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From booking to billing, hyperautomation transforming freight journey

The right technology partner can maximize end-to-end benefits

Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Every day more freight businesses are integrating comprehensive digital platforms, which use artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate groups of related tasks while also augmenting the workflow of employees. This comprehensive process is called hyperautomation ⁠— a term coined by research firm Gartner

The ultimate goal of hyperautomation is to serve the end user. As brokers and shippers across the industry continue to weather tight capacity, labor shortages and high rates, embracing this approach has the potential to drive growth, improve accuracy, enhance productivity and ensure customer satisfaction across the industry. 

Following a shipment’s end-to-end journey, here are five areas where hyperautomation can have an immediate impact. 

Auto scheduling: Appointments booked based on preferences

AI and automation can help ease some of the pain of scheduling pickups and deliveries between shippers and carriers. Using historical data on facilities, AI can predict appointment times and automate scheduling, therefore streamlining a shipment’s life cycle. 

Leading digital freight platform Transfix integrates with shippers’ scheduling systems to automate internal processes. By using real-time location data, shippers and brokers can see when a carrier is at pickup, as well as autodetect when a shipment will be late. 

Automation does not remove the need for human labor, however. If after the shipment is tendered, no one at the facility confirms the appointment via email, a team member will reach out directly. Blending the highest offerings of what both technology and people have to offer makes the supply chain efficient. 

Auto tendering: Drivers can bid and book on the road 

Using automation and AI in the transportation industry not only means integrating with a shipper’s TMS but also integrating with drivers’ devices so that booking loads is easy and convenient. 

At Transfix, carriers can search for, bid on and book loads through both web and app portals. By using historical data to predict appointment times, dispatchers and small carriers can book without the hassle of additional phone calls or emails. 

Auto matching: The all-knowing algorithm maximizes utilization 

When it comes to digitizing the freight ecosystem, timing is everything. Matching the right carrier to the right shipper requires the aggregation of thousands of data points, such as carrier and shipper preferences, market conditions, driver locations and carrier scorecards. 

Transfix’s proprietary algorithm ranks and matches carriers with the most appropriate loads using historical data found through AI or preferences communicated by the carrier. This automation process drives repeated bookings and strong shipper and carrier relationships. For those highly ranked carriers, Transfix’s reserved lane feature gives priority access to matching lanes to maximize utilization. To minimize those expensive and environmentally harmful empty miles, Transfix regularly maximizes backhaul to help carriers return to their starting point and increase revenue.

Auto pricing: Real-time data delivers trustworthy pricing today and tomorrow 

Compared to other industries, the transportation industry has struggled to obtain reliable rate data. However, leveraging machine learning algorithms and third-party data allows digital freight networks to deliver the most trustworthy pricing for shippers’ spot and contract rates. 

More specifically, Transfix TrueRate allows for a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace and the industry’s seasonality. Third-party providers and other sources bolster TrueRate’s real-time data feed, providing Transfix the confidence required to guarantee rates for shippers. 

“In seconds, we can provide guaranteed prices for thousands of shipments,” said Jonathan Salama, Transfix’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “We can price every lane, figure out a fair spot or contract cost. We can even tell a shipper what they should have paid for a shipment in the past so that they can understand their buying power.”

Auto invoicing: Let AI take over this task

Historically, back-office processes like invoicing and billing relied on hours of manual labor. This is a prime opportunity for automation to save time, improve accuracy and allow employees to pursue higher-level tasks. 

Auto invoicing removes the need to edit PDFs or manually email or fax invoices. Transfix’s automation allows it to create customized templates for shippers that sync with billing data in real time.

The bottom line is that automation, machine learning and AI work in concert for the needs of both shippers and carriers ⁠— needs that are both fixed and constantly changing. 

“We aim to make one of the hardest professions easier. For carriers, the platform ensures they won’t be left without a load in hand, among other things,” said Salama.

“For shippers, it’s never been easier to track the life cycle of the shipment and get real-time updates. We are an invisible hand that makes their process worry free and efficient and helps reduce their freight spend,” he added.

As announced on Sept. 21, Transfix has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with G Squared Ascend I Inc. (NYSE: GSQD), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by affiliates of G Squared, that is expected to result in Transfix becoming a publicly listed company. The closing of the transaction is expected by the end of the first quarter 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

For upcoming news about Transfix’s data science solution and how to leverage its use of automation, AI and machine learning as a shipper or carrier, click here.

Corrie White

Corrie is fascinated how the supply chain is simultaneously ubiquitous and invisible. She covers freight technology, cross-border freight and the effects of consumer behavior on the freight industry. Alongside writing about transportation, her poetry has been published widely in literary magazines. She holds degrees in English and Creative Writing from UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Greensboro.