July 2011 | Sponsored | Thought Leaders

Managing the Logistics Lifecycle 

Tags: Logistics I.T., Cloud Computing

Martin Hubert is CEO, Freightgate, 714-799-2833

Q: Cloud computing has become an industry buzzword. How will this technology influence the way companies approach logistics management?

Hubert: Enterprises have long sought solutions that deliver immediate value, are easily accessible and scalable, and require minimal up-front investment. Unfortunately, the traditional delivery models of installed software, or dedicated Web-based systems, fell short of those goals. The net effect on most small and mid-size companies was to render valuable logistics management solutions virtually inaccessible.

Cloud computing changed all that. A “shared services” approach is the only way to bring value to every player in the market. Companies can access a full-cycle, multi-modal solution covering transportation procurement, rate management, end-to-end visibility and collaboration, and e-invoicing with international invoice validation and payment. Supplemental offerings for compliance, and sales and operations planning, round out the Logistics Management Lifecycle (LML).

Q: What innovative sustainability initiatives also increase efficiencies?

Hubert: Sustainability and carbon footprint have been on Freightgate’s radar for several years. Shippers can seamlessly include carbon impact in their transportation decision support with multi-leg, dynamic carbon impact calculation at the execution level. Desk-level personnel can access complex carbon impact data, combined with optimized rating and routing, for day-to-day logistics decisions.

Q: How can retailers and 3PLs manage constrained carrier capacity more efficiently?

Hubert: A capacity management system leverages rate, transit time, and allocation information to optimize carrier utilization across facilities and load ports, leading to better collaboration between carriers and shippers.

Q: How can value chain partners cooperate to create and share efficiencies?

Hubert: As the most strategic point in the LML – the buy decision – transportation procurement provides the greatest opportunity to create efficiency. Carriers are adopting and promoting more uniform formats for quote requests, providing templates, formats and tools for their customers that accelerate the RFP process. Back-office rate tables populate RFPs in minutes instead of days. Forward-thinking carriers are educating customers on the benefits of standardization.

Freightgate goes the next step by enabling carriers to maintain shipper rate data through secure, controlled access. We give customers straightforward tools to import RFP data and export responses/awards to and from their back-office systems, regardless of the format.

Shared efficiency results from end-to-end supply chain visibility. As simple as it sounds, fewer empty miles mean lower transportation costs and reduced carbon emissions. Our collaborative last-leg management expands the efficiency footprint to include better labor planning, and demurrage/detention avoidance.