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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 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 FleetMAX

A Win-Win for Fleet Owners and Shippers

Right now in the industry there are approximately 10 orders to ship for every available truck. Conversely, there’s a large portion of private fleets that are running their assets with a significant amount of empty backhaul miles. At Kuebix, we don’t think it makes sense for there to be a capacity crisis at the same time as so many trucks are running empty. That’s why we decided to do something about it.

FleetMAX is designed to help fleet owners eliminate empty miles and generate additional profit by making backhaul fleet capacity available to Kuebix’s vast community of shippers and brokers without the legwork fleet managers typically need to do to source backhaul freight for their assets. The program also eliminates the risk generally associated with contracting out with unknown shippers and streamlines the financial management. Instead of managing countless agreements with shippers and brokers, fleets manage a single agreement with Estes Truckload Management LLC.

This unique relationship with Estes Truckload Management LLC eliminates a major obstacle in the success of filling fleet backhauls by making the administration of charging the shipper and collecting the funds easy. With FleetMAX, all of the financials and settlements are managed through Estes Truckload Management, relieving private fleets of these administrative challenges. For brokers and shippers, FleetMAX offers untapped fleet capacity delivered through technology at attractive prices via a single provider, Estes Truckload Management, one of the most trusted names in the industry.

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. Now that’s a win-win for all parties.

Learn More about FleetMAX

 

 

Community Load Match Kuebix

Don’t Let Limited Truckload Capacity Threaten Growth

Truckload capacity is at an all-time premium. This means that companies are struggling to retain the current rates they have, let alone add capacity as their businesses grow in the strong economic environment. The “shoe is on the other foot,” as they say, and truck owners are now in control of setting prices and taking their business elsewhere as they see fit. This leaves shippers in a difficult situation, they must either slow their pace of growth or source additional truckload rates.

According to the WSJ “More companies are pointing to rising freight costs as a drag on earnings and growth, as trucking companies raise rates.” In order to continue growing, companies need to source additional truckload rates to ensure they have capacity and are getting the best prices. The solution is technology. With the help of technology like Kuebix Community Load Match, spot quotes for truckload shipments can be easily found and booked.

Community Load Match is making it easier than ever for shippers to access a vast ecosystem of dedicated truckload carriers. Kuebix customers can now leverage a diverse community of brokers to supplement existing capacity with reliable alternatives. As capacity continues to shrink, it becomes more and more difficult to find and book spot rates for truckload shipments. The labor costs associated with calling brokers and carriers to book freight are high as well. Instead of calling and searching online for capacity, Kuebix is meeting the needs of its users by providing a single source to access a huge network of trucks that can provide attractive rates and a new, valuable source for truckload capacity. This saves time, reduces costs and gets freight shipped in an industry where truckload costs are rising, and assets are scarce.

The barrier to entry for Community Load Match is non-existent. The service is free to use for all Kuebix users, including Kuebix Free Shippers. Any user with truckload freight to ship simply enters the specifics of their shipment in Kuebix and posts it to Community Load Match. Within minutes, users begin receiving truckload rates and then can book and manage their shipments directly within the system. Shippers retain control of their operations by choosing the best provider for every truckload shipment. By increasing the available options, shippers are able to ensure all truckload moves are covered by the optimal carrier available.

Truckload capacity is growing more and more scarce, but finding the trucks which are available just got easier. Now, any size company with truckload freight to ship can find more capacity and get better pricing by posting their shipment to Kuebix Community Load Match.

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.

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