Back to School 2020 Blog Post Image

Back to School Looks Different for Supply Chains This Year

Fall is approaching and with it comes back to school season. However, Covid-19 has left the 2020-2021 academic year looking different than previous ones. School districts throughout the U.S. are deciding between in-person, online or a mix of the two instruction styles for their students. Many of the country’s major K-12 schooling systems including Los Angeles, San Diego and Chicago have chosen to move forward with a remote learning environment. With so many districts expected to follow their lead, companies manufacturing products considered essential for a successful online learning experience are scrambling to keep up with heightened demand. 

Preparing for the unpredictability of the school year has proven itself costly. According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school spending will increase by 26% in comparison to last year. Families with children attending K-12 plan to spend an average $789.49 per family, while college students and their families expect to spend an average $1,09.20 per family. Additionally, 55% of families expressed that they’d be shopping online for back-to-school items rather than in person.

The most essential back-to-school item every student needs for online learning is a laptop. Three of the world’s biggest computer companies, Lenovo, HP, and Dell, have reported a shortage of nearly five million laptops. Schools purchasing electronics in bulk for students started to experience shipment delays in the spring. Setbacks worsened as the pandemic continued to spread. A combination of increased demand and supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19 have made it challenging for these companies to prepare themselves for back to school season.

Accessories like wireless headphones, microphones and monitors are also experiencing an increase in consumer demand. Many students have traded in their concerns about the first day of school outfits for ones about the proper desk setup and gadgets to have the best video call possible. 

Adjusting to New Shopping Patterns

Manufacturers, distributors and retailers of electronics and other office products have their work cut out for them this fall. Products that may have previously been considered optional on back-to-school shopping lists are a necessity for those starting their school year at home. Clothing stores dependent on students shopping for their first day of school outfits are trying to stay on trend and produce more loungewear. 

A successful supply chain must be able to adapt to changes regardless of how unexpected they are. The best way to stay on top of things is to leverage technology like Kuebix TMS. With Kuebix TMS, users have visibility throughout their transportation supply chains and can adapt to last minute changes by leveraging the built-in truckload spot market, Kuebix Community Load Match

Being aware of details regarding shipment location and order information helps companies stay prepared. Users are able to automate manual processes and allocate the time saved to more sensitive areas of their supply chains and improve customer service. Detailed reports and analytics serve as feedback for companies by helping them identify potential opportunities for improvements and strengths. A transportation management system strengthens logistics operations as a whole, making it easier for companies to handle any fluctuations in demand the school year brings!

Save Money on Truckload Shipping Kuebix

9 Ways to Save Money on Truckload Shipping

Keeping freight costs down while maintaining efficient logistics operations is no small task. Consumers are relying heavily on e-commerce in the wake of Covid-19 and aren’t sacrificing their heightened expectations. The transportation industry is struggling to keep up with the surge in order volume with a limited number of truck drivers. Supply chains are one of the largest cost centers for businesses, so finding ways to save on truckload freight is a top priority.

Here are 9 ways to save money on truckload shipping:

 

1. Improve Internal Efficiency

One of the easiest ways to save money is by streamlining logistics operations. Leveraging a transportation management system will help save time rating, booking and tracking orders. Replacing traditional methods with a transportation management system will eliminate tedious and repetitive tasks, cutting labor costs and saving time that can be reallocated into other areas important for operations

2. Increase Lead Time

Increasing the lead time of full truckload shipments will help companies save on shipping costs. Working a few days in advance helps companies avoid higher rates for last-minute capacity and gives them a wider selection of carriers to choose from. Carriers will be able to better manage their time and plan routes more effectively, all of which contribute to meeting consumer expectations.

3. Eliminate Manual Entry and Paper Trails

Recording everything by hand and calling carriers for every truckload shipment is old-fashioned and inefficient. Additionally, these traditional processes hold a higher risk for mistakes made due to human error. If the incorrect order quantity or weight is recorded, paperwork is likely to get messed up and getting paid gets complicated.

Instead, companies who implement a transportation management system (TMS) can integrate it with an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics or NetSuite. An integration between a TMS and an ERP allows information to travel automatically between the systems and ensure that BOLs are correct every time. With an ERP integration, logistics professionals can avoid wasting time bouncing back and forth between systems and re-keying information.

4. Treat Carriers Well 

It’s important for companies to treat carriers with the same level of respect as they would any other partner. Getting carriers in and out of the yard quickly by clarifying expectations (i.e. who is unloading the truck) and paying bills on time should be a priority.

5. Monitor Accessorials 

Accessorials are a tricky thing for most companies to manage. They are difficult to budget and often have spend that goes unnoticed until it’s too late. In order to keep overall truckload costs down, companies should constantly monitor and evaluate their accessorial charges. Find the root cause of carriers being told the wrong weight and address it. Communicating about any complications ahead of time will result in lower charges than if the carrier discovers them mid-trip.

6. Leverage Volume 

Truckload shippers are in a unique position to leverage volume. Instead of working with dozens of different carriers and only giving each one a small percentage of their volume, truckload shippers should identify preferred carriers and establish routine, reliable lanes with them. Preferred carriers may be able to offer truckload shippers a discounted rate based on the fact that it’s repeat business. This strategy is a win for everyone involved – truckload shippers maintain enough capacity to ship their routes more efficiently, resulting in better service to the end customer.

7. Leverage Kuebix Community Load Match 

Circumstances where regular or preferred carriers can’t fulfill a truckload that needs to be shipped will always exist. Maybe it’s a last-minute shipment or maybe it’s going to a new destination. Whatever the case, sometimes companies need to find truckload capacity fast. A situation like this works best when a full truckload spot market is available. Spot markets are places where companies can go to have different carriers bid on their freight. From there, they can select the best bid and book their freight.

Kuebix Community Load Match connects users with its extensive carrier community from Trimble’s network of 1.3 million commercial trucks, digital freight matching services and brokers to satisfy every truckload need. Users can input their shipping parameters and freight information and view carriers with available capacity in the lanes they requested. By comparing every option on a single platform, users can be sure they’re getting the best rate for their freight and maintain control over their logistics operations.

8. Stay Flexible

The supply chain industry requires teams to be ready for anything, including unforeseen circumstances like inclement weather or mechanical failure. Visibility down to the SKU level for orders helps companies react to situations they can’t plan for. Having all of the information regarding shipments in one place helps make answering questions like ‘Where’s my order?’ or ‘When is the truck arriving?’ easy.

Staying flexible goes beyond handling negative situations. Companies should aim to always be flexible when booking their truckload shipments. Orders with specific due dates are often flexible in terms of what time they get dropped off. Companies who work with all available options are able to discover the best rates for each and every shipment!

9. Leverage Analytics

Analytics on truckload shipments empower companies to make strategic decisions that will benefit their operations. Reports can reflect important information about carriers like their OTD percentage. Analytics down to the SKU level also help companies calculate their freight cost per item and determine if they are making enough of a profit. With a TMS, all of these different metrics and more are captured in one place for easy analysis.

 

Loadsmart and Kuebix Blog Image

Loadsmart Provides Instant Truckload Spot Quotes in Kuebix

Kuebix and Loadsmart just announced that every shipper in Kuebix can now receive real-time Loadsmart spot quotes on truckload shipments. The collaboration builds upon Kuebix’s current API integration with Loadsmart’s digital freight platform with an API integration that automatically provides live Loadsmart freight rates to any Kuebix user looking for a truckload spot quote.

“At Loadsmart, we are really proud of our work with Kuebix and the value we deliver to our joint customers,” said Casey Monahan, Director of SME at Loadsmart. “Combining a best in class TMS with instantly bookable spot quotes is a game-changer that reduces phone calls and lag time, allowing customers to book the best price instantly and track it all in real time 24/7. With a deep collaboration at many levels, a strong understanding of our customers, and a long term strategy, we not only provide the value clients want, but the exceptional service they need.”

When a Kuebix user searches for a truckload spot rate in Community Load Match, a real-time Loadsmart rate will appear that can be immediately booked and managed in the Kuebix TMS. The addition of instantly bookable Loadsmart rates further enhances Community Load Match’s current contract and spot rate capabilities. Community Load Match’s rapidly growing carrier community from Trimble’s network of 1.3 million commercial trucks offers access to contract rates for shippers with regular lanes. For small- to medium-size businesses (SMBs) and shippers with occasional spot requirements, Community Load Match provides competitive spot rates when shippers don’t have the volume to set up contract rates. For carriers, Community Load Match’s spot opportunities help to balance lanes, offset empty miles and reposition assets.

“Growing our strategic collaboration with Loadsmart makes our community even stronger,” said Peter Coumounduros, General Manager Load Match Group, Kuebix. “Our goal is to remove the friction from finding and securing trucks. We are extremely pleased to have Loadsmart’s real-time spot quotes available to all shippers in Community Load Match, as this new capability makes the sourcing process even more efficient.”

To help companies manage their supply chains efficiently in today’s market environment, Kuebix is offering shippers 60 free days of its award-winning Kuebix Business Pro TMS. With Kuebix Business Pro, logistics teams can collaborate remotely across multiple locations, source spot and leverage actionable reports and analytics for improved strategic shipping decisions.

Read the original release here: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/06/30/2055376/0/en/Loadsmart-Provides-Instant-Truckload-Spot-Quotes-in-Kuebix.html

Kuebix TMS

How to Buy a Transportation Management System (TMS)

In today’s market, shipping is one of the biggest expenses for any shipper, growing at a rate of over 5% per year, depending on the lane. There are many variables that go into freight costs, including mode, service level and carrier. Manually trying to lower freight spend can be challenging, not to mention extremely time-consuming. Leveraging technology gives logistics teams the boost they need to become more efficient. By implementing a transportation management system (TMS), companies can keep freight costs as low as possible while still meeting and exceeding their customers’ expectations.

How to Choose the Right TMS

A broad range of TMSs exist in the marketplace. These range from the old-fashioned on-premise systems favored over the last two decades to more recent platforms that live on the cloud and connect users for heightened levels of collaboration.

Some TMSs incorporate features like automatic invoice audit while others can streamline route optimization and yard management. Many incorporate advanced analytics that can help teams make better strategic decisions about their freight. Others provide seamless integrations to external systems like e-commerce platforms and ERP systems.

With all these features and options, how does a company go about buying a TMS system?

It’s important to determine what your company’s needs are before starting the process to find the right TMS.

Understand your company’s goals for deploying a TMS – is the goal to cut shipping costs, improve customer service, become a preferred shipper, consolidate loads, etc.?

Without a thorough understanding of your company’s goals, you could find yourself locked into a piece of technology that won’t scale as your company grows, or locked into paying for features you won’t use. No company is exactly the same, so make sure to choose a TMS that can be configured and scaled to your company’s needs over time.

Catalog Image 10 Essential Questions Kuebix TMS

Think about how your company could benefit from increased collaboration with other players in the industry. When comparing different transportation management system options, find out if the TMS can connect you with an ecosystem of potential collaboration partners. Programs like built-in truckload spot networks can provide you more capacity at better rates.

A TMS should offer the following:

  • ·       Automatic rating, booking and tracking of shipments, managing carriers and communicating with shippers and customers in real-time
  • ·       A network of carriers incorporating all modes with the ability to consolidate and optimize shipments
  • ·       A wide variety of reports and dashboards to monitor cost, shipping status and service levels
  • ·       Management of the carrier bid process from initial set up to tendering of shipments
  • ·       Extensive analytics to manage performance in real-time
  • ·       A quick implementation time and return-on-investment (ROI)
  • ·       Integration with enterprise resource planning platforms (ERPs) and 3rd party applications
  • ·       The ability to track and trace any shipment in real-time, anywhere in the supply chain
  • ·       The ability to easily add functionality as needed such as order and route optimization, dock scheduling, yard management and container tracking
  • ·      Access to a connected community of shippers, carriers, freight marketplaces, brokers, and suppliers

Some TMS providers like Kuebix offer a free version of their technology to help shippers get started and see real results from their operations risk-free. Unlike a demo, Kuebix Free Shipper gets shippers managing their freight and gaining true ROI even before adding modular features and capabilities.

If you’re looking to improve your company’s logistics operations by adding a true, cloud-based TMS, check out The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Transportation Management Systems to get answers to questions like “What should I look for?” and “How much should a TMS cost?” before committing.

show me global logistics case study

How Kuebix Community Load Match is Helping a Brokerage Source New Opportunities

Show Me Global Logistics Leverages Kuebix Community Load Match to Fill Available Capacity and Find New Shipper Opportunities

Show Me Global Logistics is a national broker and logistics provider with over 5,000 vetted carriers within their network of partners. They help pair freight with available capacity for any mode, including LTL, TL, intermodal, international shipping and even expedited shipping.

Located in the heart of the USA in Springfield, Missouri, the company’s mission is to provide innovative supply chain solutions on a grand scale while still being flexible enough to handle every customer service need on a personal level.

To continue to grow their business, Show Me Global Logistics has sales professionals nationwide who source opportunities with shippers that have supply chain and logistics needs. The company also works with some customers on a transactional basis before establishing a full logistics strategy. This is often a great way to bring in new customers while ensuring they get
exactly what they need.

When Show Me Global Logistics’ team of industry experts first heard about Kuebix’s built-in spot market feature, they knew that it would be a highly efficient way to both fill capacity while at the same time discovering shippers with long-term logistics needs. The brokerage became an early adopter of the program and has been seeing the benefits ever since.


Kuebix Community Load Match has been a tremendous solution for us! When a Kuebix user posts to Community Load Match, we get the opportunity to bid on their freight. Once we’ve been awarded the load, we get the opportunity to prove ourselves to the shipper, do our due diligence to identify their needs, and continue to win their business. It’s like having another salesperson on the street!”

– DAVE AUSBURY, SHOW ME GLOBAL LOGISTICS CO-FOUNDER


“Community Load Match is fantastic and we plan to continue to leverage it to fill capacity and find new opportunities. To date, we’ve fulfilled well over 100 shipments. Some are with repeat customers and some turn into longterm, mutually beneficial relationships. Without Community Load Match, these opportunities might never have come our way.”

– ROBBIE BREWER, SHOW ME GLOBAL LOGISTICS CO-FOUNDER


“The Community Load Match technology is great! We receive email notifications when a shipper requests a spot quote and all we need to do is click on the link and we can bid on the shipment! There’s even a place for special requests, which is really helpful. I can look at the shipment at a glance and know what kind of solution I can provide to the customer. It makes it easy for me to provide appropriate solutions quickly!”

– KARRY BAKER, SHOW ME GLOBAL LOGISTICS HEAD OF PRICING


How Does Kuebix Community Load Match Work?

Any Kuebix TMS user can search for truckload capacity and compare spot quotes in Community Load Match from a vast network including brokers, carriers and freight marketplaces. By posting a load to the community, shippers receive spot quotes and can book and track their shipments directly in the technology.

Click here to download this case study as a PDF: https://www.kuebix.com/resources/community-load-match-show-me-global-logistics-case-study/

Fleet Backhaul Management - Kuebix

What You Need to Do to Make Fleet Backhaul Management Easy

Fleet backhaul management is a notoriously difficult task that fleet owners and operators are all too familiar with. When a truck returns from making a delivery it is usually empty. This is known as “driving empty” or “empty miles.” Even though there is no freight on the trailer, drivers still need to be paid, fuel is used up and trucks depreciate in value. The expense of empty miles are usually calculated into the freight rate ahead of time, but this capacity still presents an opportunity for fleet owners to generate additional revenue for direct bottom-line impact.

Instead of having fleet assets return empty, finding freight to haul on the return trip can create a win-win situation for both the shipper and the fleet owner. Shippers find a new, valuable source of capacity and fleets generate bottom-line revenue. So why has it been so hard up until now to manage fleet backhauls?

Why Traditional Fleet Backhaul Management is So Difficult

Managing a fleet is difficult enough without finding freight to carry on the return trip. When companies do try to generate some additional revenue by filling empty backhaul miles, they can find themselves wasting more time sourcing opportunities than actually moving freight.

Loads Must Meet Certain Parameters

The process of finding available freight is more complicated than simply finding freight that needs to move in the opposite direction the original delivery is headed. There are many other parameters that need to be considered too. Things like Haz-Mat, food-grade and temp control all need to be taken into account. Other parameters like noise regulation or truck size in neighborhoods can also make a difference between a good opportunity and an impossible one.

For example, a truckload order of refrigerated groceries leaves York, PA heading to New York City. After it leaves from New York, the truck typically drives back to York, PA with an empty trailer. The fleet owner looks for a food-grade backhaul opportunity along this route. If they’re lucky, the fleet owner might find a load that needs to travel from Allentown to Harrisburg or even directly back to York. This would reduce the total number of empty miles driven.

Finding Opportunities and Getting Paid Can Be Challenging

This scenario adds bottom-line revenue for the company. But finding that opportunity is easier said than done. It can take an entire team of logistics professionals to source and secure that backhaul opportunity. After the opportunity has been successfully matched with the truck type and other delivery parameters, the fleet still needs a way to invoice for its work and get paid. Doing one-off deliveries for a variety of shippers can be a headache for everyone involved.

Since the process of finding, booking and getting paid for backhaul freight is so difficult and time-consuming, it’s no wonder that many fleet owners decide not to look for backhaul opportunities and stick to their everyday fleet management.

How to Make Fleet Backhaul Management Easy

The answer is to tap into a community.

Fleet backhaul management becomes easy when fleets find and connect with an existing community of shippers and brokers looking for capacity. Instead of individually sourcing loads on a one-by-one basis, fleets instead have a single source to work through. Programs like Kuebix FleetMAX are giving fleets an easy way to expose their available capacity to thousands of shippers while at the same time streamlining the AR/AP process.

Why Kuebix FleetMAX is a Game Changer

With FleetMAX, Kuebix’s technology digitally matches fleet capacity with freight to obtain consistent and repetitive external backhauls to offset empty miles, add revenue to fleet operations, and provide shippers/brokers a new source of trusted capacity.

Kuebix also overcomes the administrative obstacle of charging the shipper and collecting the funds. With FleetMAX, all of the financials and settlements are managed through one of the most trusted names in the industry, Estes Truckload Management, relieving private fleets of these administrative challenges.

After a fleet joins the network through FleetMAX, their open capacity becomes available to Kuebix’s connected shipping community which includes thousands of shippers and brokers looking for capacity. For fleets, this means they can focus on picking up and delivering orders, not chasing opportunities or managing individual contracts with shippers.

Click here to learn more about getting started managing your fleet backhauls with FleetMAX!

Kuebix Shipping Community

Shipper Adoption is the Key to a Successful Shipping Community [Infographic]

How Can Shipping Communities Gain Shipper Adoption?

For a shipping community to be successful it needs to be built upon a transportation management system (TMS). Shippers want to conduct all of their business through a single, connected platform. When they leverage a robust TMS to manage their logistics operations, they can rate, book, and track all of their shipments for every mode through a single window. When they are looking for additional capacity to supplement their negotiated rates, it makes sense that they’d want to use their main source of transportation management to find that capacity.

A TMS is the natural place to house a spot market where shippers can easily get spot quotes for their freight. That’s because users automatically form the basis of the shipping community that will use the spot market. When the shipper can’t get their freight covered as they need with a negotiated rate, they can seamlessly pivot to a built-in spot market where community members can collaborate to find efficiencies. Unlike a disconnected freight marketplace outside of their normal processes, their TMS joins disparate marketplaces, brokers, carriers, and fleets to make it easy for shippers to find additional capacity through the network.

 

Not Just Any TMS Will Do, Though.

Most transportation management systems aren’t designed to have a successful community built upon them. For a start, the TMS needs to be capable of handling its users’ every need. That means every mode needs to be covered by the platform and the TMS must integrate directly with any ERP system. Reporting and tracking functionality are also important along with many other features lower-level TMSs simply can’t provide. Simply put, the TMS must be built for small and enterprise sized customers and everyone in between. Features that can be modularly added as the company’s needs change also increase usership since shippers only pay for what they use. Users must to be able to complete all of their logistics operations inside the TMS to keep them engaged with the system and using it routinely.

On the other hand, the TMS needs to be accessible by the masses. Many small businesses can benefit from streamlining their operations with the help of technology. By offering both free and affordable subscription versions of the software, the TMS can rapidly gain more usership by tapping into a segment of shippers in the industry that would otherwise never be able to be connected to collaboration opportunities. When more users join the network, every other user benefits. This is known as the “Network Effect,” a phenomenon where each additional user of a tool increases the value of the tool for every other user.

Kuebix Community Load Match

Kuebix Community Load Match is the spot market built upon Kuebix TMS that any member of Kuebix’s shipping community can take advantage of and is just one of the benefits members receive by belonging to the network. This spot market connects shippers with available truckload capacity without making them leave the system. With Community Load Match, every shipper can discover additional savings on truckload freight by connecting with Kuebix’s vast ecosystem of dedicated truckload carriers.

Currently, Kuebix has over 16,000 companies using the TMS. This group is made up of companies of all sizes, some using Kuebix Free Shipper, some Business Pro users and some Enterprise users with extensive logistics operations. No matter what type of account a user has, however, they are part of Kuebix’s shipping community and can leverage Community Load Match. This makes Kuebix an ideal partner for carriers, brokers, fleet owners, and other freight marketplaces to expose their capacity through.

As the community grows, more opportunities are created and even more shippers and companies with capacity join the network! This is why shipper adoption is the key to growing and maintaining a successful shipping community.