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Transport software will be “social” | DC speed

Booking freight in 2021 is probably more difficult than ever due to turmoil such as pandemic closures, port congestion, lack of truck capacity, and fallout due to the closure of the Suez Canal.

Fortunately, the tools that support the cargo booking process are also better than ever. Thanks to a burst of innovation in the logistics technology sector, a number of powerful new tools, such as real-time tracking apps and digital cargo matching (DFM) platforms, have become widely available to shippers, carriers and brokers. Select the type of tool you need. You can probably choose from half a dozen products from proven and proven vendors.

In fact, with a wealth of options, some users are complaining of “app fatigue.” Others have a hard time tracking data while working on multiple platforms. Book data, exchange digital documents, track payments, and more. This process can be further complicated by the different terms used on different platforms. The “shipment date” of one app can be the “departure date” or “passage date” of another app.

These challenges have led to widespread application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow apps and platforms to share data directly, allowing them to communicate faster and more accurately than keyboard users. This tight machine mesh allows users to use the Transport Management System (TMS) as a common hub to centralize corrupted data on a single channel.

TMS vendors say the main products on the market today are acting as “command central” and the spokes are extended to a variety of specialized software applications. This streamlines cargo capacity searches and allows users to access a single TMS application instead of logging on to half a dozen cargo matching services or carrier / broker websites. “What technology is trying to achieve today is to make the whole experience more enjoyable,” said Markford, Chief Operating Officer. BlueGrace Logistics, A third-party logistics service provider (3PL) that offers a TMS product called BlueShip TMS. “The carrier or carrier is directly connected to us and we [simple, streamlined] experience. ”

Promotion of one-stop shopping

Just three to five years ago, most TMS platforms were primarily a minimal issue that facilitated the cargo bidding process, Ford says. At the time, options such as real-time tracking, automated paperwork sharing, and accurate pricing tools were generally unavailable.

Fast forwarding in 2021, the latest TMS will offer all three (and more) of these services through connections with multiple freight apps that aggregate data from vast numbers of sources.

Their connections are growing day by day. For example, in July BlueGrace partnered with a digital cargo matching specialist. Uber Cargo, I had recently Expand to the market of less than truck load, Build a link to your online broker’s technology infrastructure.

The TMS platform will evolve to meet the demands of more complex users, Azad Ratzki, Chief Technology Officer of BlueGrace, said the logistics sector has previously followed the path of the financial services industry. “Logistics today has many similarities to FinTech 20 years ago in terms of software infrastructure because of its improved usability, analytics, and reporting capabilities,” he says. “10 years ago, [TMS products emphasized] It works better than forms, but now I’m expecting both. “

This trend has raised expectations among TMS users that they can connect to visibility and cargo matching services without leaving the application, said Robert Brothers, Product Development Manager at TMS vendors. MacLeod software.

That vision isn’t a universal reality yet, but it’s getting closer day by day, Brothers says. “Data sharing between carriers and shippers has long been done, for example, bidding for cargo and providing shipping status. But our role today is to share more data. It’s about providing customers with choices, such as enabling them, “he says.

“Tell us that our customers want to be a’priority career’,” Brothers adds. “For example, a carrier might say: [the visibility platform] We want to connect with project44. Therefore, make sure your system is connected to your visibility provider.

“We always receive requests for new solutions. With so many mobile apps and telematics, our job is [to figure out] How to allow them to enter our ecosystem, “Brothers says.

At the same time, MacLeod has been working to give shippers’ clients access to a wider range of carriers. According to the company, it currently supports connecting to half a dozen DFM platforms.


Software developer MercuryGate International Inc. Steve Blough, co-founder and chief innovation officer of the company, says he’s doing much the same thing. Like other major market players, MercuryGate is expanding its network to offer more transportation options to its clients. This is UPS Inc. And FedEx Corp. This is a major consideration in light of the recent move to limit the number of packages that can be received from shippers. , He points out.

Additional connections also help users cope with increasing supply chain disruptions in certain (and unpredictable) regions of the country. “It used to be in the full market. The higher the rate, the higher it will be everywhere,” says Blough. “But now it’s very much in a particular lane.”

To help clients overcome these complications, MercuryGate has enhanced their connectivity games.For example, in April Acquired Last Mile Delivery Optimization Specialist Cheetah Software Systems To enhance services for e-tail clients. In 2019, the company Integrated TMS with UberFreight’s Digital Freight Brokerage Platform To provide users with greater visibility and access to capacity. Kathryn Buchanan, vice president of product marketing at MercuryGate, said the move was critical in an era when capacity searches were more complex than ever due to changing consumer behavior and driver shortages.

MercuryGate today combines these enhancements with input from several other digital freight brokers, contract fleets, courier companies, and even private fleets to provide a better freight matching experience for everyone involved. She says. Thanks to these links, TMS, which is now hyper-connected, can generate results from more sources than ever before, helping to connect shippers and carriers in times of turbulence.

Transport software will be “social” | DC speed Transport software will be “social” | DC speed

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