Among the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic forced changes on the North American freight transport industry has been to drive growth in spot market activity. The go-to place to post and find excess loads and capacity, the spot market is increasingly meeting truckload capacity challenges caused by ongoing supply chain disruptions.
Data shows shippers and freight brokers posting more loads on the spot market at a time of year when demand for truckload capacity usually declines. In particular, load-to-truck ratios, which measure the number of available loads relative to the number of available trucks, have increased.
The elevated load levels are an indication of how freight transportation stakeholders are using the spot market to address supply chain imbalances, which are the result of the pandemic’s impact on consumers and businesses. Managed correctly, the spot market can be a valuable means of supplementing existing capacity with reliable alternatives at favorable rates.
Technology’s Role in Mitigating Supply Chain Disruptions
For large enterprises and smaller shippers alike, however, meeting the challenges of moving freight effectively on the spot market takes a combination of actionable data and a scalable, intuitive transportation management system (TMS). Improved visibility into shipping processes--and analytics-- make it possible to eliminate supply chain inefficiencies, noted Keith Caruso, operations manager at Kuebix, a Trimble Company.
“Advanced, data-driven solutions facilitate collaboration between shippers and carriers to optimize how freight moves and help to overcome volatility in the spot market,” Caruso said. “Without requiring any heavy lifting, they streamline processes and enable companies to capitalize on supply chain opportunities.”
Caruso’s comments came during a recent webinar-- The Smart Way to Move Spot Market Freight— that was hosted by Loadsmart. Loadsmart is a digital freight technology company that automates quoting and booking of truckload freight.
In early 2021, Kuebix and Loadsmart announced that every shipper in Kuebix can now access real-time Loadsmart spot quotes for truckload shipments in Kuebix’s load matching platform, Community Load Match. The collaboration builds on Kuebix’s existing integration with Loadsmart’s digital freight platform.
With the advanced integration, Caruso explained, when a user searches for a truckload spot rate in Kuebix Community Load Match a real-time Loadsmart rate appears that can then be immediately booked and managed in the Kuebix TMS.
The addition of instantly bookable Loadsmart rates further enhances Community Load Match’s current contract and spot rate capabilities. Community Load Match’s rapidly growing carrier community from Trimble’s network of 1.3 million commercial trucks offers access to contract rates for shippers and intermediaries with regular lanes. For small- to medium-size businesses (SMBs) and shippers with occasional spot requirements, Community Load Match provides competitive spot rates when shippers and intermediaries don’t have the volume to set up contract rates. For carriers, Community Load Match’s spot opportunities help to reduce empty miles when balancing lanes and repositioning assets.
“The spot market still largely uses analog processes in a digital world,” said Casey Monahan, director of digital sales at Loadsmart during the webinar. “That leads to unpredictable performance, time-consuming rate discovery, a lack of visibility and reliability, and ultimately shipper frustration.”
With Kuebix and Loadsmart together, Caruso and Monahan agreed, shippers don’t need a team of experts, or to devote time and resources to enable best practices for spot market freight.
“The synergy between these two companies and their technologies,” Monahan added, “eliminates surprises, enhances the ability to address supply chain imbalances by moving freight on the spot market, and allows customers to focus on their core businesses.”
How Community Load Match Works
For carriers looking to improve their connections to available freight and potential new customers, Community Load Match helps streamline the process through technology. By leveraging Community Load Match, carriers of all kinds can:
Connect Directly with Shippers
Onboarding new customers is quick and easy once you become a Community Carrier. In minutes, shippers can add your carrier rate agreement to their Kuebix account for contract and spot opportunities. This enables the entire booking process to take place in the cloud in real-time for easy information tracking and updates.
Receive Load Tenders
As a Community Carrier, you will receive load tenders via email or integration to your TMS. Simply log in to view new activity and accept tenders digitally. For more advanced capabilities, Kuebix can also connect directly to your ERP system.
Improve Customer Service
Deliver the tech-enabled customer experience that today’s customers demand, including real-time information and visibility, by becoming a Kuebix Community Carrier.
Become a Community Carrier Today
While some of the supply chain disruptions of 2020 may be behind us, one lesson learned is the crucial role of technology in helping to navigate uncertain operating conditions and to better connect the entire transportation supply chain.
Are you ready to start experiencing the benefits of a more connected supply chain through Community Load Match? Sign up for free today to become a Community Carrier and streamline your fleet’s performance and utilization.