Anytime is a good time to hone your tech stack

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The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the transportation industry. At a time when many companies chose to hide in great uncertainty, some saw this as the perfect time to try something new.

The challenges of the pandemic proved too much for the antiquated transportation management system that Concept Logistics had put in place.

Wanting to better manage capacity with increased visibility and automation technology, Buffalo, NY-based non-asset freight brokerage turned to leading capacity management platform Parade and Tai Software to chart its digital future.

In a recent case study, Parade and Tai show how Concept Logistics honed its tech stack during the height of the pandemic, proving that any time is perfect for a tech upgrade.

Greg Finnerty, vice president of operations at Concept Logistics, wasn’t interested in making a sideways move with his next technology investment. Rather, he wanted a solution that would actually help the company reach its full potential.

“I don’t just want to automate; I want to elevate,” Finnerty said.

Concept Logistics’ seamless transition to Tai TMS, a web-based transportation management system designed for both truck and truck shipments, immediately provided end-to-end automation – from posting to booking and from shipping to tracking – which the brokerage company needed to navigate the changing freight landscape.

The timing could not have been better, as supply chain disruptions proved to be the most turbulent from 2020 to 2021. Concept Logistics knew that in these uncertain times, the ability to maintain trust between its partners and its customers would be paramount. So in 2021, it added Parade’s capacity management platform to its technology repertoire to further automate freight matching, carrier outreach, quotes and brokerage firm booking.

Brokers have traditionally honed their relationships with shippers, but smart brokers know that strengthening relationships with carriers is also important, as carrier relationships provide better access to capacity and perhaps even better rates.

The case study notes: “[When] The Concept team can offer shippers better rates while providing fair rates for their carriers, that’s a win for everyone.

With Parade and Tai, Concept Logistics enabled one of its clients to be almost completely self-sufficient. An individualized customer portal in the TMS allows shippers to book their own loads through Tai as available carriers are dispatched directly from Parade to Tai.

Concept Logistics representatives can now interact with carriers more seamlessly than before because profiling carriers previously involved pen and paper and the strength of the broker’s memory. But with Smart Rules, Parade’s automation makes it easy to track a carrier’s networking preferences and ability, allowing Concept Logistics representatives to share carrier information to help book better loads.

With the capacity information Parade channels through Tai TMS, Concept Logistics representatives have access to a broader view of capacity that allows them to cover loads sooner and further avoid the spot market. They can easily see Parade rates in their TMS, allowing them to compare data between systems to find issues early to ensure that every load is rated correctly.

“Rather than making 50 10-second phone calls trying to cover a load, reps can make a 15-minute call where they connect with the carrier and learn where they’re going to get trucks later, not just now” , says Finnerty.

As a Parade user, Concept Logistics can review its analyzes to confirm that its strategy is on the right track.

Recent data shows that its reuse rate was 60% over the past 90 days for carriers carrying more than four loads. Additionally, the brokerage has 746 carriers who take 20 or more loads per month.

Concept Logistics weathered the worst part of the pandemic well and has managed significant growth since, growing 54% last year alone.

“It’s cool to see the growth in shipping volume you get when you take an extremely well-run organization like Concept and add Tai and Parade’s innovative technology partnership to help maximize their brokerage’s in-house talent,” said said Sean McGillicuddy, Tai’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These guys have a great team; Together, Tai and Parade have allowed Concept to grow its most talented team members. »

The brokerage firm forecasts 60% growth by the end of the year, with similar results expected in 2023, even as projections call for a weaker freight market. Regardless of the ever-changing freight landscape, Concept Logistics believes it is well equipped to meet any freight challenge with Parade and Tai – and perhaps strengthen broker-carrier relationships along the way.

Click for more FreightWaves content by Jack Glenn.

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