Check Call

Check Call: When is enough enough?

Welcome to Check Call, our corner of the internet for all things 3PL, freight broker and supply chain. Check Call the podcast comes out every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Catch up on previous episodes here. If this was forwarded to you, sign up for Check Call the newsletter here.

Inside this edition: Getting just the right amount of Tech upgrades; A rift among former customer and service provider; and a newbie joins Nuvocargo’s ranks. 

Quality over quantity. This week on Check Call we talk to Kyle Ingraham, president of AFC Logistics, about all things tech. Everyone loves a good tech upgrade, moving away from legacy systems that struggle to integrate with the newest applications that come out. At a fundamental level, new software is supposed to help improve things, automate things that take up too much time, not to make things worse by requiring someone to go through 10 screens to book one load. 

Not sure where to start? Pick someone, anyone, sit with him or her and watch the processes. Look at  an individual rep who books 100 loads a day. Where is there room to allow that rep  to work more efficiently? Does the system freeze up when trying to input a load? Does the rep  have to do a 10-step work-around when something should flow easily? I’d recommend starting there. 

Super simple. It could be something as simple as having IT fix one part of an integration or circle back with your software provider to make sure the integration is fully complete. Too many times there are all of these softwares that promise seamless integration but there is something internally that prohibits the full integration of a system, leaving you paying for a service you aren’t able to fully utilize. Paying for a service you don’t use is pointless. 

The right balance. Knowing where there is room for improvement and where people are wasting time due to inefficiencies is key. Take a walk and ask everyone what’s the worst part of their job. If it’s not unrealistic customer demands, there is probably a chance that it could be fixed. One of my least favorite things was having to download files from one system, fix them in Excel, copy and paste them into a template, then upload them again into a new system. What if  there was a way to get a legacy system to talk to the new one?

This is why we can’t have nice things. The supply chain world is not immune to some shade and casual lawsuits between business associates. The innovation and creation has to hit a roadblock because someone gets their feelings hurt. This time DAT is the one that is sad that Convoy created Convoy for Brokers. 

The tea: DAT is mad at Convoy for “misappropriating DAT’s data and trade secrets” to build a competing load board. DAT wants Convoy to be shut down. 

He said: DAT is claiming that Convoy has breached their contract that said it couldn’t create a load board during the three-year term following Convoy’s departure from being a DAT customer. 

She said: Convoy is saying that no company can block another company from “pursuing its own commercial endeavors and that DAT weaponizes noncompetes to keep freight brokers captive to its platform.” 

Where we stand: currently chilling in court. Each side keeps filing petitions, motions, etc. against each other. Both products are still completely functional until the legal pingpong stops. 

Market check. This map of the U.S. isn’t a map of which parts are more patriotic, it’s a map of the Headhaul Index in the U.S. The Headhaul Index is typically a good indicator of capacity changes in a region or a market. When the score is positive, there is more outbound freight than inbound and more demand on capacity and vice versa for negative numbers. The heat map of the U.S. is great for looking at a glance markets that are varying shades of blue indicate tighter capacity, so increase bids in these markets. Red is typically considered a backhaul market, so you can get away with lower rates to help carriers get back to where they want.  

Who’s with whom. The cross-border champions of U.S. and Mexico freight have beefed up their roster by hiring former Flexport exec Nicholas Vernald. Nuvocargo is looking to expand its  U.S. presence and Vernaud’s background in building revenue for billion-dollar companies makes him the ideal candidate. Leveraging relationships and the ins and outs of Mexico was a natural starting points, which is also the hardest for most other people. Branching out into the U.S. should be a walk in the park and it couldn’t come at a better time as more and more shippers are moving operations to Mexico. 

Quotable moment from the press release: “We are very excited to have Nick join us — he will be crucial in boosting our presence with U.S.-based shippers and decision-makers looking for a great solution to move their cargo between Mexico and the U.S.,” said Deepak Chhugani, co-founder and CEO of Nuvocargo.

The More You Know

Feds drop fraud charges against Celadon trucking executives 

Fertilizer shippers seek carrier reforms to address supply chain snags

FMC considering 60-day congestion emergency order 

A Shell executive reveals how the energy giant wants to decarbonize the shipping industry

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Mary O'Connell

Former pricing analyst, supply chain planner, and broker/dispatcher turned creator of the newsletter and podcast Check Call. Which gives insights into the world around 3PLs and Freight brokers. She will talk your ear off about anything and everything if you let her. Expertise in operations, LTL pricing and procurement, flatbed operations, dry van, tracking and tracing, reality tv shows and how to turn a stranger into your new best friend.