In the last year, we have seen increasing numbers of digital freight brokers, online marketplaces that connect shippers with truckers via cloud-based platforms. Traditionally, shippers and carriers operate within a fragmented network of about 15,000 freight brokers, responsible for connecting truckers with potential shipping loads. Most of these deals are coordinated by email, phone, and some, still by fax, taking hours or days to confirm. With digital freight brokers, shipper demands are more immediately matched with carrier capacity.
SupplyChainBrain recently published an interesting article on the state of the supply chain for getting PPE efficiently distributed. In a conversation with Chris Garcia, CEO of Health Supply US, Robert Bowman of SupplyChainBrain uncovers what shippers are doing to ensure a national supply of PPE. As we enter the third wave of COVID-19 infections, it is more important than ever to get #criticalsupplies to front line workers quickly and efficiently, in a collaborative effort between shippers and truckers.
As a digital freight broker, Opus9 is staying up to date on the latest freight rates and forecasted trends, to provide the best service to our partner shippers and carriers. Starting today, we are adding a weekly update called Freight Broker News where we will provide the latest information on rates, trends, and industry news.
On October 9th, William Cassidy, Senior Editor at the Journal of Commerce, published an article on Shippers rethinking annual trucking procurement cycles. He points out that due to the current disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, shippers are rethinking how they procure freight transportation. He continues by saying that "shippers are modifying their approach to bidding, using more short-term 'mini-bids' than ever before and turning to technology to improve a process that often breaks down when market prices swing quickly." Shippers "are looking for ways to avoid costly contract rate hikes propelled by a historic surge in spot truckload rates that began in May and have barely slowed since. They won't do that by sticking to traditional practices strictly focused on price, shippers, analysts, and trucking. Bidding processes will have be be more specific, more flexible, and more collaborative."
Today, we launched our Transportation Management System (TMS), a tool that enables shippers to manage all of their freight in a centralized place. The new TMS builds on the success of our award-winning Marketplace, which currently allows shippers to get instant freight quotes, book with high quality Opus9 carriers and track their shipments in real-time.
The logistics of shipping can be difficult to plan and manage. Full Truckload shipping can be especially challenging. Unlike Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping, FTL shipping requires you to consider factors such as weight, space, transit times, and the possible need for specialized equipment.
The last few months has been a year of unprecedented change in the freight market. Rates are high and continue to rise. The driver shortage is climbing above 50,000 and threatening to hit 100,000 by 2021. And if natural disasters aren’t tightening capacity, then a booming economy is. Here at Opus9, we believe that a shipper’s best defense is to partner with a 3PL whose expertise and knowledge of the industry can mitigate some of these real challenges.
The freight market is volatile by nature, but more so now than ever. After all, capacity is tight and all evidence points to an ever-increasing crunch. A whopping 50,000 shortage of drivers could well exceed 100,000 by 2021 due to an aging driver population, long, lonely hours on the road, and pay that isn’t commensurate with a demanding lifestyle. Couple this with a strong US economy expecting more growth, and you have a recipe for disruption.
We, at Opus9, take supply chain visibility seriously. That’s why when businesses book their freight with us, they can expect to get free GPS tracking on all shipments.
Shipping is one of those expenses that can creep up when you’re not expecting it. After all, these costs tend come is smaller increments, rather than huge predictable chunks. So it can be easy for business owners to either underestimate these logistical costs, or possibly overlook them entirely, that is, until they’re coming in over budget far too regularly. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to cut shipping costs significantly.