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National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2020

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week holds a special meaning this year as truck drivers have gone above and beyond to keep stores, hospitals and other healthcare facilities stocked in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 3.5 million truck drivers working in the U.S. continue to safely and securely deliver essential goods. From passing out lunches to decorating highways with ‘I 💚  Truck Drivers’ signs, everyone’s finding a way to get involved and show their gratitude. Here are just a few of the reasons to be thankful for truck drivers:

 

1.   Truck Drivers Work Long Hours

Being a truck driver demands a lot of time spent on the road. The average truck driver works 60 hours a week and drives 107,000 miles per year*. Long weeks paired with long drives require a serious amount of dedication!

2.   The Trucking Industry Keeps Our Economy Strong 

The trucking industry is responsible for the transportation of products that are classified as essential. Keeping stores stocked and supply chains moving requires a lot of involvement – that’s why 5.8% of jobs in the U.S. are related to the trucking industry.

3.   Truck Drivers Adapt to the Unexpected 

Covid-19 has required truck drivers to adapt to new conditions on the road. Many rest stops have closed for business in the spring and restaurants have introduced new restrictions. Even though finding a place to park or eat is looking a little different, truck drivers are still powering through.

National Truck Diver Appreciation Week 2020 Infographic

4.   They Leveraged Reduced HOS Restrictions to Work Even Harder 

The Covid-19 emergency declaration resulted in the reduction of hours of service (HOS) restrictions. Truck drivers throughout the U.S. took this in stride, working harder and for longer hours to transport essential goods across the country.

5.   Truck Drivers Keep Our Shelves Stocked 

The full shelves shoppers have grown accustomed to wouldn’t exist without truck drivers. In 2019, the transportation industry was responsible for 72.5% of all freight in 2019. Without truck drivers, it would be a lot harder for so many products to make it from point A to point B! 

6.   The Transportation Industry Supports Front Line Workers 

The transportation industry has worked tirelessly through the pandemic to keep hospitals, care centers and homes supplied with the essentials they need. Products transported by truck drivers empower front line workers to perform their jobs as safely and securely as possible.


Kuebix is extremely thankful for the work truck drivers do every day, and it has never been clearer than now that truck drivers are our heroes on the road! 

 

*source cdc.gov

Full Truckload (TL) & Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipping

LTL and FTL Shipping: What’s the Difference?

The terms less-than-truckload (LTL) and full-truckload (FTL) get thrown around often within the shipping and logistics community. However, newcomers may find themselves at a loss for what these terms actually mean. To clear this up, we are breaking down each term individually before directly comparing them so that you can choose the best shipping modes for your freight. Understanding the difference will help you make better freight choices.

Freight Shipping

First and foremost, it’s important to know what freight shipping actually is. The term freight shipping refers to the paid process of shipping goods by ground, sea, or air. Freight is typically composed of goods that are being transported to another location in bulk. Two subcategories that fall under the umbrella of freight shipping are less than truckload (LTL) shipments and full truckload (FTL) shipments.

Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipping

Less than truckload freight shipments, commonly abbreviated as LTL, are shipments that exceed the size limit required to be able to ship as a single package through the mail (a parcel shipment). Despite being too large for a parcel carrier, less than truckload shipments are too small to fill an entire semi-truck trailer, leaving lots of wasted space and contributing to “empty miles.” In order for shipping to be mutually beneficial between the shippers and trucking companies, carriers often ship multiple LTL shipments together to make the trip economically sensible. This way trailers aren’t traversing our highways carrying only air.

Benefits

• Lessen environmental impact

This method of ‘carpooling’ with LTL shipments from other companies reduces the impact transportation has on the environment. Less fuel is used when fewer trucks are needed to transport the same number of total shipments.

• Decrease warehouse expenses

By adopting LTL shipping, companies relieve themselves of the stress that comes with having too much product built up in their warehouse or staged at their docks. Through shipping consistently, companies are able to keep less in their warehouse and also keep a more accurate inventory as a result.

• Minimizes costs on smaller shipments

Traditionally, the lowest rates are reserved for shippers that can fill the entire semi-truck trailer and qualify for full truckload rates. LTL shipping gives companies that aren’t able to fill an entire truck the opportunity to minimize costs by consolidating their freight with other company’s freight. With LTL shipping, companies only pay for the weight of their freight and the space it uses on the trailer.

Full Truckload (FTL or TL) Shipping

Conversely, full truckload shipments (abbreviated FTL or TL) are large enough to fill up an entire semi-truck trailer. Unlike LTL shipments which might ride alongside other shipments, FTL freight is contracted to one carrier and rides alone, meaning there don’t need to be extra stops along the way. This reduces the number of “touches” and reduces the likelihood of damages. When there is enough freight to qualify for a full truckload rate, this is usually the most economical choice.

Benefits

• Save money on larger shipments

If you have enough freight to fill an entire trailer, a FTL shipment will be the most efficient mode. It’s less expensive to ship a single FTL shipment when compared to splitting up the freight into multiple LTL shipments.

• Lower risk of damage

Shipping a full truckload means that from start to finish, your freight will remain in the same semi-truck trailer. This simplifies the transportation process and eliminates the potential risks associated with LTL shipments being handed off to other trucks along their route. Decreasing the number of “touches” freight undergoes during transport reduces risk.

• Ship products faster

When shipping FTL, the only factors considered in the truck’s route are the origin of the freight and its final destination. With LTL, there may be multiple origins and final destinations involved that can lengthen the travel time and impact delivery times as a result. FTL shipments ensure that freight is arriving as quickly as possible by traveling from point A to point B.

Which Should I Choose, LTL or FTL?

LTL and FTL shipping are both beneficial types of freight shipping. For smaller shipments that are too big to be shipped parcel, LTL shipping is often the best choice. For larger shipments that are able to completely fill or almost fill an entire truck, FTL is less expensive. Both are acceptable options when thinking about how to ship your freight, but each has specific scenarios in which they are most beneficial to the shipper.

It is always a good idea to compare the freight rates of multiple LTL or FTL carriers to choose the carrier with the best rate and service level for your shipment.

Why Should You Compare Your Freight Rates?

Comparing rates is the best method to avoid overpaying. Whether shipping LTL or FTL, different carriers will offer different freight rates and service levels and it’s important to shop around. Looking into what’s available often makes way for the discovery of less expensive rates or particular lanes that have the ability to speed up delivery. Prices constantly fluctuate and what initially seems like the better option may not be best in the end.

How Can a Transportation Management System Help?

Leveraging technology is the easiest way to ensure that you are shipping your freight most efficiently. By utilizing a transportation management system like Kuebix TMS, shippers can compare all of their negotiated and spot rates within a single platform. With the ability to compare rates instantly, shippers have the power to book confidently and quickly.

Kuebix TMS users can also leverage Community Load Match which provides complementary truckload rate assessments to ensure they’re making strategic truckload shipping decisions. Kuebix Community Load Match provides shippers with an alternative source of truckload capacity and allows carriers to fill their trucks!

Apart from acting as a vehicle for finding and booking better FTL rates, transportation management systems also simplify everyday shipping operations. Users can integrate ERP systems such as NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics to increase operational efficiencies and remove the risk of human error. With an ERP integration, orders flow seamlessly between Kuebix and the external platform to reduce manual error and speed up operations.

Many companies also use optimization technology in their TMS to combine LTL shipments into FTL shipments for greater efficiencies and cost savings. Kuebix TMS offers a variety of advanced functionalities including Order and Route Optimizer, which optimizes shipments for maximum rate and route efficiency.

Check out this case study with Hanover Foods to learn how their utilization of Kuebix saved over $1 million in freight spend!

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

The Top 3 Commodities Shipped By Truck in all 50 States

The Top 3 Commodities Shipped By Truck in all 50 States

Have you ever been driving on the highway and wondered what kind of freight was on the truck beside you? Unless it’s a clearly defined Coca-Cola or retail branded truck, you probably have no clue. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top ground freight commodity types shipped by truck in each of the 50 states! Check out the top three commodity types in your state to guess what you might be passing on the highway.

Curious about other types of freight? Check out this dashboard from explore.dot.gov

Top Three Ground Freight Commodities Transported via Truck Between Oct 2018 – September 2019 (by value & weight)

Alabama

By Value

  1. Mineral Fuels
  2. Vehicles Other than Railway
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Mineral Fuels
  2. Iron and Steel
  3. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement

Alaska

By Value

  1. Iron and Steel
  2. Vehicles
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  2. Iron and Steel
  3. Vehicles

Arizona

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Vegetables and Roots
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Vegetables and Roots
  2. Fruit and Nuts
  3. Inorganic Chemicals

Arkansas

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Vehicles
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Iron and Steel
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

California

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Mineral Fuels
  2. Vegetables and Roots
  3. Fruit and Nuts

Colorado

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Vehicles

By Weight

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Vegetables and Roots

Connecticut

By Value

  1. Pearls; Stones; Metals and Imitation Jewelry
  2. Zinc
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Zinc and Articles
  2. Copper and Articles
  3. Sugars and Confectionery

Delaware

By Value

  1. Works of Art and Antiques
  2. Measuring and Testing Instruments
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  2. Mineral Fuels
  3. Electrical Machinery

Florida

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  2. Fruit and Nuts
  3. Vehicles

Georgia

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Vehicles
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Beverages
  2. Sugar and Confectionery
  3. Computer Parts

Hawaii

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Measuring and Testing Instruments
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Beverages
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

Idaho

By Value

  1. Vegetables and Roots
  2. Vehicles
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Fruit and Nuts
  2. Preparations of Vegetables; Fruits and Nuts
  3. Vegetables and Roots

Illinois

By Value

  1. Beverages
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Beverages
  2. Mineral Fuels
  3. Electrical Machinery

Indiana

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Vehicles

By Weight

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Vehicles

Iowa

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Furniture

Kansas

  1. Aircraft
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Special Classification Provisions

By Weight

  1. Iron and Steel
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Rubber and Articles

Kentucky

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Vehicles
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  3. Vehicles

Louisiana

By Value

  1. Mineral Fuels
  2. Vehicles
  3. Iron and Steel

By Weight

  1. Mineral Fuels
  2. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  3. Iron and Steel

Maine

By Value

  1. Aluminum and Articles
  2. Vehicles
  3. Not Knitted or Crocheted Apparel

By Weight

  1. Aluminum and Articles
  2. Vehicles
  3. Vegetables and Roots

Maryland

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Sugars and Sugar Confectionery
  2. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  3. Vehicles

Massachusetts

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Measuring and Testing Instruments
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Paper and Paperboard
  2. Measuring and Testing Instruments
  3. Electrical Machinery

Michigan

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement

Minnesota

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Measuring and Testing Instruments
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Fruit and Nuts
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Iron and Steel

Mississippi

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Vehicles
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Iron and Steel
  2. Organic Chemicals
  3. Electrical Machinery

Missouri

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Vehicles
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Glass

Montana

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Tobacco
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Tobacco
  3. Computer Parts

Nebraska

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Iron and Steel
  2. Vehicles
  3. Inorganic Chemicals

Nevada

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Beverages
  3. Toys; Games and Sport Equipment

By Weight

  1. Beverages
  2. Miscellaneous Articles of Base Metals
  3. Electrical Machinery

New Hampshire

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Measuring and Testing Instruments

By Weight

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Measuring and Testing Instruments

New Jersey

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Measuring and Testing Instruments
  3. Cereals and Flour

By Weight

  1. Cereals and Flour
  2. Fruit and Nuts
  3. Electrical Machinery

New Mexico

By Value

  1. Measuring and Testing Instruments
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Vegetables and Roots
  2. Live Animals
  3. Plastics and Articles

New York

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Beverages

By Weight

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement

North Carolina

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Electrical machinery
  3. Plastics and Articles

By Weight

  1. Plastics and Articles
  2. Organic Chemicals
  3. Vehicles

North Dakota

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Iron and Steel
  3. Computer Parts

Ohio

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Vehicles
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Vehicles
  3. Electrical Machinery

Oklahoma

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Article of Iron and Steel
  3. Iron and Steel

Oregon

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  2. Iron and Steel
  3. Vehicles

Pennsylvania

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

Rhode Island

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Measuring and Testing Instruments
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Articles of Iron and Steel

South Carolina

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Computer Parts

South Dakota

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Paper and Paperboard

By Weight

  1. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  2. Paper and Paperboard
  3. Computer Parts

Tennessee

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

Texas

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Electrical Machinery
  3. Vehicles

By Weight

  1. Mineral Fuels
  2. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  3. Vehicles

Utah

By Value

  1. Pearls; Stones; Metals and Imitation Jewelry
  2. Vehicles
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Cocoa and Cocoa Preparations
  3. Plastics and Articles

Vermont

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Meat and Edible Offal

By Weight

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Meat and Edible Offal
  3. Vehicles

Virginia

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Vehicles
  2. Vegetables and Roots
  3. Computer Parts

Washington

By Value

  1. Vehicles
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Electrical Machinery

By Weight

  1. Salt; Sulfur; Plaster and Cement
  2. Vehicles
  3. Wood and Articles

West Virginia

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Vehicles
  3. Special Classification Provisions

By Weight

  1. Articles of Iron and Steel
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Vehicles

Wisconsin

By Value

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Measuring and Testing Instruments
  3. Computer Parts

By Weight

  1. Electrical Machinery
  2. Computer Parts
  3. Vegetables and Roots

Wyoming

By Value

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Vehicles
  3. Iron and Steel

By Weight

  1. Computer Parts
  2. Articles of Iron and Steel
  3. Iron and Steel

 

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.

What You Need to Know About Calculating Freight Rates

What You Need to Know About Calculating Freight Rates

For shippers, calculating freight costs can be one of the hardest expenses to predict and can seriously impact the bottom line.

Using a transportation management system (TMS) can help optimize your shipping process and cut freight costs for LTL, truckload, parcel, intermodal, and other shipping modes. There are a variety of factors that impact how freight rates are calculated. It is helpful to understand these when making strategic shipping decisions on freight.  Below are a few of the top factors impacting your freight costs.

Mode of Transportation – The mode you choose to ship your freight will have a large impact on the cost of goods. Shipping a product by air is generally more expensive than driving a truck from point A to point B in the United States. Air can, of course, increase the speed of delivery, making it an important factor to weigh when comparing customer expectations and cost. Full TL is another example of a cost-saving mode when compared with LTL loads. If consolidation of several LTL shipments into one FTL shipment is possible, money can be saved in unloading costs, fuel charges and labor. Consolidation into FTL is often not an option, however, and the best shipping mode remains LTL.

Modes Icons

Weight – The shipping industry uses the hundredweight pricing model, which means that freight costs are calculated per hundredweight (CWT). Carriers consult a pricing chart that lists these costs and weight brackets. Under this model, the more your shipment weighs, the less you pay per hundred pounds. Many carriers will offer more competitive prices on volume shipments. Using Kuebix TMS, volume spot quotes can be leveraged directly through the technology.

Distance – The further your freight needs to travel, the higher the freight rate will be. This is due to wear-and-tear on assets, fuel utilization and driving time. It is important to always optimize each load so that the truck takes the most direct route to all stops and fewer trucks are utilized.

Kuebix is taking some of the guess-work out of calculating LTL freight rates through its free TMSKuebix Community Load Match

If you’re looking for great freight rates on truckload shipments, the best place to look is a community with thousands of shippers, carriers, vendors and brokers collaborating to create the best loads. Kuebix Community Load Match is a truckload spot market where any shipper can easily connect to trucks with available capacity.  If you have freight to ship and are looking for additional capacity, you can request and receive truckload spot quotes through Community Load Match for free!

Begin Calculating Your Rates Now with Kuebix Free Shipper.

Strategic Partnerships Expand Opportunities in Cloud-Based Transportation Communities

Cloud-based transportation communities are digital networks where companies connect to find opportunities for efficiency and cost savings. These networks are comprised of shippers, carriers, suppliers, brokers, freight forwarders and every other type of company involved in the shipping of freight. On these digital networks, members connect to leverage efficiencies such as finding additional truckload capacity and filling empty fleet miles.

A new eBook, Putting Community in TMS: Enabling the Network Effect in Transportation Management by industry analyst and President of Adelante, SCM, Adrian Gonzalez breaks down how the network effect can be enabled in transportation management. He discusses how network-based transportation management systems (TMS) act as a conduit for shippers to maintain thousands of relationships without needing to manually forge relationships one-by-one with other companies.

“Instead of establishing and maintaining hundreds or even thousands of one-to-one connections, companies make a single connection to the network to communicate and collaborate with their existing trading partners.”

In order to attract the most users and keep them engaged on a routine basis, network-based transportation management systems serve as the operating system for these communities. Shippers are already accessing the TMS for their daily logistics needs and can therefore easily pivot to community-specific features like truckload spot markets and load matching services.

To make these community-specific services enticing and valuable for shippers leveraging the TMS, there need to be a multitude of opportunities flowing into the network-based TMS from the other end. That’s to say, there needs to be extensive available capacity exposed to the community of shippers for opportunities to be found. That’s where partnerships come in.

Kuebix, as the first and only network-based transportation management system, is pioneering this concept. By partnering with external communities and thousands of individual brokers and carriers, Kuebix is able to expose available capacity from all over the supply chain industry to its TMS users.

Partnering with Emerge Private Freight Marketplace

A new partnership with Emerge has enabled Kuebix to rapidly expand the number of opportunities available to its customers in Kuebix Community Load Match, a truckload spot marketplace. Through this partnership, members of the community can tap into Emerge’s Private Freight Marketplace and seamlessly book with thousands of verified carriers without needing to maintain individual relationships.

Partnerships like that with Emerge quickly grow the shipping community and provide users with more opportunities for collaboration. The key is to connect every transportation player through a single system where it is easy to find opportunities for collaboration while simultaneously keeping users engaged with the community, even when they aren’t actively looking for additional capacity.Kuebix and Emerge

 

Kuebix TMS and the Network Effect in Transportation Management

Kuebix TMS was built around the concept of the network effect and is proving the theory in conjunction with transportation management as described by Gonzalez in Putting Community in TMS. As more users join Kuebix’s logistics community by becoming users of the TMS, more carriers, brokers, freight forwarders and other supply chain players can be partnered with to expose available capacity. This creates a snowball effect where when more shippers join to leverage the new opportunities, new partnerships with carriers and brokers can be established to take advantage of more shippers seeking capacity. It’s a win-win for all supply chain players and grows the cloud-based community exponentially.

Currently, there are over 16,000 members of Kuebix’s shipping community and that number continues to grow. The new collaboration with Emerge and other strategic partnerships will continue to drive shippers to the technology, encouraging more partners with available capacity to expose their assets through the technology, and so on and so forth, creating the industry’s largest cloud-based shipping community.

Kuebix Freight Pay and Audit

Are You Still Manually Auditing Your Freight Bills?

Freight pay and audit can be a very tedious and expensive function. Money is wasted when companies pay outside firms by the invoice while the company may still be left dealing with difficult exceptions directly with the carrier. With the help of technology, the entire process can be streamlined and automated. This makes auditing invoices and handling exceptions highly efficient.

Automation means never accidentally overpaying for freight

Did you know that 15% of carrier invoices are incorrect and, more often than not, those erroneous bills are not in the shipper’s favor? Manually using carriers’ paper or email invoices to validate billed amounts can result in errors or even approvals without proper research. Overcharges can occur when all invoices are generically approved for remittance simply because the effort involved to research discrepancies is too time-consuming.

Automation makes auditing faster

By integrating carrier invoices directly with a TMS, carrier bills can be automatically audited against the approved rate quote for each shipment. If an invoice doesn’t match the agreed upon rate or falls outside an acceptable threshold, a rate exception claim can be created. Rate exception claims should include details of the actual discrepancy to make it easy to dispute. Then, the ERP system can be automatically updated with the new invoice information and payments can be made with confidence. When manual freight pay and audit functions are replaced with automatic ones, shippers only spend time looking at the invoices that are incorrect and always know where the discrepancies lay for easy disputing.

Automation helps to better manage cash flow

Paying invoices too early can reduce cash flow for the company. Kuebix keeps track of the payment terms with carriers and helps ERP systems pay carrier invoices on time, ensuring that invoices are not paid too early. The Kuebix platform automatically alerts the user which invoices to process for payment and on what date, ensuring cash-flow is managed correctly.

Automation provides more accurate financials

With technology, shippers have the ability to add important GL codes to the invoice so that their accounting teams can properly class the financial information for every line item on every shipment.  Enabling the smooth exchange of all associated financial data helps the company keep track of specific expenses by various product lines and business functions. By leveraging automation technology, opportunities to squeeze savings from shipping operations can be identified and implemented as well.

Kuebix TMS offers out-of-the box solutions to automate Freight Pay and Audit functions. This means that detailed rate exceptions can be viewed in one place instead of painstakingly researching discrepancies on each mis-matching invoice. By collaborating with Kuebix’s experienced team of implementation experts, a customized carrier invoice auditing integration can be created to fit any company’s specific needs.

Inbound Freight Management Kuebix

Building a Successful Inbound Freight Management Program

Managing inbound freight is one of the most crucial parts of managing a successful supply chain, but the fact is… it’s hard!

Kuebix Founder and President Dan Clark discusses in a recent video how a company can better manage their inbound freight by following a detailed process that ensures their product is delivered to the distribution center with the optimal carrier, at the optimal price.

Frequently overlooked and often pushed to the bottom of a shipper’s supply chain agenda, good inbound freight management can help companies improve shipment visibility, save money, and enhance customer service—all of which add to the bottom line and boost profitability.

With outbound freight management, shippers are in control of the operation, managing their own picking orders and delivering to their own customers. With inbound freight, shippers are dependent on suppliers to pick orders, load and deliver to a distribution center. This takes collaboration and accountability among participants, and visibility into operations to know what is happening.

A successful inbound program must follow a detailed process for all freight delivered to the distribution center. The program needs to ensure that freight is delivered by the optimal carrier at the optimal price. It requires an infrastructure that creates a win-win relationship with suppliers and carriers that leverages available capacity to ensure freight will be delivered on time, claims free to the distribution center.

With real-time alerts and a real-time collaborative infrastructure, shippers can track shipment delivery times and better organize their docks so carriers aren’t left idling in the yard. A well-planned inbound freight management program uses LTL consolidations to make fuller trucks to reduce the number of deliveries arriving at the same time and utilizes backhaul opportunities to reduce shipping costs and improve efficiencies.

A well-orchestrated inbound freight management processes establishes a win-win program with suppliers to keep costs in check. It helps with managing supplier allowance programs for LTL and TL, streamlines the unloading process, establishes vendor inbound compliance and fosters dynamic capacity-based selections, where whoever has the capacity is the one selected to deliver the orders.

A superior inbound management program must be built on compliance and accountability. It requires a comprehensive routing guide that details the requirements for each stakeholder and each process. Everyone needs to understand the program and their responsibilities for its success. Enforcing these new compliance policies ensures cost reduction objectives will be met.

This will create an environment that makes it efficient and cost effective for all stakeholders involved in the process.

 

Kuebix SupplierMAX

The Recipe for an Unbeatable Inbound Freight Management Strategy

Managing inbound freight operations is an ongoing challenge for businesses with large numbers of suppliers. Companies are impacted by the inefficiencies, low levels of visibility and lack of standardization associated with the management of their inbound freight. These problems are exacerbated when companies lack comprehensive strategies for obtaining the lowest possible shipping and unloading costs or a plan to improve the behavior of their suppliers. A complete strategy for inbound freight management needs to encompass the following three aspects; visibility, collaboration and accountability.

Visibility  Although companies control their own destinies on the outbound side of the equation, that level of control dwindles when it comes to inbound freight. In the end, the receiving company does not have full planning and visibility for shipment arrivals and dock reservations. To optimize their inbound, stakeholders can benefit from better visibility of information (e.g., knowing what carrier is being used, exact timing of deliveries, how much manpower is in the DC to load/unload shipments, etc.), real-time data sharing and the knowledge that everyone is working toward a common goal.

Collaboration  By using a comprehensive inbound freight plan based on a collaborative ecosystem of shippers, suppliers and carriers, companies can effectively establish a dynamic rating and unloading allowance program. As companies work in partnership with their suppliers to determine the most cost-effective method to handle each shipment – customer pick-up (CPU) or vendor controlled (VDS), the goal should be to reduce overall shipping costs. By giving suppliers choices, they’ll be able to pick the most effective service and billing procedure. Convert inbound shipments from VDS to CPU shipments only when it’s feasible, and then establish preferred rates with a select group of carriers to handle those inbound shipments at the lowest possible cost and best service type. Use a standard routing guide to establish a set of mandatory carriers that will be used for all VDS and CPU shipments. This will enable LTL pricing improvements, superior service levels and maximize opportunities for LTL consolidation.

Accountability  While companies can’t always control what their suppliers do or the efficiency of suppliers’ systems, they can implement Vendor Inbound Compliance Standards (VICS) to help improve supplier behavior. A comprehensive set of compliance procedures will establish rules and processes that must be followed by suppliers when making deliveries. These accountability levels should also extend to the company’s own supply chain/logistics department and procurement group, both of which play a role in ensuring that products get quickly from their origin to the distribution center (DC). The goal? Improve supplier behavior so that their inefficiencies are not wasting time and money at the DC. It’s also important that a company’s inbound strategy includes leveraging detailed analytics to measure the results of the program and take action where necessary to improve service with suppliers and carriers.

By following this general recipe, companies can work with specialists in inbound freight to develop an unbeatable inbound freight management strategy. But knowing what to do and being able to do it effectively are two entirely different hurdles companies need to jump. It’s for that reason Kuebix has developed SupplierMAX, a program where companies can leverage Kuebix’s technology and logistics experts to manage all or a portion of their inbound freight program. SupplierMAX improves supplier behavior and increases the efficiency of warehouses and distribution centers by incorporating a series of comprehensive strategies to improve inbound operations. To learn more about this program, click HERE to read the SupplierMAX press release in full.

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