What is a Transportation Management System TMS?

What is a Transportation Management System (TMS)?

The term ‘Transportation Management System’ or TMS has become more common in the supply chain industry as companies turn to technology to stay competitive in a changing marketplace. Technology has revolutionized everything from how we watch TV, to how we buy our groceries, and even how we meet each other. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that a key component of the American economy (the movement of goods, materials and other freight) would eventually turn to technology to keep pace. Transportation management systems are the logical next step. Now, companies of all sizes are researching transportation management systems to learn more about how technology can save them money, streamline logistics operations and improve customer satisfaction.

But What Exactly is A Transportation Management System or TMS?

Definition – According to Gartner, an analyst firm providing companies with insight, advice and tools to evaluate technology:

“A TMS (transportation management system) is used to plan freight movements, do freight rating and shopping across all modes, select the appropriate route and carrier, and manage freight bills and payments.”

Simply put, a TMS is a system that companies can use to digitally manage their freight operations instead of calling and emailing internal and external partners. Transportation management systems often sit between a company’s ERP system and a warehouse management system (WMS) and connect the two for increased supply chain efficiency. Orders flowing between these systems create continuity and speed up the time from customer order to final delivery.

At their core, most transportation management systems have rating, booking and tracking functionality. Others have advanced reporting and dashboards, freight pay and audit, and other modular features that can be added as needed. Transportation management systems come in all shapes and sizes, so it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some of the potential benefits companies can gain by implementing a TMS:

  •      •     Save money and grow your bottom-line
  •      •     Save time and repurpose labor to value-added projects instead of “firefighting”
  •      •     Improve customer satisfaction
  •      •     Get insight into your operations to make strategic changes
  •      •     Simplify collaboration with supply chain stakeholders
  •      •     Grow your business!

Step-by-Step Guide on What You Need to Know About Transportation Management Systems (TMS)

Types of Transportation Management Software – Transportation management systems have been around since the 1980s, but they’ve come a long way from the clunky, monolithic machines of the past. Now there are many varieties which cater to companies from every industry and of any size. Some TMSs focus on small – to – medium-sized businesses (SMB) and only offer very basic functionality including rating and booking. Many TMSs that cater to a smaller market don’t offer customization or advanced features like reporting and analytics or integrations. Instead, they focus on being low total cost to own (TCO).

Other TMSs focus on the high end of the market and cater to enterprise-size companies. These TMSs often only have a few customers and their price-points make it nearly impossible for smaller companies to benefit from them. According to Adrian Gonzalez, President of Adelante SCM, “In the case of shippers, large enterprises (over $1 billion in revenues) were the early adopters of transportation management systems (TMS), due in large part to the high cost of buying and implementing on-premise applications (typically over $1 million).”

Kuebix IntegrationsEnterprise-class TMSs usually offer advanced functionality like integrations, freight pay and audit, order and route optimization, and many other features. Unfortunately, most of these legacy systems come as a complete (and pricey) set, leaving companies who don’t need certain features with a bill for the technology they won’t use.

The solution to this is to find a TMS that will expand and contract along-side your business so that you always have the features you need and aren’t paying for the ones you don’t. It’s important to realize that not all companies operate in the same way, and a scalable transportation management does just that. Transportation management systems like Kuebix TMS are built to serve companies of all sizes and needs.

Kuebix Free Shipper was the industry’s first truly free TMS and has removed all barriers to entry to SMB customers looking for rating, booking and tracking functionality. Companies looking for financial management, advanced analytics and other premium features can upgrade to Kuebix Business Pro and Kuebix Enterprise and then seamlessly add additional features.

What’s the Difference Between Cloud-based / SaaS, and On-Premise TMS?

Besides being geared toward specific audiences, transportation management systems are housed and accessed in two different ways. The traditional way which many early adopters of transportation technology used was on-premise software.

On-premise software is installed and run directly on local computers. This requires a representative from the TMS provider to physically install the TMS “on-premise” at the user’s headquarters so that the company can gain access to it. This can cause difficulties whenever a problem arises or a new version needs to be updated, not to mention the customer’s inability to take their TMS on the road with them.

Cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) TMS are becoming strongly preferred over on-premise software. They are much more agile and easier to install, maintain, and upgrade, leading to a faster return on investment (ROI) and less hassle.Cloud-based platforms create an opportunity for next-level collaboration across supply chains. With software that is housed on the “cloud” (online), users can access it from anywhere, even from mobile devices, and aren’t constrained to “the four walls” of their office building.

Most cloud-based transportation management systems are sold as software-as-a-service (SaaS). This means that users subscribe to the technology on a monthly or annual basis instead of purchasing the technology outright. Not only is this more cost-effective, it also means that users are always on the most recent version of the software.

What is the Core Functionality of a Transportation Management System (TMS)?

As mentioned above, most transportation management systems provide these three core features:

  1. Rating: Any logistics professional with a TMS can easily find rates for their customers’ orders and book those orders for delivery.
  2. Booking: Instead of needing to call individual carriers or visit each carrier’s website, the user can simply access the TMS to see all of their negotiated rates laid out side-by-side. Picking the rate with the best price and service level is both faster and easier!
  3. Tracking: Transportation management systems provide detailed tracking information on shipments all the way from the warehouse to their final destination.

Together, these features unlock potential for improved operational efficiencies and increased visibility throughout the supply chain.

Common Transportation Management System (TMS) Upgrades

Though most TMSs provide the standard rating, booking and tracking, other more advanced TMSs also offer additional features. These can sometimes be added on in a modular fashion so that the user only pays for what they need, or may come as a package deal with the TMS. Here are some of the common capabilities of more advanced transportation management systems:

  •      •     Freight Pay and Audit – This feature helps companies automatically audit each carrier invoice. TMSs like Kuebix indicate which bills are within the predetermined threshold and can be paid and calls-out others which do not fall within the limit. This makes it much faster for financial teams to pay carriers and helps them avoid overpaying on accident.
  •      •     Order Integrations – An integration between the TMS and an ERP or a financial system like NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, or QuickBooks can vastly improve the speed and accuracy of booking. Order information flows directly from the ERP system and automatically populates within the TMS so that users never need to re-key information. This eliminates user-error which can lead to endless firefighting and incorrect deliveries.
  •      •     Order and Route Optimization – Some TMSs offer load and route consolidation and optimization through algorithms within their technology. The system can suggest the most efficient and cost-effective method of shipping a group of orders and the user can book the load quickly and easily.
  •      •     Reports and Dashboards – Analytics are a major draw for many companies interested in improving their logistics processes. Actionable reports and dashboards let users understand every detail of their freight spend and make strategic decisions on the basis of data. They can be used to evaluate carrier KPIs, total freight spend by item, and to provide insight to leadership.

Order and Route Optimization Infographic What is a Transportation Management System TMS?

How Can a Transportation Management System (TMS) Software Save Me Money on Freight Spend?

Compare Rates: Transportation management systems let users automatically access all their negotiated carrier rates side-by-side for easy viewing and comparing. TMS users save time by no longer switching between individual carrier websites but instead have all their tariff information contained in one, user-friendly screen. Often, logistics professionals don’t have time to check the rate with every carrier, so inevitably end up missing out on quality rates. With a TMS users can choose the most attractive rate out of all their carriers for each shipment, saving them money on every load.

Pay Bills Correctly: Invoice audit is another way many companies use a TMS to save on total freight spend. Often, accidental or incorrect charges can be added to a shipment. Things like lift-gate fees and incorrect detention charges can increase the final amount on an invoice. These miscellaneous accessorial fees are easy to overlook when manually auditing invoices and are often even intentionally ignored because they waste too much time to rectify. These fees add up quickly, however, so having a system to automatically audit every carrier invoice can save huge amounts each year.

Understand Freight Spend: With a TMS that isn’t tied to a certain carrier or 3PL, users can access all of their rates side-by-side in an unbiased way. And with the addition or reports and analytics, users know exactly how well each carrier is performing on each lane. With this knowledge and understanding of the market rate, TMS users are positioned to negotiate for better rates and service levels with their partner carriers. This saves money overall and helps to improve relationships and customer service all at once.

Gain Visibility: Shippers leveraging a TMS like Kuebix also gain benefits from improved visibility to their supply chain operations.  All stakeholders can use the common platform 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.

Optimization: For companies with large or complex supply chains, features like order and route optimization can also save significant money. This is because manually building the perfect load is a challenge, and more often than not too time-consuming to bother with. There are countless factors a logistics professional needs to take into consideration such as delivery date, location, class, weight and size. Weighing all of these factors without the help of technology usually results in missed opportunities and wasted resources. Instead of pouring through spreadsheets and manually grouping orders onto a single truck, Load Builders and Optimizers can be leveraged to help logistics teams build and optimize the perfect load every time to save significant money.

Click here to see how one company saved $2.2 million dollars in cost-avoidance within one year by leveraging a TMS!

Will a TMS Save Me Time?

Many people are concerned that a TMS won’t actually save them time because they’ve been doing their job for years and know how to do it like the back of their hand. While “tribal” knowledge and relationships gained over a career aren’t easily replaced, a TMS can speed up even the most seasoned logistics professional. Instead of managing an inbox and voicemail of hundreds of loads, every load and stop on a route is tracked in one place. Spreadsheets are no longer required to transfer order information back and forth and users can spend more of their valuable time working on strategic projects instead of troubleshooting errors.

Many transportation management systems can be implemented within a matter of days or weeks. The cloud-based nature of the platform makes online updates and troubleshooting significantly easier for users. Simplified installation and upkeep leads to significant and long-term time and money savings.

From shippers with only a few loads a week to enterprises with hundreds of complex orders to sort through each day, leveraging technology can save countless hours. ERP integrations to automatically flow order information back and forth between systems not only improves accuracy but also makes the process of rating and booking much faster. Auditing and optimization features remove previously tedious processes and result in a faster speed from order to delivery. A few minutes saved per order adds up quickly no matter what size company is doing the shipping.

Inmod Furniture Case Study

Not all transportation management systems (TMS’s) are created equal. Make sure to be aware of these common TMS challenges and if you’re thinking of implementing a TMS within your organization:

  •      •     Not every TMS supports all modes of transportation

What to ask: Ask the TMS provider what modes of transportation they do support and whether support is included in all of their purchase levels. Find out if they support full truckload (FTL), less-than-load (LTL), ground freight, air, intermodal, and ocean.

  •      •     The technology wasn’t built on the cloud

What to ask: Find out whether the technology is/ has always been housed on the cloud. If it hasn’t been, make sure that customer reviews reflect the provider’s ability to support a cloud-based technology. Many legacy transportation management systems have not had smooth transitions to a SaaS cloud-based model.

  •      •     Biased in favor of one carrier or 3PL

What to ask: Ask whether the technology is owned by a carrier or 3PL. If it is, determine whether you will be able to add all of your negotiated carrier rates to be viewed side-by-side in the technology. Many TMSs owned by a carrier or 3PL have preferred rates which could detract from your savings. Remember, a TMS should give you an agnostic way to find the best carrier rates.

  •      •     Bad customer reviews

What to ask: Ask to see some customer references before deciding on a TMS. If the TMS provider cannot show you any customer case studies or videos, that should be a red flag. Check out technology review sites like Capterra and Gartner Peer Insights for unbiased reviews from real customers.

TMS’s Can Be Integrated with Users’ ERP Systems

Most transportation management systems (TMS) have several out of the box ERP integrations but can also customize an integration for any ERP system capable of sending and consuming data. Shippers can seamlessly integrate with some of the most popular ERP systems including NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics.

ERP integrations are commonly added to a TMS like Kuebix to increase efficiencies for shippers and drive cost savings. These integrations allow information like product and order details to flow automatically from an ERP or ordering system directly into TMS software and vice versa. This means that users don’t need to waste their time rekeying data between different systems and removes the risk of human error.

So, what is a Transportation Management System?

A TMS is a tool that any size company can use to improve the efficiency of their shipping processes. TMSs like Kuebix TMS help companies capitalize on supply chain opportunities through visibility, control and the use of predictive analytics. Kuebix TMS allows all supply chain stakeholders to collaborate on a single platform. Actionable analytics and detailed tracking information help to improve customer service. And since Kuebix is built on the latest cloud technology, it can be implemented quickly so that any company can begin seeing rapid ROI.

In conclusion, to learn about Kuebix TMS visit here.

Thank A Trucker Blog Post Kuebix

Trucking Companies Continue Service During Covid-19 – #ThankATrucker

Truck drivers perform an essential service to our country with every trip they take, especially during times of crisis like what’s happening now. It’s paramount that we take a moment to #ThankATrucker for everything they do to keep our country and economy on its feet during Covid-19.

Trucking is the Backbone of the U.S. Economy

There are an estimated 3.5 million professional truck drivers populating the roads and delivering 71.4% of the country’s total freight tonnage. They are responsible for the consistent flow of food, water, medical supplies and other necessities in stores worldwide. More than 80% of communities in the United States depend on truck drivers to deliver all of their goods. Their job demands an extensive number of hours on the road, time away from family and trading in home-cooked meals for whatever fast food is available at rest stops. Being a truck driver is a serious commitment and every sacrifice they make ensures life continues normally for the rest of the country.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has shifted the spotlight onto these hardworking individuals as supply chains throughout the country are struggling to adjust. Losses for U.S. retailers from production and transportation shortages from March 9 to April 20 are estimated to amount to $700 million. Businesses of all sizes that have been deemed non-essential have halted in-store operations entirely while manufacturers of household products like toilet paper and disinfectant wipes are experiencing a next-level increase in demand.

How Trucking Companies are Going Above and Beyond to Handle the Crisis

 Estes Express Lines

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a partnership with Estes Express Lines to ship 56,000 meals to food banks throughout the state. Estes has also teamed up with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to aid in the distribution of personal protective equipment to hospitals and first responders.

 Paper Transport Inc.

Truckload carrier Paper Transport, Inc. announced a minimum charitable pledge of $100,000 to the support of Covid-19 victims with hopes of either doubling or tripling it over the next month. With news of how the virus has affected communities and schools continuing to spread, the ownership team at Paper Transport decided to pledge to donate half of their profits during the month of April.

J.B. Hunt Transport

Trucking company J.B. Hunt is providing a one-time $500 bonus for its drivers and personnel at field operations and customer facilities as a result of their hard work and dedication. CEO John Roberts said “All of our employees have gone above and beyond the call to action during this crisis. They have kept pace with the evolving supply chain needs of our customers in the face of great uncertainty.”

UPS

UPS is working directly with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to distribute N95 masks and gloves for healthcare workers. FEMA will utilize UPS’s air hub in Louisville, Kentucky to stage shipments from overseas. CEO David Abney stated that “UPS Healthcare has the expertise and experience to move vital, life-saving medicines, medical devices, diagnostic specimens and supplies everywhere they are needed.” UPS is also working with LestGetChecked, Henry Schein and Pharmatech.

Tyson Foods

Earlier this week, Tyson Foods announced that they will be giving the 116,000 truck drivers and frontline workers responsible for keeping their food distribution running smoothly a $500 bonus. Tyson also changed part of their meat production to instead focus on retail packaging to adjust to the heightened demand for frozen goods. “Our team members are leading the charge to continue providing food to the nation. The bonuses are another way we can say ‘thank you’ for their efforts,” said CEO Noel White.

How Kuebix is Helping Shippers Keep Their Supply Chains Moving

Kuebix understands the importance of keeping supply chains moving in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. To help companies battle through Covid-19, Kuebix is offering 60-days free of our award-winning Kuebix Business Pro TMS. Our cloud-based TMS technology can help shippers expand capacity and effectively manage their supply chains remotely.

Dan Clark Kuebix

Kuebix VP of Product Innovation & Strategy Recognized as Supply Chain Pro to Know

Kuebix’s VP of Product Innovation and Strategy, Dan Clark, has been selected as a 2020 Supply Chain Executive Pros to Know by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine. Dan was chosen for his extensive knowledge of the logistics industry developed from over 20 years of hands-on experience, combined with his remarkable expertise in creating supply chain efficiencies via SaaS technology.

Dan Clark is a logistics industry innovator. He possesses extensive experience gained from years of working with leading freight carriers and multibillion-dollar companies with highly sophisticated supply chains. Dan continues to deliver on his original vision of using best-of-breed cloud technologies to create an innovative and intelligent transportation system that returns control and visibility to freight shippers at companies of all sizes.

“Dan’s vision enables transparency between all logistics stakeholders resulting in unprecedented collaboration and efficiencies,” says Dave Lemont, VP and General Manager of Kuebix. “By using a TMS for the masses, companies can manage their supply chains efficiently while leveraging a digital freight marketplace that delivers access to much-needed capacity.”

The Pros to Know Awards recognize supply chain executives, and manufacturing and non-manufacturing enterprises, that are leading initiatives to help prepare their companies’ supply chains for the significant challenges of today’s business climate. This year’s list includes more than 200 individuals from software firms and service providers, consultancies or academia, who helped their supply chain clients or the supply chain community at large prepare to meet these challenges.

“The supply chain profession is the most exciting it’s ever been. With cutting-edge technologies designed to help the industry run smoother, easier and safer, coupled with professionals leading the charge for change, innovation and sustainability, it’s an exciting time to be in the supply chain industry,” says Marina Mayer, editor-in-chief of Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “These Pros to Know are the best of the best in their industry, and I look forward to seeing how they continue to revolutionize today’s—and tomorrow’s—supply chains.”

Kuebix’s innovative platform allows shippers, carriers and intermediaries to leverage the same powerful TMS platform. Shippers gain complete access to available capacity and competitive pricing, while brokers are exposed to new business opportunities and gain superior asset utilization. This unprecedented level of collaboration enables new levels of visibility and efficiency for all logistics stakeholders.

Covid-19 Transportation Supply Chain Digital Cloud-Based Technology Collaboration

Keeping Supply Chains Moving During Covid-19 Requires Digital Collaboration and Access to Capacity

As the crisis from the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the complex workings of the United States’ supply chain have been thrust into the general public’s view. There are shortages of toilet paper, food items, and over the counter medications just to name a few. Lockdowns of communities, counties, and states are causing backups and decreased available freight capacity. Workers are moving to remote work setups and need to find new ways to collaborate and to efficiently manage logistics operations from anywhere. One thing’s for certain, however, logistics and supply chain companies remain the backbone of the U.S. economy and way of life.

So, how do supply chains continue to function smoothly during such an unprecedented and unplanned-for crisis? 

Supply Chain Challenges During Covid-19

Unlike with a hurricane or other natural disaster, Covid-19 comes with a number of unforeseen challenges. For example, staple products like flour and beans are flying off of shelves while more specialty items see a complete halt in sales. Forecasters can use historical data to plan for the response needed to a natural disaster. With Covid-19, the supply chain’s ‘symptoms’ are completely unforecast, leaving manufacturers and distributors either with excess inventory or un-meetable demand.

Not only are demand forecasts completely unreliable, but there is added confusion as most companies switch to remote-working models. Instead of coming into the office to manage shipping, teams must connect over the internet to manage freight operations. Without a technological framework in place, many teams may be left struggling to stay afloat.

This shake-up of standard shipping procedures has also resulted in disruptions in lanes and carrier availability. In an effort to provide some relief to companies shipping essential goods, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on March 18th issued an expanded national emergency declaration that provides hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers. Commenting on this dramatic change, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao said, “The nation’s truck drivers are on the front lines of this effort and are critical to America’s supply chain.

According to a new report from Gartner, ¹How Digitized Freight Platforms and Other Transportation Technologies Can Help With Current Domestic Transportation Capacity Challenges, “As capacity decreases, shippers are confronted with increasing volumes of tender rejections and increasing rates.” Volatility in capacity and pricing is expected to continue even after the worst of the pandemic passes. Price gouging will also likely become a wider-spread issue as some entities see an opportunity to make extra cash during the crisis.

In order to ‘weather the storm’ and emerge on the other side set up for success, shipping companies should be turning to technology now to connect with additional truck capacity and collaborate with supply chain stakeholders working remotely. 

Leveraging Cloud-Based Technology for Collaboration

For many companies, day-to-day collaboration takes the form of email, phone calls and shared Excel sheets to manage freight. Cloud-based transportation management systems like Kuebix TMS have changed that narrative. Now, with the help of technology, every supply chain stakeholder from the logistics department, AR/AP, sales and customer service can collaborate in a single system and work off of the same transportation information. In addition to internal collaboration, teams can digitally access their carrier connections to quote and tender freight without ever picking up the phone.

As remote work becomes the standard for companies across the country amid the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that organizations move their logistics operations to the cloud to improve collaboration. By leveraging a cloud-based TMS like Kuebix TMS, teams can work off of the same set of information, maintain historical data for analysis and digitally connect with carriers for rating, booking, tracking and managing freight.

Connecting with Digitized Freight Platforms to Find Additional Capacity

Even finding real-time capacity and pricing for domestic freight may seem like a challenge right now, especially for companies relying on the same small set of carrier partners during this crisis. In order to get set up with the best chance of covering every load optimally, shippers need to ‘build their bench’ of carriers. With a wider selection of carrier partners to choose from, the likelihood of optimally covering every load increases dramatically.

The best way for shippers to quickly and easily build their bench is to connect digitally with a vast network of carriers. Instead of negotiating every spot quote in a piecemeal fashion, shippers can instead turn to their connected community to request bids en-masse and tender freight. From here, shippers can build direct relationships with carriers in the network and negotiate new contracted carrier rates as needed.

Kuebix Community Load Match is a platform that allows any Kuebix TMS user to quickly connect to a vast ecosystem of dedicated truckload carriers, brokers, freight marketplaces and direct carrier assets. The platform enables shippers to request and compare spot rates  from their carriers and the Kuebix community with the touch of a button, while retaining control of their freight by choosing the carrier or broker directly. Users’ job is simplified by tendering all shipments using one system for spot quoting as well as booking with regularly negotiated carrier rates. Instead of switching between carrier websites or hammering the phone, shippers can instead view all of their bids in a single place to choose the best one for their freight.

By connecting digitally with a platform like Kuebix Community Load Match, shippers can quickly build their bench of carriers and get prepared for the inevitable surges in demand for capacity arising from this crisis.

How Kuebix is Helping Shippers During Covid-19

At Kuebix, a Trimble company, we know that keeping the supply chain moving matters more now than ever as businesses battle through the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s why we are offering 60-days free of our award-winning Kuebix Business Pro TMS to help companies during Covid-19. As many of us switch to remote operations, cloud-based TMS technology like Kuebix can help shippers collaborate within their supply chains and gain access to the carriers and capacity they need.


¹Gartner, How Digitized Freight Platforms and Other Transportation Technologies Can Help With Current Domestic Transportation Capacity Challenges, 2 April 2020

Kuebix Gartner Magic Quadrant Challenger 2020

Kuebix Positioned as a Challenger in the Latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems

Kuebix, a leading transportation management system (TMS) provider and creator of one of North America’s largest connected shipping communities, has been recognized as a Challenger in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems. Kuebix is a Trimble Company.

“Our velocity in the marketplace continues with 24,000 customers and growing as a result of our superior user experience, rapid implementations, and innovative technology,” said Dan Clark, Vice President of Product Innovation & Strategy at Kuebix. “We are excited to be recognized as a Challenger and believe that Kuebix’s positioning in the Challengers Quadrant validates our leadership, vision, and ability to continuously deliver value to our customers.”

Kuebix TMS can be implemented more quickly than more traditional monolithic software. Kuebix is a modular cloud-based solution that allows small to medium-sized companies up to the largest enterprises to select features and integrations to configure the ideal TMS for their business. In January 2020, Kuebix was acquired by Trimble, bringing Trimble’s network of 1.3 million commercial trucks together with Kuebix’s extensive shipping community, which will create unprecedented opportunities for freight demand-capacity matching and other efficiencies.

“Combining Kuebix’s innovative TMS and growing shipping community with Trimble’s strength and scale will allow us to accelerate the innovation we are delivering to the marketplace,” said James Langley, Senior Vice President, Trimble Transportation. “This combination also positions us to provide maximum transportation efficiency to all of our customers.”

According to the Gartner research, “By 2022, spend on TMS applications will be $1.94 billion, accounting for 31% of the $6.2 billion supply chain execution (SCE) market. This growth will be driven by the replacement of on-premises software with SaaS applications.”

To learn more about today’s TMS marketplace, download a complimentary copy of the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems.


Source: Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems, Bart De Muynck, Brock Johns, Oscar Sanchez Duran, 25 March 2020.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

robots shaping the future of warehouse operations

Robots are Shaping the Future of Warehouse Operations

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and robotics have all become hot topics when it comes to the future of the supply chain. Advanced robotics are already being utilized in warehouses around the world. As robots continue to prove themselves through real-life applications, this field of technology is on course to solidify its presence in warehousing. Here are some examples of companies changing the landscape of supply chain focused robotics.

Companies Shaping the Future of Robotics in Supply Chain

Amazon Robotics

One of the biggest examples of success with robotics in the supply chains is e-commerce leader Amazon. Their Amazon Robotics program utilizes two different forms of robotics that specialize in picking and packing: collaborative systems and non-collaborative systems. Non-collaborative is more prominent within warehouses because it allows employees to stay in place while robots move goods around the warehouse. This method doesn’t require physical interaction between warehouse workers and advanced technology. 

Amazon’s robots carry shelves of products around a chain-link cage using QR codes on the floor for navigation. The shelves are then loaded and unloaded based on order demand by warehouse employees. Amazon’s robots increase fulfillment speed, picking accuracy and make employee tasks less repetitive and sedentary. 

Fetch Robotics

Fetch Robotics has come up with a more independent application of robotics in the warehouse to replace forklifts. They have created freight robots including the automated version of Freight 1,500 (coming later in 2020) and CartConnect500 that can pick up items from one place and move them to another without any human interaction. 

Both of these models have attachable, industrial-grade carts that can carry a variety of containers to improve efficiency and organization. CartConnect500 can transport up to 1,100 pounds while the fully autonomous version of Freight 1,500 will be able to hold 3,300 pounds. The CartConnect500 and other freight-focused robots aim to automate repetitive processes and enable warehouses to operate efficiently with fewer employees doing manual tasks. 


Robots promise to provide increased productivity in warehouses around the world. As new models of non-collaborative and collaborative robotics are integrated into the workplace, it will be interesting to see how they join forces with humans! 

 

Women's History Month Supply Chain Transportation Truck 2

Women’s History Month: Spotlight on Women in Supply Chain and Transportation

Each year, Women’s History Month is celebrated in March to honor women who have made waves in their various spaces. It’s a time to reflect on women’s contributions to culture, history, and society as a whole. Influential and impactful women are prevalent, though sometimes overlooked. In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th and Women’s History Month, we’re shining a spotlight on three women whose contribution to supply chain and transportation should be remembered.

1928

Lillie Elizabeth McGee Drennan

The First Licensed Female Truck Driver & Trucking Firm Owner

Lillie Elizabeth McGee Drennan was born in Galveston, Texas in 1897. As a young woman, she lost most of her hearing as a result of scarlet fever and would be forced to wear hearing aids for much of her adult life. Despite this adversity, Drennan started the Drennan Truck Line with her husband in 1928.

To grow the business, Drennan began driving her own truck. Her hard work was rewarded with success and the Drennan Truck Lines continued to grow into a thriving business with multiple drivers and trucks. However, in 1929, Drennan and her husband divorced, leaving her as the sole owner of the trucking company.

The industry that she had worked so hard to be a part of suddenly became a much less accommodating place without her husband. She struggled to obtain a driver’s license from the Railroad Commission in charge of regulating motor-freight at the time, allegedly because of her hearing loss, though Drennan believed it to be related to her gender. After challenging the commission to find a man with a cleaner safety record than hers, the Railroad Commission relented and Drennan was awarded a license. For the following 24 years, Drennan was an accident-free driver and owner of an expanding trucking company.

Despite discrimination because of her gender and disability, Lillie Drennan is remembered as a pioneer for women who want to work in industries traditionally dominated by men.

More About Lillie Drennan

During World War II, the army praised Drennan for her help in recruiting women drivers to the war effort. She was known to wear khaki pants, work boots, and a ten-gallon hat. Her constant companion was her loaded revolver and she was well known for cursing. When criticized for her language, she was known to reply, “Me and God have an understanding.”

Lillie Drennan Truck Driver Women's History Month

Lillie Drennan - Women's History Month Truck Driver

1973

Edwina Justus

The First Black Woman Train Engineer Working for the Union Pacific Railroad

Edwina Justus was a trailblazer for women, especially women of color, who want to enter traditionally male-dominated fields. In the 1970s, Justus didn’t let the fact that she was a black woman stop her from pursuing her dreams. After meeting up with a friend who worked for the railway, Justus decided there was no reason she couldn’t work there too and asked, Why don’t you see if you can get me on?”

In 1973, Justus became a traction motor clerk with the job of monitoring when traction motors were pulled out of trains. She didn’t know exactly what this was and decided to see for herself. Despite being dressed fashionably in a skirt and heels, Justus continued to learn about how the yard worked and her unerring curiosity and desire for knowledge led her to apply for a position there.

Justus gained the position of yard hostler. For three years she moved cars in the yard to be repaired, cleaned and picked back up when ready to go. Quickly gaining experience, she was appointed as a full railroad engineer by Union Pacific working out of North Platte, Nebraska. North Platte, at the time, was Union Pacific’s largest railroad operation in the U.S.A.

Though rapidly gaining experience in her new profession, Justus faced the discrimination many black women did when working in predominantly white, male-dominated industries in the 1970s. When asked whether her co-workers had positive attitudes about her appointment, she recalls, “Oh, hell no! Guys didn’t want to work with me… One old guy tried to kiss me. Don’t forget my age; I was 33.”

Now, 22 years since her retirement in 1998, Justus is a symbol of perseverance for many who desire to break into professions they wouldn’t commonly “fit the mold” for. Her story is part of the exhibit, Move Over, Sir!: Women Working on the Railroad, which is on exhibition at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Edwina Justus - Women's History Month Transportation RailroadEdwina Justus

Current

Melonee Wise

CEO and Co-Founder of Fetch Robotics

Melonee Wise is one of few women to found and manage their own robotics company. Growing up, Wise demonstrated her interest in robotics by building her very own plotter out of Lego blocks. Plotters are printers that use automated pens to make line drawings by making continuous lines. Her passion for robotics brought her to the University of Illinois where she studied mechanical engineering and developed a well-earned reputation for research in different fields.

After college, Wise held a number of internship positions before becoming a Manager for Robot Development at Willow Garage, a research lab specializing in both hardware and software creation for robots. Following her tenure at Willow Garage, Wise co-founded the company Unbounded Robotics and then went on to co-found Fetch Robotics, the company she currently oversees. Now with over 19 years’ experience designing, building, and programming robotic hardware, Wise is the CEO of her company.

As the CEO of Fetch Robotics, Wise is now taking the autonomous warehousing industry by storm. On Monday, March 9th at the Modex 2020 trade show, she is expected to debut her new Freight 500 robot, a replacement for a manual forklift which can transport up to 1,000 pounds of product. It’s anticipated that her team’s fully autonomous version of the Freight 1,500, which is in development, will launch later in 2020.

Automated warehouses are anticipated to completely revolutionize the supply chain in the next decade. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that Wise has already been the recipient of a number of prestigious recognitions. These include the 2015 MIT Technology Review’s TR35 award for technology innovators under the age of 35, Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Women of Influence and 40 Under 40 lists, and Business Insider named Wise as one of eight CEOs changing the way we work.

 Melonee Wise - Fetch Robotics FreightMelonee Wise - Fetch Robotics Freight


For the first time Gartner, in partnership with AWESOME, reports that “there have been increases in women represented across the pipeline for the first time, with an 8% jump at the VP level.” This gain in representation in leadership positions is due in part to the legacy of other female supply chain and transportation influencers like Lillie Drennan, Edwina Justus and Melonee Wise.

 

 

Woven City Toyota Kuebix TMS

Construction of Toyota’s ‘Smart City’ is Set to Begin in 2021

Artificial intelligence, robots and self-driving cars are establishing themselves within the transportation industry thanks to improved operational efficiencies and long-term benefits. These technologies are being adopted more commonly as their success stories continue to grow in number. Toyota, a Japanese automobile manufacturer recognized for their reliable and durable cars, has another plan to accelerate the development of this forward-thinking technology.

Toyota recently unveiled its plans for Woven City, a futuristic location dedicated to the testing and development of autonomous vehicles, smart technology and robot-assisted living. Woven City will be located in the foothills of Mount Fuji and about 60 miles away from Tokyo. The site is 175 acres and was previously home to a Toyota factory.

Woven City 2

Woven City will serve as a testing ground and give researchers and scientists the ability to test futuristic technology in a “real-life environment.” Toyota also revealed that the city will be powered exclusively by hydrogen fuel cells and rooftop solar panels.

This greener, technology-centered city provides an unparalleled opportunity for the growth and development of artificial intelligence products, robots, self-driving cars and other emerging technologies. Woven City’s dedication to testing real-life applications of these technologies will make it easier to identify and resolve problems. Their success stories and examples of everyday uses for the 2,000 individuals set to live there will serve as inspiration to those outside of the city.

Futuristic Technology in the Transportation Industry

The continued development of artificial intelligence, robotics and self-driving cars will unlock new levels of accuracy and efficiency for the transportation industry. Companies are using artificial intelligence and robotics to help with inventory, warehouse management and refining the skill sets of new truck drivers. Self-driving cars are a huge help in filling available truck driver positions.

While all of these different technologies have already started to prove their worth, it will be interesting to see how they continue to grow and collaborate with the transportation and supply chain industries!

Load Match Infographic Kuebix Truckload Freight Rates

*Infographic* Savings On Truckload Freight Rates

Truckload solution for shippers with regular shipping lanes

Kuebix provides complimentary truckload rate assessments leveraging the Load Match platform to help companies determine whether they are making the most strategic truckload shipping decisions. The assessment gives shippers insight into whether they can save money on recurring or spot freight by leveraging Kuebix’s vast network of truckload assets. Kuebix can also help shippers conduct formal RFPs to source negotiated rates with truckload carriers on the Kuebix platform.

 

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Kuebix Load Match Map Infographic Truckload Freight Rates
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Gaston, SC to Manchester, NH ~17% savings

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Gaston, SC to Woodford, VA ~12% savings

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West Memphis, AR to Armonk, NY ~13% savings

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Meta, MO to Bosler, WY ~13% savings

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Tooele, UT to Danevang, TX ~4% savings

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Salt Lake City, UT to Modesto, CA ~38% savings

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Ripon, CA to Los Nietos, CA ~34% savings

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San Bernardino, CA to Rancho Cordova, CA ~42% savings

 

 

For more information, email us at LoadMatch@Kuebix.com.

Kuebix Load Match Truckload

Kuebix Has Your Truckload Needs Covered

Finding the right truck at the right price has always been a challenge…until now!

Kuebix, a Trimble Company has built the largest connected shipping platform in North America. Kuebix offers our shipping members unprecedented access to a vast ecosystem of carriers and intermediaries including asset carriers, private fleets, truckload brokers, freight forwarders, and digital freight matching services.

Stop spending countless hours navigating various systems, sending emails, making phone calls, and researching multiple websites to find a truck. Kuebix has a one-stop solution for ALL your truckload moves. Simply post your load to Kuebix Load Match to connect to our vast carrier network, or contact the Kuebix team to help with RFP and other truckload needs. The best part – with Kuebix you can manage all your truckload moves (spot and negotiated) on the same platform where you manage your LTL and parcel shipments. One platform. Every shipping need. Kuebix has you covered.

With Kuebix Load Match you can:

  • •     Manage spot volume
  • •     Build your bench of carriers
  • •     Improve pricing

Truckload solution for shippers with regular shipping lanes

Kuebix provides complimentary truckload rate assessments leveraging the Load Match platform to help companies determine whether they are making the most strategic truckload shipping decisions. The assessment gives shippers insight into whether they can save money on recurring or spot freight by leveraging Kuebix’s vast network of truckload assets. Kuebix can also help shippers conduct formal RFPs to source negotiated rates with truckload carriers on the Kuebix platform.

One time load coverage for occasional truckload shipments

Shippers can use Kuebix Load Match to quickly and easily receive spot bids from Kuebix’s vast carrier network to compare and book side-by-side with their negotiated rates. This service is free to use and helps shippers expand their booking options to always get the best rate and service type for their needs.

For more information, email us at LoadMatch@Kuebix.com.

 

Kuebix TMS Valentine's Day Flowers

The Supply Chain of Your Valentine’s Day Flowers

The History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day existed in a variety of forms before settling into its fixed date of February 14th. It can be traced all the way back to a mid-February holiday on the ancient Roman calendar, existing as a day to celebrate the possibility of new life even before Saint Valentine was around. 

Saint Valentine’s reputation became permanently linked to love because of his work as a Roman priest. Soldiers were forbidden to marry because a Roman Emperor believed married soldiers did not make good warriors. Saint Valentine married these soldiers anyways and wore a ring with a Cupid on it – a now infamous symbol of love – to help soldiers identify him. This legend is largely responsible for Saint Valentine becoming known as the patron saint of love.

Medieval author Geoffrey Chaucer solidified Valentine’s Day as a holiday for romantic love in 1381 with a poem he wrote, and the “modern” commemoration of a romantic partnership with one other person on February 14th began. 

Valentine’s Day Flowers By the Numbers

Celebratory staples for Valentine’s Day include chocolate, stuffed animals and bouquets of flowers. The Society of American Florists estimated that 35% of Americans will purchase flowers this year, equating to about $2 billion in sales. Most shoppers don’t stop to think where the abundance of beautiful flowers come from, but it takes a lot more than love in the air to get stores stocked in time

The U.S. produces fewer than 30 million roses, barely making a dent in the 200 million roses that are expected to be purchased for Valentine’s Day. Most of these flowers are imported from Columbia before being sold and sent to recipients in the United States. In total, UPS expects to ship 89 million flowers this year, weighing in at roughly 9 million pounds! 

The Complicated Logistics of Shipping Flowers

Having a perfect Valentine’s Day is difficult for anyone – supply chains included. Flowers are highly perishable and depend on a multinational cold supply chain to ensure quality and delivery within as little as two days. Trucks responsible for the transportation of flowers have to be temperature controlled and stick to a tight schedule to ensure customer satisfaction. 

UPS is no stranger to the pressure of Valentine’s Day. They recently announced the addition of 50 flights to handle over 517,000 flower-filled boxes traveling through Miami International Airport. Temperature-controlled aircrafts and trucks are responsible for importing flowers from fields all over the globe to the United States. UPS rushes to meet the shipments at their Miami facilities and get them into a refrigerated warehouse cooler. From there, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents inspect and sort boxes for clearance before they’re ultimately received by their distributors to be delivered. 

Whether you’re giving or receiving a fresh bouquet of flowers this Valentine’s Day, be sure to thank the complex supply chain that made its safe delivery possible! 

 

SDCE Green Award Kuebix TMS

Kuebix Receives a Supply & Demand Chain Executive Green Supply Chain Award

We’re excited to announce that Kuebix, a Trimble Company has been selected by Supply & Demand Chain Executive as a recipient of an SDCE Green Supply Chain Award!

The Green Supply Chain Award recognizes companies making green or sustainability a core part of their supply chain strategy, and are working to achieve measurable sustainability goals within their own operations and supply chains. The awards also recognize providers of supply chain solutions and services assisting their customers in achieving measurable sustainability goals.

This year’s 10th-annual awards recognize small, mid-size and large enterprises that leveraged green practices and solutions to further drive sustainable improvements in their supply chain. 

Kuebix is committed to providing technology that improves every part of their customer’s supply chain. Shippers who leverage the platform experience significant ROI and time savings and are also presented with the opportunity to use Kuebix TMS as a means to a more sustainable supply chain. 

Many companies don’t realize that environmental efficiencies come part-and-parcel with supply chain improvements and don’t have to negatively affect their bottom-lines. With Kuebix TMS, shippers are able to choose the most direct and cost-efficient load configuration and rate. Fuel usage and overall expense are automatically reduced by being able to make better-informed decisions! 

Supply and Demand Chain Executive

“Every year our Green Supply Chain Award recipients demonstrate what is achievable in supply chain sustainability,” says John R. Yuva, editor for Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “It is clear that while sustainability is not a new concept, there is always more we can accomplish.”

 “We extend our congratulations to this year’s award recipients and their commitment to green initiatives,” adds Yuva. “The entries serve as best-in-class examples for other companies to model and create value for their supply chains.”

 

G2 Blog Image

We’re In the Leaders Category in the G2 Grid® for Transportation Management Systems

Kuebix, a Trimble Company, has advanced from the High Performers category to the Leaders category in the G2 Grid® for Transportation Management Systems! The grid spotlights the highest-scoring transportation management systems (TMS) based on verified user reviews and aims to help shippers evaluate the best TMS options. Kuebix has an overall score of 4.8 out of 5-stars.

G2 is a respected, unbiased source of real user reviews for all types of technologies. The company scores products and vendors based on reviews gathered from its user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. G2 applies a unique algorithm (v3.0) to its data to calculate the customer Satisfaction and Market Presence scores in real-time.

“Being recognized as a Leader in this year’s G2 Grid® for Transportation Management Systems shows the value of our connected community and industry-leading technology,” said Dan Clark, VP of Product Innovation & Strategy at Kuebix, a Trimble Company. “Receiving this recognition proves that we have been able to overwhelmingly satisfy our customers, which is our #1 priority at Kuebix.”

Users of Kuebix TMS who left reviews on G2 said:

  • “Easy to use and great support,” said one operations professional.
  • “Kuebix is the best!!! Kuebix is super user-friendly and very efficient to use,” said one Logistics Manager.
  • “Kuebix is a huge timesaver! I love how Kuebix lets us sort through quotes from all of our different vendors,” said one user in the Wholesale industry.

Click here to view Kuebix’s full profile on G2 and read other verified user reviews.

About G2, Inc.

The world’s leading marketplace for business software and services, G2 drives better purchasing decisions. Business professionals, buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software and services based on more than 500,000 peer reviews and synthesized social data. Over 23 million business buyers around the world have trusted G2 to gain unique insights. Co-founded in 2012, G2 aims to bring authenticity and transparency to the business marketplace. The company also offers scholarships to college students who are aspiring entrepreneurs.

To learn more about G2 or write a review, please visit https://www.g2.com/.

 

Super Bowl Food and Beverage Suppliers Retailers

Super Bowl LIV Will Be a Big Day for Food & Beverage Suppliers

The Super Bowl is an unofficial American holiday – and like any good holiday celebrated in America, there will be lots of food and drink consumed in households nation-wide! In fact, Super Bowl Sunday is the second-highest food consumption day in the USA, right after Thanksgiving. Americans will spend an average of $81 dollars per person to celebrate. This means food and beverage retailers will have their work cut out for them to manage their supply chains and keep customers happy on game day!

This year’s Super Bowl LIV, the 54th Super Bowl, will decide the champion of the NFL’s 2019 and 100th season. The San Francisco 49ers will face off against the Kansas City Chiefs. Many football fans not located in New England are pleased that the New England Patriots will not be going to this year’s Super Bowl, the team having broken their own record for most Super Bowl appearances by any organization of all time in 2018!

Food & Beverages Consumed on Super Bowl Sunday

No matter who you’re rooting for, however, there are several food and beverage staples that will be served at Super Bowl parties everywhere. Common items include buffalo wings, chili, baby back ribs, dipping sauces, pizza, and potato chips. Beer will also be flowing, with popular brands including Bud Light, Budweiser, Corona, Samuel Adams, and Coors Light.

According to an article published by Men’s Fitness, Americans plan to drink 325 million gallons of beer on Super Bowl Sunday this year! In addition to all that beer, an estimated 28 million pounds of chips, 1.4 billion chicken wings, and 8 million pounds of guacamole will be devoured this weekend!

Chicken wings are the unofficial food of this unofficial American holiday. The National Chicken Council announced that chicken wing consumption will be up by 27 million units over last year’s Super Bowl! If you break this number down, that’s roughly 337.5 million chickens slaughtered for this one event (2 wings, a drumette & a flat in each chicken)! If all of these chicken wings were laid out end-to-end, there would be enough to circle the Earth 3 times!

 

Sustainability and the Supply Chain

Many Americans are opting for plant-based meat alternatives this Super Bowl. Trends like Dunkin Donuts’ Beyond Meat Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches and Burger King’s Impossible Whopper have forced meat-alternatives into the public eye. The supply chains of meat-based products are known to require more resources, including more water and fuel which can be expensive and harmful to the environment.

The impossible burger alone is purported to require “87% less water use, 96% less land use, 89% fewer GHG emissions, and 92% less dead-zone creating nutrient pollution than ground beef from cows.” For Super Bowl Sunday, many health and environmentally conscious football fans will be making buffalo cauliflower “wings” instead of traditional chicken wings. With plant-based meat alternatives and other substitutions becoming more popular, food and beverage retailers have the opportunity to save resources and win consumer loyalty by offering meat-alternatives.

How Food and Beverage Supply Chains Can Keep Up

Making sure that your customers have their game-day rations is a must for any food and beverage company that sees a spike during the Super Bowl. But staying ahead of increased shipping volume, not to mention any unforeseen winter weather events can be a challenge. By implementing technology like a transportation management system, any company that needs to prepare for the Super Bowl can smooth out their shipping process and get complete visibility throughout their supply chain.

Transportation management systems (TMS) eliminate operational inefficiencies while providing benefits to all parties. Customers, suppliers and carriers can collaborate on a singular platform with real-time tracking information and side-by-side rate comparisons to save time and money. This is especially important as for food and beverage companies, like those that sell chicken products, ahead of America’s unofficial football holiday!