2018 Top 100 Logistics IT Provider

ShippersEdge Named a 2018 Top 100 Logistics IT Provider

For the fifth year in a row ShippersEdge was named a top 100 Logistics IT Provider by Industry Leading Magazine Inbound Logistics.

Dear Mr. Taylor, 
Congratulations again on your selection as a 2018 Inbound Logistics Top 100 Logistics IT Provider. It’s time for you to celebrate and share this achievement by ordering an official awards plaque from Inbound Logistics!

Displaying a plaque in your reception area, CEO’s office, and/or shared work space tells your prospects, customers, team members and stakeholders that you have been recognized for excellence by the leading logistics magazine in the United States. Leverage the Inbound Logistics brand to celebrate and share your achievement.The 11” x 14” wood plaque highlights your company name. The centerpiece of the plaque is a customized redesign of the April 2018 cover produced by Inbound Logistics’ in-house creative team (the attached PDF order form displays a sample).

While you may be contacted by other plaque companies that have no affiliation with Inbound Logistics, be assured that this is the only official Top 100 Logistics IT Provider plaque available.

The plaques will only be available for a limited time. The attached PDF contains all the details, and is a fillable order form. If you have any questions or trouble using the order form, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

​Sincerely,​

— 

Nicole Mangray

National Sales Associate | Inbound Logistics

Intermodal not Answering the Call

As our national capacity crunch deepens with the ripening of a growing season in the south many people thought that intermodal capacity would be the answer to a capacity shortage. The real answer is not what people were expecting at all. The ELD mandate has struck intermodal in regards to drayage both for international container shipping and domestic traffic.

On the international side, long dwell times at ports and highly congested urban freeways abuses drivers and lax enforcement of hours of service before ELDs masked a problem that is now exposed. With the Panama Canal’s lack of immediate success, it may be possible that the intermodal drayage capacity crunch finally makes less congested ports a viable option.

What is happening on both the domestic and international side is that the consumption of driver hours is pushing what was theoretically a one day round trip on drayage in the 200-250-mile range into two day trips given the max duty time of 14 hours. This consumes equipment if not just the driver’s wages. You have to think about the fact that intermodal equipment is more finite and any consumption in terms of trailer days will affect the entire intermodal eco chain.

There are no easy quick fixes

Presuming the amount of intermodal conveyances, be it container or trailer can be increased, you still have to increase the number of seated tractors. There are no easy quick fixes.

Strangely enough, embargoing shipments with long drayage miles may actually help save intermodal. That will probably be done by strategic pricing, at least in domestic truckload side. The intermodal companies could effectively embargo certain points through pricing for being too far from an intermodal facility to be able to be serviced within a driver’s effective and now monitored duty cycle.

Adding intermodal capacity is an expensive proposition

The intermodal trailers also need intermodal rail cars and locomotives. These are large capital expenditures just waiting for the next recession. At some point, you also need to enlarge and enhance ramp facilities. Frankly, getting drivers should be the easy part simply because the drivers are typically home each night.

America is greening from the bottom up right now and expect things to get much worse when it comes to pricing and capacity before it gets better. The growing season always makes things tight in the seasonal states but doubtful you’ve seen anything like the crunch that’s lurking. Unfortunately, intermodal is not a near term answer.

ShippersEdge TMS can help manage all types of capacity www.shippersedgetms.com or call 952-777-4421

Cargo Security

Theft by Misrepresentation of Identity

Here’s a scenario. Friday afternoon, an unsuspecting broker gets a call on a load of grapes from California to Toronto from a trucker based in Iowa. This trucker has one truck and says he can do the load. He also has a Gmail address using the name of the trucker. Broker makes the deal, sends the contract, service confirmation and his packet. Carrier executes the contract and service confirmation and sends back his carrier packet. Deal done, broker knocks off for the day.

Later he gets an email letting him know the load has been picked up, ETA in Toronto Tuesday morning and the appointment is made. Tuesday morning comes and the load has failed to arrive. What happened. He calls the carrier and gets an answering machine. He writes to the Gmail address, no response. Eventually a claim arrives for the missing load of grapes to the tune of $60,000. What happened?

In reviewing the claim, he notes that the only ID provided is the license plate on the trailer, nothing on the driver or the plate on the tractor. That license plate checked out to a junked trailer in a salvage yard. Driver’s signature is difficult to make out. A claim is presented to the trucker at his address in Iowa. Trucker denies any knowledge of the load, says that is not his signature and his logs show he was not in California.

This trucker’s office is not attended regularly. He uses an answering machine and while he had gotten messages about this load, he knew he hadn’t hauled the load and reckoned it was a mistake. Thieves look for one truck operations and check the presence or rather non-presence of personnel attending the phone.

The answer in this theft is phone number spoofing. The thieves, probably in cahoots with the shipping location, spoofed the solo operator’s phone number and created a Gmail account to send and receive documents. To the unsuspecting broker, he never called back the carrier to confirm the ID. Always call back a new carrier on the number provided in the Safer system or in FMCSA records. Check inspections, no inspections, noload. Also, if a driver on the road calls, verify he is who he says he is. Run his license plate, it will find inspection records.

Most cargo thefts originate on Thursdays and Fridays and especially on log weekend. This gives the thieves plenty of time to fence the stolen goods. Commodities without serial numbers are especially vulnerable. Most cargo theft involves an insider with enough knowledge of the load. Give your shippers the license plate number for the tractor and have them photo copy the driver’s license.

Shippers, it is a best practice to tighten your security including photo ID and license plate numbers. Require your brokers to provide this information to you prior to loading.

Tim Taylor

 

 

How Shippers Compete Against Themselves in the Spot Market

How Shippers Compete Against Themselves in the Spot Market

You have had ever rising spot market freight costs. You’ve heard your broker explain about astonishing load to truck ratios, about equipment and driver shortages. Stop; just stop. First off, we do have a driver shortage (at $0.40 per mile) compounded by reduced actual miles driven due to the ELD mandate. One thing you shouldn’t do is offer your loads to multiple brokers.

There are NOT 30 loads for every available truck

Look, there are NOT 30 loads for every available truck, there can’t be, it’s not possible. Empirically, the load to truck ratio is exactly one-to-one. The only thing that changes is some commodities can’t travel as far due to increased transportation costs. It becomes more effective with some commodities to source them nearer the end user.

Drivers don’t post their trucks anymore because they get inundated with calls from brokers. That, along with multiple iterations of the same load by competing brokers, is why the load to truck ratios are so skewed. Drivers use their smartphone apps and shop for the highest paying rate. That there are so many brokers posting a load also being posted by other brokers, is driving up your rates. So, if you’re using multiple brokers for your loads; stop, stop driving up your own rates!

Asset based carriers do it too

Asset based carrier also have logistics [read brokerage] divisions and when you give them your load lineup they may well be posting that load on the spot market and tell you they don’t have capacity for you. They see the rates, on the spot market, they know where to make money and it’s not at low contract rates. They can and do place capacity in the spot market because it can pay twenty percent more than your rates. That situation will partially be solved upon contract renewals. They may even offer to cover some of your loads at higher spot market prices with a contracted truck.

Sometimes simply even asking for a rate from multiple brokers will cause appearances of the load you asked for a rate on to be posted on load boards. It happens all the time, even if you never tendered the load to them. Brokers generally know who their competition is and they can see your load being offered to the market, so they simply bid up the price to the trucker, secure a truck and call you. Meanwhile the broker you had given the load to can’t find a truck because he’s been priced out of the market.

What you need is a smart broker

What you really need is a smart broker, who can help you manage through this spiked environment. There are techniques that were used in other capacity constrained periods. If you want, contact me for more information.

A final note here. Driver pay is going up. I think it will be at or near sixty cents per mile by the end of 2019. It needs to go up. Over the Road truck driving is competing with local truck driving, construction and other busy areas of commerce for labor. A driver out on the road has expenses too for food and laundry and so on. They can work up to seventy hour weeks. Even at sixty cents per mile (about a 50% increase from December 2016) if the guy has to work 70 hours, that’s only a little better than $17.00 per hour.

ShippersEdge TMS is a tier-2 affordable full featured transportation management system for more information contact timothy.taylor@shippersedge.com or visit us on the web at www.shippersedgetms.com

 

 

Shippers Sabotage Spot Market

Shippers Sabotage Themselves in Spot Market

Many shippers don’t realize that they sabotage themselves in the freight spot market. It is standard doctrine that competitive bidding achieves a lower price. However, our application of that principle disrupts Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” by creating artificial demand that results in higher shipping prices and less profit for shippers.

Sometimes just asking for a bid

Broadcast [and sometimes just asking for a bid] available loads to multiple brokers looking for the lowest cost. But, what actually happens is that multiple postings of the same shipment go out to the spot market load boards, creating falsely inflated demand. Truckers are smart and naturally will hold out for the highest price.

A new price higher price point for a given shipping lane is being breached every day; in part due to capacity stripped from the market by new electronic logging device requirements. As those thresholds rise, higher rates become the new normal, and it will be hard to drive those rates back down. Let’s also not forget the once inexhaustible supply of new trucking company entrants into the market, which is exhausting itself due to increased regulation and low driver pay.

Frankly they’ll hide their capacity

Shippers naturally will retreat from the spot market, and try and lock in contract rates There is a problem in that thinking as well. The spot market, actually pays more per mile than most major carrier bid lanes. It won’t be long before these major carriers shift more capacity to the spot market, frankly they’ll hide their capacity from you, the shipper.

We must remember that economic principles, properly understood and applied, will always serve the public and the logistics industry better than what we think is “normal” maneuvering.

See also this link  https://www.shippersedgetms.com/blog/logistics-softwa…spot-market-bids ‎

For more information, contact Tim Taylor at 952-777-4421 or timothy.taylor@shippersedge.com

Can a 3PL use ShippersEdge?

Can a 3PL use ShippersEdge?

Yes. ShippersEdge can allow your client a direct portal to rate and book shipments. ShippersEdge would be branded to your company’s logo. We can work with shipper specific pricing or blanket pricing. We also work with rate tables if needed and can accommodate specialty rating such as pallet rates, dimensional rating (dim rates) and lineal foot rates.

One of the best parts of ShippersEdge is its ease of use. People can be operational in minutes rather than days. Training replacement workers is a snap. Clients and you are both alerted if a shipment price goes up due to weight, class or accessorial charges.

Paperless invoicing to your clients and from your carriers is available. Invoices are automatically audited against expected estimated charges. Exceptions are placed in their own tab for easy visibility. Original rating criteria, including rate quote number are saved. Easily link to the carrier’s website to review documentation.

Transit issue are flagged to get ahead of problems with minimal impact to your clients and their customers. An audit trail is created on transit time exceptions for use if ordering expedited services. Your customers can choose to send email alerts to others when an order is shipped complete with a tracking link for easy live tracing on the carrier’s websites.

Full reporting modules available for both you and your clients. Most reporting is into an Excel spreadsheet. The user can specify selection criteria(s) and which fields to export. Templates of common reports can be saved. Custom and automated reports can be set up by ShippersEdge. A handy dashboard can be customized for your clients and your firm.

Your clients can also use ShippersEdge to book their truckload shipments. You choose whether they can also communicate with other truckload providers through the system. You will always have visibility into the system on any client.

Integrations are common for us and we can integrate into almost anything. Integration can be as simple as file uploads in batch or API integrations if the software to be integrated with is capable. We also support OBDC.

Contact ShippersEdge today at 952-777-4451 or visit us on the web at www.shippersedge.com/info

TMS adoption among small- to mid-sized companies

Higher TMS adoption among small- to mid-sized companies

Historically, TMS adoption rates for smaller shippers has hovered in the 10% range, according to industry insiders while about 25% of medium-sized firms and 50% of large organizations used the application to manage their freight activities.

These adoption rates are now rising thanks to the fact that most TMS is now available in the Cloud and on a subscription-based model. “Recently, we’ve seen about 15% growth in TMS usage within small- to mid-sized businesses market, with some vendors reporting more than 20% growth for that market,” says one analyst, who attributes these increases to the fact that TMS is now within the grasp of much smaller shippers.

Other key drivers include higher transportation costs – mainly caused by driver shortages – and the ongoing need “to be smarter about how you run your transportation,” the analyst. “For their customers, shippers need to be able to provide more visibility tools and more analytical capabilities. These factors are also driving higher TMS adoption.”

ShippersEdge noted that increasingly their calls are coming from companies who have stated “We need to save the 13% our 3PL is marking up our shipping costs. These clients often need assistance setting up direct rates with carriers and ShippersEdge has offered valuable assistance.

Excerpts from Supply Chain 24/7

Will Tighten Truckload Capacity

Roadcheck inspection blitz coming in early June will tighten truckload capacity
From Overdrive Magazine

CVSA’s annual Roadcheck inspection spree is one month away.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual International Roadcheck inspection spree will be held in one month, June 6-8, across North America.

CVSA plans the 72-hour event each summer to “conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives.”

As previously reported, cargo securement will be the main point of emphasis for inspectors this year. While this is a normal part of CVSA’s Level I inspections, the organization says its inspectors will be highlighting cargo securement as a reminder to drivers and fleets of its importance.

Violations related to load securement include failure to prevent shifting and/or loss of load; failure to secure truck equipment; damaged tie-downs; insufficient tie-downs; and loose …

To help prevent violations related to load securement during the inspection spree, CVSA says to make sure the load and all equipment is properly secured, and to inspect tie-downs to check for wear and damage.

Violations related to cargo securement include failure to prevent shifting/loss of cargo, failure to secure truck equipment, damaged tie-downs, insufficient tie-downs and loose tie-downs. The group has put together tips and a flyer for cargo securement in advance of the spree.

CVSA says an average of 15 trucks and buses are inspected every minute across North America during the 72-hour event. During 2016’s inspection spree, inspectors placed 21.5 percent of trucks inspected out of service, along with 3.4 percent of drivers, or 9,080 trucks and 1,436 drivers.

Replace third-party logistics provider with software

Can I save money on freight if I replace third-party logistics provider with software?

Third party logistics providers [3PL] became mainstream in the 1990’s by implementing then expensive transportation management systems [TMS] and spreading the cost by using those systems for multiple shippers. By economies of scale, the could justify high six figure spends on software. Today shipment management software is available at a very small fraction of the price of the legacy large scale systems.

What about the LTL rates, will I get to keep my LTL rates? In a nutshell, yes. LTL carriers have gotten away from blanket discounts and have moved to shipper specific rates so through talking to your LTL carriers you should be able to keep your rates or decrease your freight rates and eliminate 3PL freight markup your 3PL charges over and above the actual freight carrier’s rates.

How much can I save by using software to replace my third-party logistics provider? 7% to 20% is the typical savings by replacing your 3PL with transportation management software. But my 3PL provides automated tracking and tracing can a TMS provide automated tracking and tracing? Yes, a ShippersEdge transportation management system has automated tracking and tracing and can even feed that data to your CSR or directly to your web similar to when you track your order through Amazon.

I use a freight bill payment company can a TMS provide freight bill auditing? ShippersEdge TMS provides its own freight bill auditing and can feed freight payment information directly to your ERP. Alternatively, ShippersEdge can send shipment data to a freight bill payment company of a freight bill auditing company.

If I replace my third-party logistics provider can I compare LTL rates and select lowest freight rate.  Yes, ShippersEdge TMS will find the lowest LTL rate in one place. You will not have to log into multiple carrier websites to retrieve rates simply to find the lowest cost freight charges.  Electronically tender shipments and electronically track freight. To save money on freight our shipment management software is the way to go.

There is more to ShippersEdge, find out at www.shippersedge.com/info and request a demo.

TMS Buyers Guide Insource my Third Party Logistics

Fred Smith of FedEx wants 33 foot doubles

FedEx thinks they have a chance of getting twin 33 foot trailers approved un President trump. Twin 33’s have been tested in Florida where drivers say they are more stable. Generally speaking Less-than-Truckload [LTL] shipping uses floor space for pallets and shipments have gotten bulkier. The floor space increases by 18% vs. the currently used twin 28 foot trucks. Productivity and less trucks on the road are the main arguments made by those in favor of twin 33’s.

Naturally there are opponents to the increase in overall trailer length. The Truckload Carriers Association voiced its disapproval saying twin 33’s would give the LTL carriers too much of an advantage. They also pointed out that rail carriers are now equipped to accommodate the 28 foot variant and would have to retool to handle 33 footers. This they said would have the net effect of actually adding trucks to the highways.

If these changes are adopted and LTL carriers gain efficiency, expect to see more rigorous competition in at least medium haul lanes.