Some of today’s most innovative and disruptive companies in the logistics industry showed off their products during FreightWaves’ first virtual 3PL Summit on Tuesday.
Their challenge was to spotlight their products through engaging seven-minute presentations — with no PowerPoints allowed. Hubtek and J.B. Hunt 360 scored Best in Show awards for their innovative offerings and top-notch presentations.
In order for a brokerage’s workforce to avoid tedious tasks and pursue more creative work, Hubtek, a workforce optimization company, introduced TABI, a digital worker supported by robotic processing automation (RPA). TABI promises an 80% cost reduction, 100% accuracy, a perfect bill of health, and an enormous increase in profitability due to TABI’s 24/7 availability and lower costs.
TABI can open an email with unstructured information and find key data by employing a helper named Charlie, a natural language processing (NLP) brain, which has mastered industry language and nuances.
If a company is missing out on opportunities due to slow response times and inaccurate bidding, TABI is able to read the opportunity email, find the company’s rating systems, calculate an accurate spot market rate and submit a rate into the shipper’s TMS. Before TABI, a human worker took six minutes to respond to an opportunity email, causing this company to win only 1% of its spot market bids. TABI’s performance at the same task helped to increase the company’s wins to 10% and free up a full-time worker.
Earlier this year, TriumphPay, the Dallas-based billing and payment company, launched a mobile app that allows carriers to submit paperwork, brokers to approve it and carriers to get paid quickly. If a carrier defaults to its Quickpay feature, said Haley Evans, vice president of sales at Triumphpay, they will get paid instantly.
“One thing we heard from carriers is that it would be great to submit paperwork all in one place to all their brokers and shippers. This reinforces the relationship between brokers and carriers, because we’re allowing brokers to pay carriers directly in exactly the way that brokers want to get paid.”
While carriers need to have an account with TriumphPay to use them, the tool and the mobile app are completely free. Once a user is signed in, the paperwork screen shows paperwork that has been submitted and is waiting for approval.
TriumphPay has partnered with Hubtran to help with the end-to-end processing once carriers have submitted the documents. Brokers will be able to see new submissions, as well as submissions with exceptions. With three clicks, brokers can approve the invoice, send documents to the transportation management system (TMS) and settle the load by ensuring correct data input. The carrier will see an approved invoice soon after.
Since the beginning of the year, J.B. Hunt’s 360 has made its sign-up process more seamless and thousands of shippers have taken advantage. But more surprisingly, over 200 3PLs signed up. J.B. Hunt 360 now has 400 active 3PLs.
“The J.B. Hunt 360 platform has enabled shippers of every size to have easy access to over 700,000 trucks,” said Mark Brewer, director of product innovation at J.B. Hunt. It’s enabling carriers to save time and money and find loads that they love to haul.”
For a 3PL to sign up, go to the “Get Started” button on J.B. Hunt’s website and follow the prompts, which will quickly lead you to “Create a Shipment,” where you can designate your less-than-a-truckload or truckload shipment and begin to enter locations, dates, times, item description details and driver instructions. 3PLs can pay with a credit line or a credit card. Once a shipment is booked, you can begin receiving notifications regarding the status of the load. Sixty-five percent of the loads are seen within 60 seconds, said Brewer.
On the Carrier 360 app, carriers can look for loads near them or enter a specific location. When carriers have found a load and want to place an offer, they can enter a flat amount or an amount per mile. Shippers can also easily track the status of the load on a map within Shipper 360.
When sales representatives are pricing freight, they must consider a myriad of complex factors and moving targets. Transportation and logistics software company PROS created a product to streamline that process, helping both seasoned professionals and brand new reps come up with the right price for the right service at the right time, even if they’re working from their living rooms.
PROS is designed to integrate with each client’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, allowing reps to put together quotes quickly and easily. PROS lets reps see how likely they are to win each deal at their quote price. PROS provides pricing recommendations by analyzing customer behavior and current market conditions to determine what each customer is willing to pay. This helps prevent rejected quotes and excessive back-and-forth between parties.
“The machine learning and AI algorithms happening on the [PROS] back end will learn and adapt to ever-changing market conditions to help us win more business at better prices,” PROS Executive Account Manager Rylee Case said. “PROS can help you respond to and win more deals — better spots, contracts and RFPs.”
The AI-enabled system can even spot opportunities sales reps did not know they were missing, according to Case.
The more advanced technology gets, the more overwhelming it can become. Systems that are customized to the user can help cut down on this by tailoring their capabilities to the customer’s exact needs without all the leftover fluff.
Sphere Management recently launched Elevate, a modular framework that pairs with existing technology like electronic logging devices (ELDs) and TMS to leverage existing data. The framework provides services to help customers optimize virtually every part of their businesses — scenario planning, operational planning, appointment setting, dispatch, visibility and analytics.
Elevate can be customized to each individual’s needs, and the system takes things like hours of service (HOS) and multiple routing options into consideration.
“[Elevate] is also able to automate as much as possible and reduce the hassle of creating appointments,” said Sphere Management Director of Optimization and Analytics Bill Matthews. “Sphere is able to send automated interactive emails to enable one-click confirmation, cutting down hours of manual work. It can also make automatic phone calls.”
Elevate also provides operational metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). The system is designed to display everything customers need and nothing they don’t through customization and configuration.
The transportation and logistics industry is more competitive than ever, and technology can help determine which companies come out on top. Real-time visibility and digital freight matching can enable brokers and carriers alike to stay ahead of the curve and make the most out of changing market conditions.
Trucker Tools connects brokers and carriers and provides both popular offerings through its mobile application. The Trucker Tools app is the most popular app in the industry, boasting almost 1 million downloads. It is utilized by over 135,000 carriers, includes over 17 tools for an all-in-one experience, and enables real-time freight tracking and matching.
“One of the things that really impressed us about Trucker Tools was their willingness to learn and adapt,” Choptank CEO Geoff Turner said. “They have taken a lot of feedback from a lot of high-quality freight brokers and 3PLs, and they’ve continued to enhance the product and make it better and better.”
Trucker Tools recently launched the broker advantage portal. This portal is designed to deliver all the capabilities Trucker Tools has become known for alongside the brokerage’s branding. This is intended to create a sense of brand recognition with the company’s carrier base.