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Managed transportation takes complexity out of logistics

Echo’s solution optimal for shippers lacking supply chain visibility or resources

Image: Jim Allen (FreightWaves)

How would you describe the state of the freight industry? Some might say it’s congested or fragmented, while others say it’s complicated. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t overwhelmed by the complexities.

In this age, when FreightTech promises an easier tomorrow, the reality is rather ironic, as even those with the latest technology achieve very little without expertise. Success in this industry comes not from working harder, but from working smarter, since you can’t beat expertise.

More and more shippers are finding shipping to be less complicated with Echo Global Logistics. Rather than continue spinning their wheels with logistical bottlenecks, shippers can focus on what they do best while leaving the heavy lifting to the logistics professionals. 

But what exactly is Echo’s managed transportation solution? Mike Mobley, senior VP of operations at Echo, describes it simply as an outsourcing solution for shippers to leverage some, if not all, of their transportation networks to the hands of Echo’s logistics professionals.

“It involves sourcing and managing the shipment, tendering it out to a carrier, tracking it, making sure the carrier invoiced it properly and then billing the shipper,” Mobley said.

There are many reasons why a company would turn to Echo. Its managed transportation solution is optimal for shippers lacking supply chain visibility or the resources to manage their transportation needs.

Managed Transportation begins with Echo’s technology offerings, which Mobley said can be easily integrated with clients that have an antiquated TMS, no TMS or may have even purchased one but lack the assets to maintain it. Echo’s proprietary technology is scalable and flexible to the specific needs of each business, providing the shipper access to over 50,000 transportation providers.

Even if the shipper is without the resources needed to operate at the desired level, they need only to trust the process. Echo’s dedicated account management teams are prepared to take the work off the shipper’s plate by managing the day-to-day logistics operations. Mobley refers to these teams as both tactical and strategic resources.

Echo offers freight brokerage and managed transportation solutions for all major modes, including truckload, partial truckload, LTL, intermodal and expedited. However, Echo strives to do more than just manage these loads, instead aiming to deliver continuous improvement. Their experts act as an extension of their clients’ businesses, evaluating their challenges and identifying opportunities to improve performance in line with their business strategies.

Continuous improvement comes in all forms, ranging from day-to-day tactics such as comparing the effectiveness of emails to a customer web portal to scheduling weekly improvement calls between Echo’s team and management. Strategic supply chain-related continuous improvement exercises are performed as well.

“We have a solutions group within our managed transportation department made up of analysts that act as consultants to inspect the client’s supply chain from a transportation perspective and make recommendations to be incorporated into our business reviews,” Mobley said. “Network reviews and customer rationalizations are examples of the supply chain projects the solutions group does to help our clients spend smarter.”

Echo’s all-encompassing solution boasts a renewal rate above 95%. Jamie Petrzelka, Echo’s senior VP of business development, assures his clients of the company’s dynamic strategizing.

“To get through this freight cycle, we can give you a short-term plan today to solve your immediate issues, and when the freight cycle starts to come back to normal, our long-term solutions can come into play,” Petrzelka said. “You’re not stuck with just one plan with Echo; we’re flexible, and we can shift more quickly than you opting to single source it or going to a carrier. The beauty of the Echo model is that it’s robust and flexible.”

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Jack Glenn

Jack Glenn is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves and lives in Chattanooga, TN with his golden retriever, Beau. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.