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C.H. Robinson opens door further to real-time pricing, capacity assurance tools

Integrations with 19 top TMS providers provides customers a seamless experience when booking freight

Big changes lie ahead in the wake of Biesterfeld's ouster (Photo: C.H. Robinson)

C.H. Robinson (NASDAQ: CHRW) has announced integrations of its Navisphere multimodal transportation management system (TMS) with 19 leading providers of TMS and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Among the integrations are connections with Blue Yonder, Oracle Transportation Management, Oracle NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

The integrations will give C.H. Robinson shipping customers access to its real-time pricing and capacity assurance tools within the framework of their current TMS or ERP systems. According to the company, this will save an average of one hour for every shipment.

“Customers expect solutions to streamline the shipping process; meeting them where they are and delivering innovative solutions to address their needs is always our top priority. That’s why we’ve integrated these 19 TMS and ERP systems,” Mike Neill, chief technology officer for C.H. Robinson, told FreightWaves.

The full list of new integrations includes Banyan Tech, Blue Yonder, CarrierPoint, Creative Logistics, FreightPop, Freightview, Generix Group, Kuebix, MercuryGate, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle NetSuite, OTM, Pacejet, Process Weaver, ProShip, Ship ERP, ShipHawk, Ship Well and SwanLeap.

Neill said that digital transactions have grown significantly year-over-year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, showing that customers are willing and still able to automate transactions further.

“Supply chain disruption and changing consumer habits due to the pandemic has customers turning even more to automation,” Neill said. “Compared to a year ago, our overall digital transactions are up 55%. Allowing customers to work within their native platforms to get market rates and book loads further automates the process for them.”

The company highlighted an unnamed beverage shipper that saw business grow along new lanes during COVID-19. The ability to access C.H. Robinson’s real-time prices and capacity within its own system has allowed it to take advantage of opportunities along this lane.

“Having our transportation management system connected into C.H. Robinson’s technology platform provides us with real-time market rates that we rely on to make the smartest decisions possible for our shipments. We instantaneously get the most competitive rates that we can book with one click, saving us thousands of hours so far,” the unnamed company’s senior transportation manager said in a release.

“Without C.H. Robinson’s capacity assurance, the process would be like shopping online and hitting purchase when there may be no inventory to buy,” said Mac Pinkerton, president of C.H. Robinson’s North American Surface Transportation division. “We are proud to offer this unprecedented assurance along with other game-changing benefits such as providing real-time market rates, delivered by our unmatched network size and information advantage, to create savings and efficiencies in the transportation management process.”

The integrations provide access to both truckload and less-than-truckload freight. Asked why these 19 among the hundreds of TMS/ERP providers possible, Neill cited their commitment to innovation.

“These 19 represent the leading — and some of the largest — TMS and ERP systems in our industry, which many of our customers use,” he said. “They represent systems that are already innovating in this space and were ready to be integrated into the technology we use. This list of 19 will continue to grow as we can connect easily and seamlessly with TMS and ERP systems our customers may use.”

Real-time rates are derived from C.H. Robinson’s network of more than 200,000 shippers and carriers. In the first six months of 2020, more than 1 million automated price quotes were delivered, the company said. Neill said customers will be able to benefit from real-time pricing and booking, as well as shipment documents, tracking and invoicing with the new integrations, all handled within the customer’s native platform.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has added extra elements to an already-challenged freight marketplace, so this is a critical time to provide companies with real-time data to make informed, intelligent, profitable decisions,” said Terry Norton, vice president, 3PL & Transportation at Blue Yonder. “We’re glad to amplify our dynamic price discovery offering through one of the largest providers in the world and help C.H. Robinson further empower its shippers through near real-time pricing and capacity to help them move goods to the right place, at the right price, while meeting business needs in this challenging market.”

Last month, C.H. Robinson teamed up with Microsoft to further digitize the supply chain by making Navisphere available through Microsoft’s Azure platform and within the Azure Internet of Things (IoT) environment. Neill noted that the integration with Azure makes these types of integrations easier to accomplish “by having these connections built in the cloud. It allows for scale and provides an infrastructure to allow for more innovation in the future.”

On Aug. 4, the company expanded its Freightquote by C.H. Robinson tool with additions designed to assist small shippers. The new additions add small parcel shipping and temperature-controlled truckload shipping to the platform and allow for the comparison of small parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) rates side by side, giving the customer the information necessary to make the best choice for their operation, all with a single click of a button. In addition, packages under 150 pounds can be instantaneously priced and booked with the tool. 

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]