Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (August 16, 2019)

“Papi, why don’t you have a six pack,” my oldest daughter asked me last week while we were on vacation. I had just returned from a 72-mile bike ride and had taken my jersey off.

“What do you mean?” I replied.

“Well, you cycle so much, for so many hours, I’m just wondering why you don’t have a six pack.”

I opened the fridge and took out the macaroni salad we had bought at the supermarket the night before. It’s basically a tub of mayonnaise with macaroni in it. I took a spoonful, shoved it in my mouth, and thought about how to reply.

“I have no idea,” I finally said. “I wish I knew,” and I shoved another spoonful of macaroni drowned in mayonnaise in my mouth.

It was great being “off the grid” for a week, but now the hard work begins: getting caught up on all I missed. So without further delay, here’s the supply chain and logistics news that caught my attention this week:

The Rise of TMS and Digital Freight Partnerships

Back in April, SAP and Uber Freight announced “the integration of Uber Freight into SAP Logistics Business Network [that] will let customers access transportation rates from Uber’s digitally activated carrier network and gain real-time quotes and guaranteed freight capacity, greatly simplifying load management and execution.”

Also in April, Kuebix and Emerge announced a similar partnership. According to the press release, “When a shipper is in need of additional truckload capacity or looking for more rate options, they can post their shipment to Community Load Match and begin receiving spot quotes. Through this new partnership, Emerge’s extensive broker and direct carrier asset connections are now accessible so that users can easily have their freight digitally matched with available assets.”

Earlier this month, MercuryGate and Uber Freight announced “they will make Uber Freight’s extensive carrier network available on MercuryGate’s platform, providing instant access to Uber Freight’s real-time pricing and guaranteed freight lane capacity.”

And now the latest partnership: Convoy announced a partnership with BluJay Solutions that “provides shippers with direct access to Convoy’s instant market rates with guaranteed tender acceptance via BluJay’s Transportation Management dashboard.” According to the press release:

Convoy uses its real-time pricing models and nationwide network of tens of thousands of carriers to generate market-relevant prices. This direct integration has already rolled out with select customers, enabling them to quickly find reliable, affordable coverage from high-quality carriers.

Why all these partnerships?

Well, for TMS providers, this gives their customers another avenue to find capacity, especially when contracted carriers reject a tender. For the digital freight brokers, they are looking for ways to bring more shippers (freight demand) onto their networks and tapping the installed customer bases of TMS providers is a relatively quick way to do it.

For more on my perspective on digital freight, I encourage you to attend next week’s webinar “Digital Freight: Threat or Opportunity?” organized by BlueGrace Logistics (Wednesday, August 21 at 2:00 pm ET). 

And with that, have a happy weekend!

Song of the Week: “Forgive Me Friend” by Smith & Thell feat. Swedish Jam Factory