipments that arrive in good condition
  • ·       Average transportation cost per miles/volume/weight
  • ·       Average number of deliveries made per driver/truck/route
  • ·       Percentage of shipments using LTL /TL/Parcel
  • ·       Load acceptance rate
  • ·       Carrier rate benchmarking by lane
  • ·       Claims percentage for freight costs
  • ·       Truck turnaround time
  • ·       Planned time in transit vs. actual
  • ·       Length of time between inbound load acceptance and scheduling a pickup appointment

Most importantly, carriers and shippers need to review the numbers, identify opportunities and take corrective actions for any issues that arise. KPIs identify a problem that must be traced back to its root cause to understand how to solve it. The problem could be with the carrier; it could be with the shipper, so the information must be reviewed carefully and analyzed extensively.

Working together, shippers and carriers can collaborate to improve their relationship by using the wide variety of measurements. By leveraging Kuebix TMS’s actionable reports, dashboards and carrier scorecards, shippers gain easy access to their KPIs and can begin this conversation with their partners.

Cloud-Based TMS Kuebix

Why a Cloud-Based TMS is Better

A decade ago, if you wanted a TMS, you had to buy the software and install it within your organization. Today that has changed as more TMSs are moving to the cloud. Transportation management systems (TMS) based in the cloud are being adopted at faster rates than ever before. Industry analyst firm Gartner sees a 15% growth in TMS usage within small- to mid-sized businesses with some vendors reporting more than 20% growth.

So why are cloud-based TMSs growing in popularity?

We can think of 10 good reasons:

  1. Lower Barriers to Entry – Upfront expenditures related to hardware and software are eliminated with a cloud-based TMS allowing businesses of any-size to gain access to the technology. No longer do companies have to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars on installed software. Instead, with a cloud-based TMS, you pay subscription or usage fees.
  2. Enhancements Made Easy – The cloud-based TMS software provider is responsible for upgrades and enhancements to its solution, which includes maintaining the application and ensuring its availability and reliability. Most application upgrades can be easily deployed automatically, eliminating the need for internal IT staff involvement.
  3. Connectivity – Cloud-based computing enables the TMS to connect to a global group of supply chain trading partners. As more and more carriers, shippers and suppliers connect to this network of trading partners, the ability to collaborate and conduct business with more and more companies brings value to the participants. Under a cloud model, the TMS can become a central marketplace where you connect to a variety of supply chain stakeholders.
  4. Flexibility as You Grow – Cloud-based TMS systems offer lots of flexibility, starting with basic features that can be easily upgraded with additional functionality as your business needs change. Start with the ability to rate, book and track shipments, then add other features as needed – from predictive analytics to freight bill audit/payment and more.
  5. Level the Playing Field – Deploying a cloud-based TMS levels the playing field as businesses of any size have access to a larger variety of rates and carriers, allowing your business a greater chance to get better rates.
  6. Software Always Up & Running – Cloud-based TMS vendors deploy their systems across multiple data centers to ensure 24/7/365 operations. So, no matter if there is a widespread power outage or weather-related event, you will have access to the TMS and your data to ensure you can always get your products out the door.
  7. Fastest Route to Implementation – Cloud-based TMS systems are easy to deploy and easy to use with typical start-up within minutes or a few hours. Some systems offer online how-to videos to help new users begin.
  8. Faster ROI – Cloud-based TMS users get a faster return on investment (ROI) because of the low upfront investment and quicker start-up. You’ll be up and running quicker, making smarter decisions on rates and carriers.
  9. Smarter Shipping Decisions – Smarter decisions can be made by your transportation operations team by leveraging actionable reports and dashboards within a TMS housed on the cloud. Every transaction is captured and can be analyzed for improvements in service levels, freight spend, KPIs and more.
  10. Lower Freight Spend – Using a cloud-based TMS will lower your freight spend, reports say between 10 – 20% on average, because you have more choices of modes and access to more carriers and lanes.

A cloud-based transportation management system like Kuebix TMS offers a wide variety of benefits for shippers. Before you take the plunge with a new cloud-based TMS, use this Complete Buyer’s Guide to figure out exactly what your needs are!

Kuebix Global Network Effect

Kuebix and The Network Effect

Following Kuebix’s announcement last week of reaching 10,000 companies using Kuebix TMS, industry analyst Adrian Gonzalez wrote in his newsletter Talking Logistics: “At the time, Kuebix expected tens of thousands of shippers to take advantage of this free technology, building a massive global community where Kuebix can efficiently help the industry match capacity to demand across supply chains. Reaching that critical mass will be a challenge, I said last October, but it’s a challenge worth pursuing if you believe in the power of networks and communities. Well, it appears that Kuebix has met this challenge. The question now is how will the company leverage this growing community to drive ‘network effect’ solutions and value?”

What exactly is the ‘network effect’ Adrian is talking about?

He first wrote about this concept in 2003 when he discussed that “Supply Chain Operating Networks bring together trading partner connectivity with software-as-a-service applications.” Think Facebook or LinkedIn where people or businesses are connected together. The more connections, the better the network. All participants on the network can be connected to each other through the network for improved collaboration and communications. Basically, the more users, the more value the users get from the network.

When users connect to a network, they are empowered to create new value, and as more value is added to the network, users become more valuable. The ‘network effect’ means that participants on the network are more valuable to everyone on the network. Electronically connecting to suppliers, customers, and other supply chain partners enables each business to collaborate and innovate. Fully leveraging these connections allows suppliers to collaborate on forecasts and demand; customers to collaborate on inventory and forecasts; while others can collaborate on shipments and delivery requirements.

Networks are built with technology, but ultimately the network is about people: why they want to connect, how they will connect, when they will connect, and what they want to get from the connection. The ‘network effect’ grows exponentially in value the denser the network becomes. The more trading partners that are connected, the more valuable the network is – provided the connections participate and collaborate with others on the network. The ‘network effect’ is a supply chain game-changer.

With a global logistics network there is an increase of collaborative opportunities as the number of network participants increases. In this time of driver shortage, hours of service regulations, and capacity shortages, shippers are finding it hard to make deliveries. Using a global logistics network, shippers can forecast with their carriers that are connected to the network, who will then translate this into a volume by lane schedule in order to get capacity for shipping their products. The value of a network increases as more companies with shipping needs and an increased number of trucking operators carrying cargo join the network.

The rapid growth of Kuebix’s global shipping community lends credence to the industry’s need for a network where shippers can collaborate with each other, suppliers and carriers. Leveraging the power of a global network unified by the power of technology, freight can be matched to available capacity. This helps to fill empty backhauls, maintain control over demand peaks and reduce freight spend all around. Based on the accelerated adoption of Kuebix TMS within the industry, the ‘network effect’ is proving to drive value for companies wishing to optimize their freight.

Dan Clark Kuebix

Kuebix Founder, Dan Clark, To Speak to Inbound Optimization at Gartner Conference

Next week’s Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference – Move to Mastery: Innovate, Disrupt and Scale the Digital Supply Chain is designed to help supply chain leaders on their critical journey to digitize and transform their supply chains. Kuebix Founder, Dan Clark will be presenting “The Art of Inbound Freight: Process Optimized by Technology,” on Wednesday, May 16 at 12:40 PM – 1:00 PM. The session will dive into how businesses can develop a comprehensive strategy to gain visibility and maximize the management of their inbound freight.

Clark’s discussion will focus on the often-overlooked side of transportation, inbound management, and will contribute to the overall theme and conversation about disruption and innovation in the Digital Supply Chain. Moving to automate processes in transportation operations is the first step to improving efficiencies, and can make managing inbound not only possible, but profitable. During the session, attendees will be taken through the steps needed to optimize their inbound operations.

An inbound logistics program should work in conjunction with suppliers and carriers to determine the most cost-effective shipment method – whether customer pick-up or vendor delivered. With the help of technology, shippers can optimize their routes into the fewest, largest shipments possible while maintaining the high level of service customers require. The program should then enforce a standard routing guide and compliance procedures for suppliers to follow.

With digitization, supply chains gain visibility into promise dates, order statuses and orders in transit to improve scheduling of inbound shipments. For example, an inbound shipment can be scheduled during a specific time slot using a dock scheduling tool. If that order changes or a violation occurs, all parties have visibility to the issue so that the delivery can be modified, and the appropriate party’s behavior addressed.

By streamlining inbound through a collaborative system with suppliers and carriers, shippers can lower costs, increase customer satisfaction and simplify their operation. In addition, shippers can capitalize on analytics for continuous improvement to meet changes in the supply chain head on.

Kuebix TMS will be demonstrated at the Vendor Showcase in Booth 221 at the Gartner Conference. If you’d like to make an appointment for a demonstration and to learn more about how Kuebix can help you optimize your inbound and other transportation operations, click here.

Vaxcel Kuebix Partnership

Vaxcel Strengthens Relationships While Adding Efficiencies

Vaxcel, Manufacturing Industry, Carol Stream, IL – Designs and creates inspired residential lighting and fans that put timeless style, enduring quality and purposeful functionality within reach of every homeowner.


Vaxcel, a national manufacturer and distributor of home lighting and fan solutions, values innovation and knew they wanted an innovative, forward-thinking transportation management system over traditional ones. They found that other TMS vendors were biased towards certain carriers, but Vaxcel wanted to keep their existing carrier relationships intact because they were already well-established and very strong.

Working with Kuebix, Vaxcel was able to not only keep these relationships, but can objectively view all available rates in one place. By viewing their rates side-by-side, they can choose the best carrier for each shipment, driving efficiencies and savings. With Kuebix, Vaxcel reports cutting the time they spend booking shipments roughly in half! They can also manage the entire process online for improved customer service.

Other features from the TMS have lowered transportation spend as well. For example, one carrier used on a specific lane turned out to not be performing up to standard; tenders were adjusted to include other carriers, leading to substantial savings.

Previously, Vaxcel received Bill of Ladings from each carrier’s website, which was very time-consuming and tedious. With Kuebix’s simplified process, BOLs are created in a snap. To Vaxcel, the time savings stands out the most, and getting up and running with their carriers was completed very quickly, with little action needed from the company themselves.

Vaxcel is building a baseline of information to measure their success and to improve strategic decisions about their logistics operation. The company continues to see savings on freight costs and time, while keeping their strategic carriers and customers happy.

To read Vaxcel’s full success story, click here.

Hyperline Cabling Systems

How Hyperline Took Control of their Supply Chain

Hyperline Cabling Systems, Manufacturing Industry, Buford, GA – North American manufacturer of a comprehensive range of cabling products with a footprint stretching across Canada and the United States.


Hyperline Cabling Systems, a company continuously striving to remain up to date with industry standards and ahead of the curve with revolutionary products, was dissatisfied with traditional TMS systems and recognized the need for an intelligent freight solution. In May of 2017, Hyperline partnered with Kuebix TMS, making the Kuebix technology their logistics system of choice for their national distribution center in Buford, GA. Since implementation they have seen tremendous time savings and an increase of productivity in their operations.

Before adopting Kuebix, Hyperline was familiar with other TMS technology, but hadn’t been impressed. Other systems proved to be too complicated and showed obvious biases toward certain carriers. Kuebix on the other hand, shows a side-by-side rate comparison for all connected carriers, proving to be a huge asset for Hyperline. With improved speed of rating and booking, Hyperline’s operations team is able to save time and money while increasing customer satisfaction.

Getting up and running with Kuebix TMS was a simple process and Kuebix’s Customer Success Team continues to be readily available whenever a change such as temporarily turning off a carrier or tweaking a report is needed. This ensure Hyperline can maximize its success with Kuebix.

By leveraging the power of Kuebix TMS, Hyperline has positioned themselves to compete in the changing supply chain climate. They always have the tools they need to make the most efficient booking decisions and previously time-consuming processes from rating to reporting now take a fraction of the time. This increased productivity cannot help but continue to make Hyperline a leader in manufacturing a comprehensive range of cabling systems.

To read Hyperline’s full success story, click here.

ELD Mandate Kuebix

Minimizing the Impact of the ELD Mandate

On April 1st of this year, strict regulation of the electronic logging device (ELD) rule came into effect after a 3-month grace period. The mandate requires the use of an ELD to automatically record a truck’s driving time to more accurately record a driver’s hours of service (HoS). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that the restricted HoS were put into place to combat an increased risk of crashes and chronic health conditions associated with lack of sleep. This mandate however, which is forcing immense changes for the industry, has been met with adversity.

Trucking companies are reporting that some truckers are even going so far as to leave the industry rather than use an ELD. In the past, many drivers were concerned about foul weather, accidents or long detention times because of the potential to miss their next delivery or a desire to return home. Now, any form of unexpected delay could put that driver over his HoS and force him to stop for the night. This eats steadily into productivity and profit margins for drivers being paid by the trip. With the new ELD mandate, there is no way for drivers to omit uncontrollable delays such as Acts of Nature from their logs which could put them over their HoS. In the past, a shipper might have taken a 5-6 hour run, made a delivery, picked up a new load and then returned home. Now, that same driver would have to secure overnight parking to avoid violating the 11-hour daily driving limit. These mandates serve to make the roads safer for all drivers but put additional pressure on an industry already strapped for capacity.

What else is causing the capacity crisis?

•     The economy is requiring more trucks on the road as both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores’ sales continue to be strong

•     Gen-Xers and Millennials are not filling trucking jobs vacated by Boomers at a fast-enough rate

•     Inbound deliveries are often late due to congestion in the yard or at the dock

•     Traffic, weather and accidents on the road result in wasted, otherwise productive, time

The ELD mandate has put a spotlight on the HoS issue for the entire industry. Already facing a capacity crisis, it is more important than ever that shippers maintain total control over their supply chains to ensure deliveries are made on time and any issues are dealt with as soon as they occur. There is very little an individual shipper can do to encourage younger entrants into the job market to become truckers and, of course, nothing should be done to depress the flow of goods within the marketplace. Therefore, a shipper’s only option to effectively combat the capacity crisis is to streamline their own supply chain processes.

What can shippers do to minimize the effects of the ELD mandate?

•     Reduce the number of inbound deliveries entering their facilities through consolidation

•     Speed-up driver turn-around in their yards with dock scheduling and order management tools

•     Communicate effectively on promise dates, notifications and issues as they arise

The ELD mandate is a new part of the shipping industry that will have a big impact on how freight is shipped. In order to comply with the regulations without being negatively impacted by HoS limitations, shippers should leverage the power of transportation technology to improve their operations. With the help of a TMS, a shipper can identify the optimal carriers for their freight and hold those carriers to a high standard of execution. In addition, a TMS can consolidate LTL freight into FTLs whenever possible. Time-slot appointments can be secured by leveraging a dock scheduling solution, reducing driver waiting times. These improvements and many others can reduce the number of trucks on the road, saving money and speeding-up yard flow. Once a more streamlined operation is established, shippers can rest assured that their drivers will be set up for success.

Learn more about Kuebix’s Dock Scheduler, Order and Route Optimizer, and other Premier Applications that help shippers become more efficient and minimize the impact of the ELD mandate.

Kuebix Earth Day Sustainability

Meet Sustainability Goals with the Help of a TMS

U.S. Senator Gaylord Wilson, from Wisconsin, witnessed the effects of a massive oil spill along the California coast in 1969, motivating him to bring attention to the environment. He established the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. It was wildly popular, sparking national interest, so popular that Congress established the US Environmental Protection Agency and passed the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act that same year.

Since Earth Day began, it has expanded globally to over 192 countries – all working together to raise awareness for sustainability and protection of the Earth. The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day will take place two years from now on April 22, 2020. Click this link to be a part of the Earth Day Network’s mission to broaden, diversify, and mobilize the international environmental movement.

Logistics is at the heart of the U.S. economy, without shipping our country would come to a standstill. The majority of American businesses rely heavily on an enormous amount of diesel fuel each year. According to the ATA (American Trucking Associations)

Fuel Consumption –

·     3 billion gallons of fuel consumed by those trucks used for business purposes in 2016

          ·     8 billion gallons of diesel fuel

          ·     5 billion gallons of gasoline

·     The trucking industry spent $105.2 billion buying diesel fuel in 2015

·     Diesel fuel is often the second highest expense for motor carriers after labor and can be as much as 20% of total operating costs.

Not only is fuel an expensive commodity for companies to purchase, it also has huge implications for the environment. Shippers can have a real impact on CO2 emissions by reducing the amount of fuel they consume. One of the easiest ways for companies to achieve this is to ensure that their trucks are always as full as possible, and their delivery routes are optimized.

Kuebix is helping shippers meet their sustainability goals by facilitating the consolidation of LTL shipments into FTLs when possible. SupplierMAX, Kuebix’s program for streamlining inbound operations, helps shippers standardize a set of carriers to enable loads to be consolidated as a regular practice. An excessive number of inbound deliveries leads to higher emissions, greater idling times and increased unloading costs. Fewer trucks on the road means a decrease in fuel consumption and overall lower costs. It’s a win for suppliers, shippers and the environment!

Shippers can do their part to improve air quality by reducing the number of trucks they have on the road. A robust transportation management system like Kuebix TMS helps to facilitate the creation of an optimized transportation strategy. To honor Earth Day 2018, any shipper can begin to meet their sustainability goals by improving their supply chain efficiency with the help of Kuebix TMS.

Team process visibility

Driving Collaboration Through Visibility

According to Supply Chain Insights, supply chain visibility comes in as one of the top “elements of business pain in supply chain.” Why is visibility within the supply chain such a big challenge?

First, there are many players involved, from suppliers to producers, manufacturers, shippers, carriers and end customers. Next, add more complexities to the mix: globalization, customer expectations, volatile demand and mounting regulations. These factors create a messy and complicated environment for supply chain professionals trying to see what is happening up and down their entire network of stakeholders.

What is needed is end-to-end supply chain visibility.

To facilitate visibility, all stakeholders need to use a common platform that allows them to plan their moves, receive alerts to changes as they occur, see every status update made, and make real time adjustments to keep the supply chain moving smoothly and the customer happy. By sharing a single common system, suppliers can plan inventory levels more effectively to offer better customer service. Carriers can move shipments in and out more efficiently, making their operations more cost effective and the customer can improve the management of their inbound operations and warehouse.

What is this common platform?

It is a cloud-based collaborative portal, like that offered by Kuebix TMS, that can be accessed by all stakeholders from any device and from any location. This single platform serves as a dynamic record of truth for all the changes that occur across the supply chain, keeping the delivery of goods moving efficiently.

First, a purchase order is made.  Suppliers look at the portal and plan production and inventory schedules to meet customer demand. Suppliers will notify their customers through the collaboration portal which deliveries they can make on time and which need to be back-ordered due to low stock.

When suppliers commit to a promise date, customers can look at the portal to plan their business based on delivery dates. If the customer has chosen to pick up the order using their own carrier, the supplier can print shipping labels for those orders directly from the portal. Because every stakeholder is referencing the same information via a collaborative portal, they have immediate access to everything they need to make informed decisions and plan their supply chain.

Carriers can provide updates on the status of their deliveries through the collaboration portal as well. If carriers are using electronic logging devices (ELDs), customers and suppliers can visibly track the real-time status of their delivery. Dock scheduling solutions like Kuebix’s allow carriers to see open time slots and locations at the dock, empowering carriers to reserve an appropriate time for delivery so they are not left idling in the yard.

Part of the backbone of visibility and collaboration is a set of rules and procedures that suppliers and carriers need to follow. These procedures on yard, safety, consolidations, etc. promote proper supplier and carrier behavior and ensure the most efficient operation. Any violations which occur are shown in the portal, so all parties know the status of issues and can work together to address them. This provides a heightened level of visibility and accountability for all stakeholders.

Kuebix TMS provides supply chain professionals the visibility they need to maximize efficiencies, minimize costs and improve customer service. Working together via a collaboration portal is a win-win-win for suppliers, carriers and shippers.

Other inbound logistics management best practices to improve visibility can be found in The Art of the Inbound.