Businesses who trade internationally typically rely on freight forwarders to act on their behalf to transport product. The process of locating and arranging a forwarder is no easy task and extremely time-consuming, and over many decades this process has barely changed.
Communicating over telephone and email, tediously going back and forth in order to finalize the details and secure your shipment. According to a report by American Shippers, the medium time to negotiate a contract was in excess of three months - a transaction to purchase a service taking over three months is unheard of any other industry field.
Banyan's new report, The 2017 State of Transportation Management Report, investigates the current landscape of freight operations by asking three key questions. First, the frequency of shipments, second, how they currently managing shipping procedures, and finally, what is the process of managing carrier contracts.
The report exposes the manual processes that engulf freight operations. An industry stuck in the past.
When asked how you select a carrier for a given shipment, 31% of respondents use static routing guides. This method is suitable for small networks but engaging in static routing within larger networks exposes you to human error and any re-configuration can be a timely and costing process.
Respondents were also asked, do you use a transportation management system (TMS)? Forty-five percent said no. The number of carrier contracts with a TMS in place was over 50, while fewer than 10 for freight operators not using a TMS. Technology increases efficiencies and drives productivity.
Ninety-three percent of respondents believe technology has a positive impact on the industry.
The freight industry is ready for the era of digitalization. Zencargo’s chief technology officer, Jan Riethmayer, was recently quoted saying “Freight forwarding and international shipping have been slow to adopt new customer-facing technologies.”
Technology will add direct value to freight operators. In order to be competitive, every organization seeks cost savings, however, having a longer-term association with technology is profound. Technology opens up the industry to real-time data, actionable analytics, more visibility, automated billing management that will not only streamline processes, but will save expenditure on time-consuming practices.
Banyan's freight connectivity is addressing some of the key concerns for freight operators.
Banyan Technology is at the forefront of freight forwarding business model disruptions. Its technology is two-fold.
Live Connections facilitate the instant exchange of vital freight-shipping information between shippers, brokers, forwarders, or 3PLs and carriers. In simple terms like Expedia and Skyscanner, it provides live prices from a number of providers. Banyan uses similar technology to compare freight services and direct customers to low-cost services.
It will allow customers to view live prices, constant visibility of freight movements and automated freight billing. It improves communication from negotiation to contract completion.
Transport Management System (TMS), the live Less Than Load (LTL) freight management software creates and stores all freight transaction data for accountability, historical reference, dispute resolution, and better forecasting. Simply, it improves the whole freight management process.
Banyan claims its technology is already helping to drive productivity and profitability in more than 27,000 customer sites.
The company has recently announced an improved multi-modal platform for all modes of shipping, including parcel, LTL, volume, and full truckload.
“The latest updates to the Banyan platform make it even easier for clients to compare rates between the different modes of shipping, so they always know that they are getting the best price,” said Banyan CEO Brian Smith.
This announcement follows the recent partnership announcements with two separate industry leaders in the freight management space: MacroPoint, the creator of the patented freight tracking software; and MercuryGate, a leading transportation management solution provider.
Banyan is also actively developing the addition of cargo insurance and increased visibility tools within the platform.
“We have strong experience in delivering configurable solutions that help support our client’s dynamic business needs,” said Banyan Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Lance Healy. “This is a game-changing piece of additional functionality that helps our clients achieve greater control over operating costs through a single, yet immensely robust interface.”
Banyans enhanced platform allows freight operators to communicate with customers seamlessly, creating a competitive marketplace that ultimately drives down the costs of freight contracts, provides increased visibility and greater control.
The freight industry has an appetite for technology that provides greater power over its operations. Technology has the potential to improve productivity, simultaneously connect customers, bring management processes out of the darkness and into the big data driven economy of the future.