Getting better use from your logistics assets, whether it be drivers, trucks, trailers, or general staff, is a major theme of Transparency19. And the Rapid-Fire Demonstrations on the second day of the event illustrated the many ways up-and-coming companies are doing just that.
Grant Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of Emerge Tech, said the company spent the last year-and-half developing its private freight marketplace so “we wanted something that was baked and we wanted something that was ready to go.”
Shippers can use Emerge’s freight marketplace to manage their contract lanes and rates, as well as access quotes and tender loads to a network of 20,000 carriers.
The platform, which also utilizes technology from transport management system (TMS) provider Kuebix and tracking technology firm project44, allows customers to searches and matches shipments to carriers servicing their lanes.
Shippers can get bids on their freight within four or five minutes of posting loads on the Emerge platform, which uses pre-vetted carriers.
Calling it a “Kayak of Freight,” Crawford said shippers of all sizes can do more comparison shopping of what they are paying for truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL) services.
“People ask how we describe ourselves. Are you a TMS provider? Are you a digital broker?” Crawford said. “My answer is yes. We are a little bit of all those things.”
It also offers shippers a way to tap multiple less-than-truckload vendors in one place to access and tender quotes. Emerge Tech also offers freight visibility allowing shippers to track their trucks on a map, and get real-time updates on traffic and weather.
Platform Science Chief Technology Officer Jake Fields demonstrated the company’s developer tools that allow fleets to deploy applications within their existing TMS and fleet management platforms.
He also highlighted a range of features that allow drivers to edit their logs, manage their hours-of-service records, and access other workflow and productivity software.
The Platform Science developer tools will also seamless integrate with third-party applications such as LoadDocs for document auto-capture. “The platform allows fleets to choose what apps they use, create their own apps, and manage them all in a single environment,” Fields said.
He demonstrated a use case where a fleet can develop applications for drivers to log in, fill out vehicle inspections, see pay information and their loads for the day. Fleet managers can likewise use the platform to see when drivers go on shift and manage their drivers’ hours-of-service.
Ken Tarmas, director of product management at GPS system provider Spireon, demonstrated the company’s FL Flex trailer tracking system.
FL Flex “can solve all your trailer tracking needs in one single, highly flexible device,” Tarmas said. Many fleets are juggling different devices for different trailer types, whether its dry van, reefer, flatbed, chassis or tanker trailer.
FL Flex is a modular GPS device that has a variety of installation and mounting options for different types of trailers. The FL Flex system allows fleet managers to monitor solar panels, door sensors, cargo sensors, temperature probes, lift-gate battery monitoring, and automatic tire inflation systems.
Used in conjunction with its FleetLocate TMS platform, FL Flex provides fleet managers with “a centralized view of all your trailer assets, current location information and status information,” Tarmas said. The FleetLocate TMS platform can notify fleet managers of events such as door openings and when a cargo is unloaded, and a trailer is ready for pick up.
TriumphPay is a carrier payments platform for brokers and shippers. It manages $7 billion in payments per year to over 70,000 carriers, according to Executive Vice President Jordan Graft.
“The way we help drive efficiency is we have tools for carriers to submit paperwork to you in a structured format and integrate into your TMS and accounting systems,” Graft said.
TriumphPay integrates into leading transport management software platforms including McLeod, MercuryGate, TMW, AscendTMS, DAT Keypoint, and Aljex.
Through its affiliation with Triumph Bancorp (Nasdaq: TBK), it can provide also provide supply chain finance and factoring services for brokers.
With the TriumphPay mobile app, carriers find their broker, select the load, scan proof-of-delivery paperwork, and add any accessorial charges. “In talking with brokers, we added some key features, for example with lumper fees we require the carrier to submit a receipt,” Graft said. “It helps to get that information upfront and get paid more quickly.
Lean Staffing Solutions
Colombia-based Lean Staffing Solutions has worked with 73 U.S.-based companies to provide near-shore staffing services in the logistics industry. “Think of us as your satellite office,” said Chief Technology Officer Alfonso Quijano.
In addition to staffing service, Quijano highlighted the company’s employee tracking and authentication service for managing workforces.
That includes an artificial-intelligence powered chatbot that allows candidates to interact with human resources departments for submitting job applications.
Lean Staffing also provides workforce analytics software and solutions for monitoring. “If there’s some question say about what office access someone had or who has accessed a server room, from that point on, I’d go ahead and synchronize that data back into their bracelet or near field communications chip,” Quijano said.
Another feature is emotion recognition software to help organizations recognize any performance related issue that may be occurring with an employee. The software can recognize issues such as “tardiness levels and happiness levels” to give employers an opportunity to address any employee issues and improve an employee’s key performance indicators.
FLX Systems develops software and solutions for a “deskless workforce,” said Chief Executive John Thompson. In the trucking industry, it has developed an app-based system that walks drivers through their daily vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) and post-accident reports.
Thompson noted the growing need for better risk management solutions in the trucking industry due to rise in lawsuits due to truck accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported a 9 percent increase in truck accidents from 2016 to 2017.
Demonstrating FLX’s DVIR solution, Thompson showed how a driver can enter a vehicle’s information in the mobile app. The app opens the phone’s camera, provides prompts and records the driver going through each step for inspecting a truck and trailer.
“It loads a series of overlays to provide instructions on the inspection process,” Thompson said. If a piece of equipment fails inspection, the driver can provide immediate visual proof to management.
In the event a driver is involved in an accident, the FLX app will walk a driver through the steps for recording what happened and any damage as soon as possible. “The driver can provide a narrative and take photos around the accident,” Thompson said. “This information is sent directly to a fleet’s risk management team.”