Hosted by FreightWaves, the August 9th McLeod Capacity Creator webinar featured a discussion between Robert Brothers, Manager of Product Development for McLeod Software and Brian Kelsey, Vice President of Operations for ZMac Transportation Solutions. ZMac Transportation Solutions is the Racine, WI-based customer who has been beta-testing the Capacity Creator system. McLeod Software is the provider of transportation management software including LoadMaster and PowerBroker solutions.
Currently, McLeod’s PowerBroker users face the issues of decreasing carrier capacity and increase loads, but Capacity Creator offers a new way to help brokers harvest more truckload capacity during the work day.
According to Brothers, Capacity Creator was inspired by two major market opportunities:
The growth of the economy and the GDP, which has led to more freight volume
The capacity shortage itself, connected to the increase in overall freight volume and the April ELD mandate.
Despite the capacity crunch, Brothers noted that “the ironic part of the capacity shortage is that carriers are on market asking for loads...PowerBroker users just need a way to convert these requests into actionable data.”
“Because transportation brokerage users receive hundreds or thousands of emails per day, it’s easy to miss important or more relevant messages,” said Brothers. Kelsey spoke to his own experience with Capacity Creator, acknowledging that, at the moment, “our carrier executives are averaging 300 emails every day. We receive about 100 available tractor emails daily.”
That’s where McLeod’s Capacity Creator comes in. It’s laborious and costly to have carriers sort through emails by hand. With Capacity Creator, users can have emails sorted by date, location, trailer type, and lane in order to find the right loads.
“So if I’m a carrier salesperson,” Brothers said in an interview with FreightWaves’ JP Hampstead, “I get dozens of emails from carriers we work with every day that say ‘I’ve got a truck in Atlanta,’ ‘I’ve got a truck in Dallas,’ and it’s very hard for me to remember. What Capacity Creator does is forward that up to a machine learning algorithm that takes that unstructured data, whether it’s text, a spreadsheet, or a .pdf, and turns it into structured data that automatically matches capacity to your available load list. Now I can be first to act on that capacity in the marketplace and give [the carrier] feedback, and start offering that truck loads. You’ve incentivized the carrier because he sends you something and gets something right back.”
Essentially, Capacity Creator allows previously unstructured data to become structured data. Brothers says the accuracy of Capacity Creator’s matching process is measured at 97%, and it’s climbing daily. Overall, the message is clear: “we want the maximum amount of data to be captured,” said Brothers.
ZMac Transportation Solutions is currently using Capacity Creator to notify their carrier executives of potential loads, allowing everyone involved to gain trust in the process” before manually matching drivers to loads, Kelsey stated. Brothers added that “over time users will see how the automated matching works, [eventually] transitioning into the automated options.”
Kelsey said that the interface for Capacity Creator was the best feature of the new software: “This is a screen we look at every day. Prior to using this software, our database was so small and we found ourselves using it less and less. Now, with Capacity Creator, matching has been far more successful.”
Implementation of Capacity Creator is simple, according to Brothers, who said that “there’s some basic set-up of the website and the account” before “the software integration components are integrated and tested” and previously uncaptured data becomes actionable.
Ultimately, McLeod’s Capacity Creator makes it easier to filter through emails looking for carriers and drivers. As Kelsey concluded, “it’s all about finding the right carrier for the right load.”