For many freight forwarders, the international shipping market remains fragmented, so obtaining a quote can be an inefficient process. Without the consolidated pricing of a quote management system (QMS) platform, freight forwarders must reach out individually to customs brokers, drayage providers — not to mention multiple steamship lines — to procure a comprehensive quote.
Illinois-based ITG has 34 years of experience offering container drayage services from all U.S. ports and inland rail ramps. Catapult — an Accelya Group Company — is a 10-year-old technology solutions company that manages over 16 billion cargo rates for freight forwarders, shippers and carriers all over the world. Catapult’s QMS 5.0 software boasts a 99% accuracy rate.
Catapult provides freight forwarders and non vessel owner common carriers (NVOCC) a centralized location to build rate quotes for shipments across multiple modes of transportation. ITG offers Catapult an extensive database of nationwide drayage rates to complement ocean pricing. By combining resources, ITG and Catapult create tremendous value through streamlined pricing operations for their customers.
“With Catapult, we’re able to provide that level of consistency on a national platform and have the technology available for a shared customer base to simplify and automate the pricing process in an otherwise tough market,” said Kopp. “Looking at our growth plan, one of our goals was to increase our conversations with the procurement level of our customers. Catapult is a very respected name in the industry. If we take our good name and align with them, that’s a great opportunity.”
Ferreira, in a June 23 press release, said this collaboration would add value to the companies’ shared customers by providing the expertise of a new drayage pricing provider. In an interview with FreightWaves, Ferreira said Catapult’s customers have been asking for this kind of rate management service.
“We know there’s a need in the market,” said Ferreira. “The digital rate data flows directly into the QMS system, allowing customers a full multimodal view so they can give a complete quote to their end client. That’s where I see the largest benefit for mutual clients — the efficiency and the rate data coming directly from ITG to our system and allowing our clients to then consolidate that and create a quote.”
Freight forwarders can plug in relevant information regarding customs, destination, and modes, as well as view the associated surcharges. There’s complete flexibility into how you present those rates to the client, whether you separate or consolidate the modes.
“Once you have quotes in the system, you can analyze why you’re winning or not winning business and so forth,” said Ferreira. “The more data we bring in from the drayage perspective will help our end client analyze if they are choosing the best rate for each mode.”
Prior to addition of ITG, freight forwarders using Catapult would have to manually load rates from individual drayage providers to complete their quotes. Catapult’s addition of ITG benefits the freight forwarders by providing drayage rates backed by a trusted national provider.
“If you have an air guy, they’re trying to compare an air rate to less-than-a-container load (LCL), as well as add in drayage,” said Ferreira. “You’d need to reach out to all those parties separately and consolidate on an Excel sheet. And then you manually create a quote. You don’t have the analytics to see why you’re winning or losing a particular business.”
By serving the same customer base for over a decade along different nodes of the supply chain, both ITG and Catapult are able to use their expertise to increase the supply chain’s visibility and efficiency. Those competitive drayage rates are now visible to their shared customers through Catapult’s QMS platform.