The Shipwell team recently attended FreightWaves Transparecy19 in Atlanta, the top freight tech conference in the country. Thousands of freight tech pros and supply chain experts spent three days discussing new trends and technology, and its impact on supply chains today and in the future.

Did you attend? We’d love to hear what stuck with you now that Transparency19 has come and gone.

Here are our top three takeaways from the conference.

Quantum computing: A possibility for supply chains?

From big data to blockchain, there are so many emerging capabilities in the supply chain optimization field.

This year, Shipwell CEO and Cofounder Greg Price took the stage to reveal new possibilities with leveraging quantum computing in the supply chain. Speaking specifically about route optimization, Price’s hypothesis was to see if there was a faster, more optimal way route optimization for fleets could be accomplished.

The Shipwell team spent two months testing real-world routes with Shipwell data on an IBM Q14 Melbourne quantum computer. By running three cities (Austin, Houston, Dallas) and the massive amount of computations of routes to calculate, the quantum computer proved successful.

In routing data on a quantum computer, it managed to solve the problem accurately and timely. But, quantum computing for supply chains still has years to go before we see practical business applications for it.

In an interview with the Shipwell team prior to Transparency19:

“Quantum computers harness the unique properties of nature at the atomic scale which we don’t have in the everyday world to achieve capabilities that are unprecedented and will be completely disruptive to most industries.”

Joseph Emerson, Associate Professor at the Institute of Quantum Computing and the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo & CEO of Quantum Benchmark

Autonomous trucking: It’s coming

Autonomous trucking was a hot topic throughout Transparency19 presentations and networking discussions.

Brad Jacobs, CEO at XPO Logistics, took the stage for a town-hall style talk, fielding questions from the audience. One attendee expressed a reluctance of embracing the idea of autonomous trucking due to its potential impact on the job market.

driverless-trucks-autonomous

Jacobs explained the amazing uses of robots in XPO facilities and their application to load and unload shipments at their centers. While autonomous trucking will likely be a major part of the future of the supply chain, the impact on the job market won’t be as dark as some may think.

Robots are great at hard tasks that require immense human labor, but it will be the humans who will have an elevated position in the programming, strategy, and implementation of new technology. Jobs will be impacted, but new opportunities will arise in the future of freight.

Data is your friend

As supply chain professionals, you know data is integral to operations. Each shipment can generate hundreds of data points that when aggregated, reveal cost-saving and efficiency insights. Are you leveraging the data at your fingertips accurately?

This was the main focus for many speakers on stage at Transparency19. In the “Hope is Not a Strategy: Data Benchmarking to Improve Profitability” session, speakers made it clear: bad data can stall growth.

supply chain analytics

It’s key to make partnerships early and get experts to investigate your data for accuracy. More and more logistics companies are hiring data science teams to ensure the integrity of the data received across the supply chain.

Enter the future of freight

Our team at Shipwell has been focusing a lot of energy toward drayage freight. We took notice of inefficiencies, and are excited to offer solutions to a very complicated part of the supply chain.

Drayage, if you don’t know the term already, is the transport of freight between ports and terminals in intermodal shipping.

With nearly 18,000 shipping containers on a single ship, it’s obvious that communication and consistency are crucial to success.

What’s going on in drayage?

“Drayage is one of the most opaque, inefficient segments in the American trucking industry, dominated by small, undercapitalized carriers using yesterday’s technology,” states a recent FreightWaves article.

Here’s the deal: drayage has so many inefficiencies often accredited to lack of visibility during this short haul. Today, the growth of international shipping has created port congestion and capacity issues that desperately needs a solution. Enter Shipwell.

The same Shipwell technology that revolutionized the over-the-road freight shipping process is now available for drayage freight. Today, customers can try out the beta of drayage freight shipping in our platform and access the same game-changing features like instant quoting and booking, custom private load boards, and of course, real-time freight tracking.

Optimize your drayage logistics

Drayage goes digital

The drayage world is still mostly manual, and most operators use spreadsheets and keep their logs on paper. However, digitizing this data can dramatically optimize businesses drayage workflow and help find broken links in their processes.

Shipwell stores documents like BOLs and PODs in the platform organized by shipment and can manage bookkeeping with our integration with QuickBooks.

Now, drayage customers have access to Shipwell’s analytics to understand their freight spend and how to optimize their resources better. Additionally, they have access to custom private load boards that shippers and 3PLs can use to post loads for preferred carriers to bid on or book instantly.

Shipwell provides tracking for each shipment from port to terminal and back so we can begin the end-to-end transparency this process has desperately needed.

A better solution for drayage freight

What went from a heavily fragmented operation can now be handled in a single pane of glass on your computer. Shipwell wants to propel the freight industry into the future, and we knew one of the first steps was to centralize and digitize drayage.

Want to try out our beta? We are so excited to give our drayage customers the same transparency and automation that our over-the-road customers receive.

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TransparencyWaves 2019 is right around the corner.

At MarketWaves 2018, Shipwell earned Best In Show for our automated check call demo as voted by the audience. In case you missed it, watch the video replay below:

This year, we’ve got more major surprises on tap! On Monday at 9:40, right after Gary Vaynerchuk takes the stage, Shipwell’s own CEO and Co-founder Greg Price will be presenting on some exciting new research and capabilities that impact everyone across the supply chain.

We don’t want to give away too much here (we’ll be sharing the full presentation after the event!) but Shipwell’s impactful talk is a culmination of months of research, interviewing experts, and experimentation involving quantum computing. Stay tuned!

Here’s what else we’re excited for at Transparency19. Will you be there? Follow Shipwell on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to stay in the know, and we hope to see you in Atlanta.

Bringing carriers deeper into the supply chain

This past weekend, Greg sat down with Chad Prevost on FreightWaves’ Sirius XM radio show. Something important to realize today and what will be a big focus at Transparency19 is giving carriers the resources and tools they need to operate efficiently in the supply chain.

Carriers play such a critical role in the supply chain — one would argue they are the key to delivering customer delight and staying competitive.

But, the freight industry is incredibly fragmented, complex, and antiquated. Many parties in the supply chain still rely on spreadsheets. Many don’t know where their fleet or shipments are at any given time. Some don’t even have effective communication within their own departments.

When it comes to connecting shippers and 3PLs to a strong carrier network, “getting the right information to the right people at the right time is critical,” Greg said during the broadcast.

“Digitize manual processes, make supply chains transparent, and then we can eliminate that friction and distrust that comes into our industry because it’s all about people, process, and technology,“ he continued.

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Transparency is a driving force in a performant supply chain

We can appreciate the name of FreightWaves’ flagship conference. Transparency is at the core of everything we do at Shipwell.

“Our goal at Shipwell is to put your entire supply chain — and that’s everything,  all the way from the farm if it’s cotton, to the warehouse, to the spinning mill, across the world —  into a single pane of glass in your computer or in the palm of your hand, and give you the tools and the APIs to run it effectively,” Greg said.

Success doesn’t happen in a silo. When shippers, 3PLs, and carriers can all work together in an efficient way, that’s the future of freight. A single problem at one part of the chain can break the entire logistics operations downstream. When everyone is informed in real-time, we all react (or act proactively) faster and better than ever before.

Solve for the future of freight today

While things like quantum computing may be down the (albeit, short) road in terms of application to the supply chain, thinking about the future now can help you stay competitive.

“Most people today are focused on freight matching, rebuilding marketplaces, or subsidizing freight spend and robots replacing drivers in trucking. We’re focused on core pieces of the supply chain that maybe aren’t as sexy, but really important,” Greg said.

There’s a lot happening in our space right now, but when supply chain pros focus on improving the core of their business with impactful solutions today, they’re better poised to tackle the future.

Enter the future of freight


Today, more and more businesses leverage supply chain automation to blow their competition away. These businesses save time and money on what used to be a very tedious part of the economy.

Now, companies who want those same things are looking for solutions to their supply chain woes in the form of software.

Shipwell provides dozens of solutions from tracking to ordering to finance, all within a single pane of glass cloud solution. When you are evaluating your supply chain, here are some major value points that will skyrocket your business to the next level of productivity.

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Visibility on every shipment

Whether you’re a shipper or a 3PL, you probably have a lack of visibility in your incoming and outbound freight.

One of Shipwell’s biggest initiatives is the ability to offer real-time freight tracking from beginning to end of each shipment. Even if a shipment is a full truckload running multiple drops, the shipper will get notifications at each point.

Now, shippers can not only see delays in real-time but know why the shipment was delayed. Carriers can send messages in the Shipwell app about long detention, traffic congestion, or a break down if it happens. Shipwell users can also make estimations based on looking at the tracking map location.

While some businesses pay one company for tracking software and another company for TMS solutions, Shipwell has both and all in an easy-to-use platform. “Keeping visibility at the top of our SaaS evaluation will unveil route optimization, better load matching, and full journey analytics,” says Ken McCann, Shipwell’s VP of SaaS Sales.

Implementation

Migrating to a new TMS platform presents many internal logistics challenges. From setting it up, importing carriers and products, to setting up rates, some solutions can take months to even start using.

When seeking a new platform, leveraging the cloud is a major timesaver. Because Shipwell is hosted in the cloud, it’s always updating so users run on the latest version at all times. Because it’s not hosted on your network, there’s no setup for your internal IT teams needed to get up and running fast.

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Furthermore, when leveraging the flexibility of REST APIs, platform users have endless customizations available. Shipwell is no different – we’re powered by REST APIs for the ultimate flexibility in how you can use the platform to best fit your needs.

Capacity and connectivity

Some supply chain managers might be saying, “We are running a tight ship. We know everything we need to know and make things work.” But what if you found out you were missing out on hundreds if not thousands of data points that can optimize and automate your supply chain even more?

Shipwell’s mission is to make supply chains more connected, more communicable, and completely transparent for everyone. We have integrations with the major ELD providers including KeepTruckin, Peoplenet, Verizon Connect, and more, so most carriers are compatible with the Shipwell platform.

eld-connections

ELDs offer a single source of truth around where your freight is at any given time, in real time. Updates are happening in the platform as your freight is picked up, in transit, or being dropped off without a single manual update needed.

Then, we offer this data to you to monitor critical analytics on supply chain efficiency.

Our data provides insight into carrier lane preferences, equipment, and other important considerations to match the shipper and carrier together for a mutually beneficial relationship.

Centralization for better communication

Centralizing your freight management can make or break a company’s supply chain.

If you are still running on spreadsheets, you need to get a TMS. When you aren’t centralizing your data, you can’t run proper analytics.

Ken McCann, Shipwell VP of SaaS Sales

But what does centralization really mean? For Shipwell, it’s bringing in shippers, carriers, and 3PLs into one solution to communicate, provide updates, and ensure that everyone is on the same page for every shipment. It’s about sharing important information in one central space.

Shippers and 3PLs can create their own private load board directly within the Shipwell platform. Once they populate the load board, approved carriers can bid on loads or book instantly with a fixed rate, automating the matching process.

Also, businesses can import product codes, preferred carriers, and more from a spreadsheet that will seamlessly integrate into the Shipwell platform. Best of all, you can run your finances through the app with our Quickbooks integration.

Proven success in major companies

When you are evaluating a SaaS solution for your supply chain, we recommend looking to companies with proven success. Those who use Shipwell recommend our services to other major companies so that our economy can become even more connected. In the freight space, 8 of the top 10 logistics companies use our service at any given time.

Shipwell has what you need in solving your freight problems, and we can’t wait to start working together. Check out our newsletter for more information, or sign up today and get introduced to the best thing to ever happen to your supply chain.

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Update: Shipwell analytics are now powered by Snowflake. Users now enjoy nearly real-time data loading times – 10x faster than previously available. Get a demo and see analytics in action.

The supply chain was once cursed with a lack of modern technology.

Everyone had their own isolated system to run their portion of the chain, usually on papers locked in a drawer. The entire economy was struggling because shippers, 3PLs, and carriers weren’t communicating with each other. Even when migrating to spreadsheets, there is an extreme lack of connectivity.

Today, with the onset of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud-based storage, the freight industry is becoming more interconnected and transparent across the board. With an overwhelming amount of data coming in, it can be difficult to determine what data provides solutions to which supply chain issues.

In part one, we talked about how Shipwell’s dashboard and analytics can give users visualizations of their logistics data.

For part two, we wanted to talk about the high-level impact that big data can have on the complete operations and management of your business.

We will narrow down the data points so you can answer critical supply chain questions with the information you have.

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Optimizing planning and operations

Planning and operations are some of the most data-driven processes in the supply chain. Fortunately, there are new ways to approach these early phases.

By analyzing point-of-sale data, inventory data, and production rates, we can monitor the fluctuation of ratios in supply and demand. With this insight, production can be realigned on the fly.

You can also use data sources to forecast demand and plan accordingly. By knowing that you’ll be selling more products ahead of time, you can source your freight capacity sooner and lock in better rates with priority carriers.

For e-commerce businesses, you can take demand forecasting and inventory data to inform which products you predominantly advertise to customers.

You can create demand for high-inventory products using real-time data analytics.

Carrier prioritization

By targeting several data points, businesses can learn how well their supply is moving.

For instance, if a shipper or 3PL has been using a specific carrier for a long time, they are likely not seeing a diverse performance data set. By expending to new carriers and determining transit performance, shippers could end up saving time, money, and have greater visibility to their freight.

Over 800,000 drivers operate in the Shipwell network, making it easy to stay competitive and use the carriers that will be the best fit for your business.

Carriers connected in the Shipwell network can enable shippers to track performance that can inform their inventory systems and warehouse schedule.

Understanding data sources

Because supply chains are generating so much data across the board, it’s good to know which data impacts a process (or processes) in your supply chain.

Supply chain managers today have little or no experience with analyzing data the way data scientists do. Because of this, they might not even know what to do with the data right in front of them. Having data scientists to explore and expand on opportunities presented in the data can mean volumes for the supply chain.

Here are just a few of the categories you can find answers in using data:

When analyzed properly, companies can use supply chain data for risk analysis in manufacturing, shipping, and delivering of goods. Then, businesses can create key performance indicators to monitor complete orders, accurate shipments, on-time deliveries, and payment processing speed.

What to do with all this data

It isn’t just the quantity, but the quality of data you are receiving that can make your decision-making more precise. Use data that is clean, accurate, and delivered in real-time. Never underestimate the number of data points you need to start making strong conclusions about your supply chain efficiency.

Of course, not every business can staff an entire data science team to accurately process all of this data. It’s hard to gather the information you need to grow with limited time and resources. Fortunately, using Shipwell as your TMS can provide visibility into new ways to run a business.

Greater visibility into your data helps uncover hidden or new freight hauling opportunities. Shipwell can help analyze that data and offer tools to automate your processes.

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