FourKites introduced its Predictive Capacity Management (PCM) suite last year to address queries from some of its larger shipper customers, but it found that for many customers, the product was a little too much, too soon.
To assist those customers and ease the transition, the company has split the product into two separate products, the first of which it is introducing on August 26. Lane Connect is a “planning” application, Matt Elenjickal, founder and CEO of FourKites, said, and allows shippers to run an analysis on their own networks to identify wasted trailer space. With this information in hand, the shipper can then work with other organizations that may have freight running the same lanes and face a similar underutilized capacity situation.
“The logistics ecosystem is painfully aware of the inefficiencies caused by the under-utilization of existing assets and personnel,” Elenjickal said. “The first step to solving this problem is to analyze freight execution patterns and identify cost-saving opportunities to reduce empty miles. With Lane Connect, all parties in the logistics ecosystem can take advantage of the opportunities that are hiding in their own freight environment.”
Calling it an “on-ramp” for shipper, carrier and broker collaboration, Lane Connect provides a tool to analyze a shipper’s network and lanes for round-trip collaboration opportunities – and identify potential partners with whom to collaborate.
The company noted that Lane Connect analyzes the lanes, not the loads, and there is no posting of loads. The analysis is based on 12-plus months of historical data, including seasonality metrics, day-of-the-week trends, and other factors. Data can be updated monthly for ongoing analysis.
FourKites is making Lane Connect available to its users, but also all other shippers for free, until Aug. 31, 2020. The hope is that shippers will be able to better fill trailers, thereby reducing their freight spends.
“Lane Connect is giving us the invaluable ability to collaborate with other grocery manufacturers and food retailers who share common lanes,” Yone Dewberry, chief supply chain officer at Land O’Lakes. The company is implementing the entire FourKites PCM suite. “That translates into higher utilization and better cost management and helps ensure that we’re collaborating with carriers to keep trucks moving.”
Once a customer has identified lanes and partners based on real-world data, it can determine the best way to execute within its network.
The current version of Lane Connect is focused on full truckloads and is tailored to shippers. Versions for carriers and brokers will come at a future date.
The second application within the PCM suite, which will be formally announced at a later date, is Dynamic Matching. This is an “execution” application, that will allow partners to define their own collaborative network, and automatically match capacity with available loads – within existing contracts – and monitor the execution of those matches through real-time tracking. The pricing of the matches will be determined by the parties involved, Elenjickal said, and it will work in tandem with existing TMS systems to automate the execution. Elenjickal emphasized it is not FourKites intention to become a broker, there will be no posting of loads, and this is not a spot market tool.