Lately, ambitious logistics companies find themselves at an operational crossroads. In order to expand its network of capacity and access closer-to-real-time rates, should a brokerage partner with existing technology companies for “out-of-the-box” solutions or should it flood resources to an in-house development team to build a unique and flexible solution that fits its shippers and carriers needs?
COVID-19 placed urgency on answering this question, since having the right technology to increase efficiency and simplify communication became incredibly important.
“Across the United States companies were laying off or furloughing employees,” said Brad Young, director of digital transformation at Red Technologies. “If they had a transportation management solution, they would have uncovered time and cost savings, which could have prevented the furloughs.”
In September, Indianapolis-based Spot Freight Inc. (Spot) officially launched its proprietary technology and sister company Red Technologies, which provides secure supply chain visibility through a transportation management solution (TMS) connecting shippers, carriers and drivers.
In order to have more financial and creative control over the software, Red Technologies built an in-house team of 50 developers at its headquarters in Indianapolis. Over the next few years, the team will continue to grow and Red seeks qualified applicants.
“While operating Spot, my business partner, Andrew Elsener, and I knew that there had to be a better way to use technology versus basic ‘out-of-the-box’ software. This is how Red Technologies was born in 2015, and we’ve been perfecting the software ever since,” said Andy Schenck, Red Technologies co-founder, in September’s press release. “Over the course of the past year, we’ve quadrupled the size of our in-house development team, allowing for us to further customize the TMS, carrier portal and mobile app prior to today’s official launch.”
Red Technologies offers a three-tiered solution to benefit both sides of the industry. The TMS helps shippers manage their logistics operations through real-time visibility, freight optimization and customizable reports that align with the customer’s goals and requirements. Red Technologies’ infrastructure is also set up to safely guard a shipper’s and carrier’s TMS data, since ransomware hackers are attacking more small transportation companies.
Prior to integrating Red Technologies’ TMS, one customer, a national distributor of chemical and raw materials, had always booked the same carrier and never had access to the data of previous years. By gaining the ability to compare rates and benchmark operational trends, this customer has saved approximately $100,000 in the first year.
“A shipper can go onto the TMS and find a hot shipment they need to keep a close eye on and mark themselves as a watcher,” said Young. “When you order something from Amazon, you get three total emails from them: that your order has been confirmed, that your order has been shipped and that your order has been delivered. We follow that same model. The shipper will start receiving notifications when that shipment changes its status. It gives an extra layer of visibility, especially on those urgent or hot shipments.”
The carrier portal provides carriers unlimited access to their freight, the ability to accept or reject shipments and instant notifications on matching shipments. Available on the App Store and Google Play, the driver mobile app allows drivers on the road to manage and search for loads, as well as submit necessary shipment paperwork — whether that’s a lumper receipt or detention claims.
“The really cool thing about the driver app is that drivers can actually find additional loads for themselves,” said Young. “If they’re at a receiver unloading, they can find their next reload using our freight network.”
Carriers can search for loads based on various specifications like the type of available equipment, so each of Red Technologies’ 50,000 contracted carriers will match with the perfect shipment. One carrier said the driver app and carrier portal “differentiates them from others in the industry,” which makes hauling for Spot easy.