Making Waves (Part 2): Last Mile Delivery Transportation Innovators

5 Innovative Tech Companies Changing Supply Chain Logistics

Here are a few more companies that are making waves in the supply chain and logistics industry.  Each company was started to solve particular challenges, from helping companies comply with a new FMCSA ELD regulation to helping consumers who need to be able to schedule home deliveries and returns pickups.  

Using innovative strategies and recent technology, each company helps to facilitate growth in the supply chain and logistics industry.

With the tremendous growth of online shopping and e-commerce, combined with the increase in manufacturing and production across the globe, many smaller manufacturers, retailers and other supply chain businesses have found it challenging to operate profitably and are turning to technology for help.  Companies on this edition’s list are providing key functionality that enables increased information visibility, data for reports and analysis and enablement of cost savings.

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In this edition, we provide brief summaries of the following companies:

Transportation and Logistics:

Supply Chain Network Management:

Shipping Management:

Last Mile Delivery/Last Mile Logistics:

Transportation and Logistics

 

Transfix

In terms of supply chain management, having the right transportation in the right place at the right time to meet customer needs is critical.  Across the transportation and logistics industry, from freight forwarders to international logistics service providers, technology can be used to reduce costs and increase efficiencies in moving freight.
transfix logo
Developed as a web and mobile app for transportation logistics, Transfix matches customers with interstate freight shipping needs to truck drivers who have extra capacity.  Transfix, a full truckload marketplace solution relies on innovative technology to enable shippers to move and monitor freight shipments.
transfix app

Shippers of varying sizes from a wide variety of industries including retail, manufacturing food and beverage and more benefit from having access to a network of 17,000 carriers with 24/7/365 support.  Real time freight shipment visibility from dispatch through delivery is provided along with automated system alerts to enable fast action if problems arise.

The digital platform provided by Transfix is readily available and reduces the time it takes to book and trace freight shipments.  Cost savings are often realized due to the lower margin as compared with that of booking through traditional transportation brokers.

As is the case in other industries, using logistics industry data can provide perspective into issues that can help reduce costs.  Shippers can also take advantage of the available data to gain valuable insight into issues such as warehouse efficiency and carrier performance.

The transportation distribution and logistics industry is on the cusp of a major change towards increased use of technology.  Currently, most truckers utilize paper-based log systems in order to record their Hours of Service (HOS) which are then shared with their fleet.  Primarily a manual process, using paper logbooks requires sorting faxes and mail documents, wasting valuable time and labor.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Electronic Logging Device Final Rule Compliance Date takes effect as of December 18, 2017.  This means that all commercial vehicles will be required to record Hours of Service using an engine-connected Electronic Logging Device (ELD).  Impacting over 4.5 million drivers across the United States and Canada, this change is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers.  It will also streamline the tracking, management and sharing of duty status records (RODS).  Using an ELD makes the process faster and more accurate as this system synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time for more accurate recording of Hours of Service.
keep truckin app
KeepTruckin ELD plugs into the vehicle’s diagnostic port and is used in combination with a Bluetooth mobile app, compatible with both iPhone/iPad and Android devices.  The mobile app can be used by drivers to view and edit logs, create vehicle inspections, send messages and more.  This system is DOT compliant and can be installed in all vehicles with an engine control module (ECM).
KeepTruckin ELD provides multiple levels of service, functionality and cost.  Some of the additional features available include:  GPS tracking, messaging, IFTA fuel tax reporting, geofencing, idle time tracking, vehicle diagnostics and driver scorecards.

Supply Chain Network Management

 

Elementum

Today, more than ever before, companies are doing business globally.  This can present enormous challenges, in terms of complexity, visibility and supply chain risk.

A digital supply chain network, Elementum empowers companies to manage their global supply chains in real time.  The Elementum cloud platform helps to expedite communications and provides tools to enable supply chain businesses to gain insight, be proactive and act collaboratively with other supply chain logistics partners.

elementum
A digital supply chain network, Elementum empowers companies to manage their global supply chains in real time.  The Elementum cloud platform helps to expedite communications and provides tools to enable supply chain businesses to gain insight, be proactive and act collaboratively with other supply chain logistics partners.

With supply chain analytics tools that provide both a high level and drill down detail, Elementum facilitates operations across the global supply chain network.  Real time alerts can be sent to Smartphones and mobile devices to keep users up to date on status changes.

By providing “connected intelligence”, millions of suppliers, logistics hubs, manufacturing facilities and other operations can have access to a seamless flow of real time intelligence without the need for costly integrations.  Essential to operations and supply chain management, this can aid in providing immediate critical information that can be used for remediating supply chain risk and avoiding potential disruptions that can affect manufacturing and order fulfillment.

Using over 30 million data sources, Elementum helps supply chain businesses unravel puzzling patterns, aid in supply chain planning and help improve decision making.

Shipping Management

 

Shippo

Smaller supply chain companies frequently find shipping management logistics to be challenging.  Without established shipping volume, it can be difficult to negotiate prices.  For those without much knowledge or experience in dealing with the shipping industry, the process of navigating, deciding on carriers, etc. can prove frustrating.
logo-shippo

Enter Shippo, a company that specializes in providing shipping management advantages for online retailers and other users. Shippo simplifies these processes by providing users and software developers with its multi-carrier shipping API and dashboard to empower businesses to ship at scale or to use their own accounts with pre-negotiated rates.  

Users can connect with popular platforms such as Shopify via a web dashboard or easily upload a CSV file.

Because Shippo aggregates the volume of all their customers, they are able to negotiate with shipping carriers and obtain huge discounts.  Shippo’s shipping management system operates with a global network of shipping carriers and offers the ability to automate international customs forms and invoice paperwork.  Users have access to shipping insurance, are able to generate scan-based return labels and can track shipments.

Pre-payments or deposits are not required and Shippo can provide commercial rates for USPS and DHL Express as soon as new clients sign up for their service.

Last Mile Delivery/Last Mile Logistics

 

Doorman

In today’s fast paced omnichannel environment, most online retailers understand that consumers grade the brand based largely on their experience with the package delivery of the products that they order.  For most companies, last mile delivery is the most challenging leg of the customer journey.  Getting the right products to the door of the customer quickly, accurately and at the right time is often problematic.

Enter Doorman, a last mile delivery innovation service provider that enables online retailers to integrate time specific, same day delivery and return pickup into their checkout process.  Allowing the consumer to select the optimal time for delivery or returns pickup leads to an improved customer experience and increased brand loyalty-ideal for both the customer and the retailer.
doorman logo
With consumers’ busy schedules, receiving deliveries and having goods picked up for return can be a nightmare.  Developed to aid consumers who cannot or choose not to have deliveries made directly to their homes, Doorman enables customers to schedule deliveries between 6 PM and midnight.  Last mile delivery service providers deliver packages to a Doorman warehouse.  Consumers use the Doorman smartphone app to schedule and re-schedule deliveries and return pickups at a time when they will be at home, all without requiring a call to customer support or the need to install an app.
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One hour delivery windows are offered during shopping cart check out and personalized, branded text notifications are sent to keep customers alerted to the status of their delivery.  Deliveries can be tracked while in progress and updates are provided in real time.

Industry studies reveal that 53% of American customers are more likely to make a purchase online if same day delivery is provided.  Using Doorman enables brick and mortar retailers to have access to consumers who want same day delivery service, a previously unattainable customer base.  Because Doorman has strategically positioned fulfillment centers and a vehicle capacity optimization system, retailers can reduce the cost of fulfillment and get the added bonus of providing same day delivery.

As an added bonus, Doorman accepts extra-large packages but charges an additional fee that is based upon the size of the parcel. 

Doorman offers both personal plans, a delivery and returns app for individuals as well as an enterprise delivery solution for online retailers.  Great news from the last mile delivery industry-just in time for the 2017 holiday season!

We invite you to read more about other innovators in the supply chain and logistics industry in our previous blogs:

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