April 2018

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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commercial carrier journal | april 2018 77 BY AARON HUFF T ransportation companies are finding new ways to scale their businesses without having to invest in equipment and facilities. Technology is fueling a growth in nonasset transportation and logistics by helping companies solve more com- plex problems for their customers and increasing the efficiency and speed of freight transactions. Whether or not a transportation com- pany has its own fleet, it can expand its value to shippers by providing seamless visibility of all freight no matter whose assets are powering the loads. Many other capabilities are mak- ing it possible for asset and nonasset transportation providers to grow and increase margins more rapidly in to- day's freight environment. Predictive freight matching Some companies that provide freight tracking have developed freight-match- ing services that use historical and real-time locations to predict where and when capacity will be available in the carrier network of a third-party logistics provider or freight broker. Trucker Tools last year announced its Smart Capacity predictive freight-matching platform. Aer watching a demonstration in January, mid-size 3PL Triple T Transport gave the product a try. e technology uses Trucker Tools' smartphone app that drivers use for trip planning. Triple T wanted to in- crease the probability that its preferred carriers would stay connected to the platform to find loads. Owner-operators and drivers for small carriers use the app to match freight from Triple T and other 3PLs. is solution works better than if Triple T had its own app, said Darin Puppel, president of the Columbus, Ohio-based company. "Carriers do not want to use a multitude of different apps to find a load," Puppel said. Triple T gets freight-matching recommendations on a map by logging into Smart Capacity's web portal. "We wanted a platform where our preferred carriers give us the first shot at matching loads with them," he said. "Smart Capacity allows us to effectively work further into the future, increasing the probability of booking with our preferred carriers before they start looking for loads from others." Instant pricing Freight brokers and 3PLs are able to earn more business by providing ship- pers with instant pricing and booking tools for spot-market freight move- ments. Such a strategy has been used by LoadSmart, a high-tech freight bro- ker that specializes in full truckload shipping. The company developed a digital platform and proprietary machine-learning technology that instantly predicts carrier rates to offer shippers instant pricing and "book it now" options for up to four days in advance. LoadSmart's machine-learning algo- rithm predicts the price of capacity by lane, says Felipe Capella, the company's co-founder. About 60 percent of its customers' orders are instant "book it Trucker Tools' Smart Capacity predictive freight-matching platform uses the company's smartphone app that drivers use for trip planning. Six ways transportation companies are breaking the mold of logistics

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