Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (December 18, 2020)

I spent two hours yesterday shoveling a foot of snow from my driveway, steps, and sidewalk. I managed to clear only 85% of it. My oldest son, after coming back from a run, finished the job in less than 20 minutes.

Like an old tilling ox, I’m becoming less efficient with age.

Moving on, a bit stiff and sore, here’s the supply chain and logistics news that caught my attention this week:

Parcel No Longer The Forgotten Mode in TMS

Twenty years ago, virtually all of the leading transportation management system (TMS) vendors stayed away from adding parcel capabilities. Simply put, they didn’t want to deal with the unique rating and other requirements associated with parcel shipments, especially label compliance. Instead, they pointed you to a handful of standalone parcel shipping partners.

In recent years, however, TMS vendors have been adding parcel capabilities, either organically or via acquisitions. The driving force, of course, has been the rapid growth of e-commerce. Companies that did little or no parcel shipping a decade ago, including manufacturers and retailers, now find themselves having to incorporate parcel more seamlessly and intelligently into their overall transportation planning and execution processes.

A few years back, you had the merging of Kewill and LeanLogistics (now BluJay Solutions) that brought together a leading parcel shipping vendor with a leading TMS provider. In May 2017, Descartes acquired ShipRush, “a leading provider of e-commerce multi-carrier parcel shipping solutions for small-to medium-sized businesses.” This past February, 3Gtms announced its acquisition of PaceJet, a cloud-based, multi-carrier shipping software provider. The latest development: Elemica announced its acquisition of ProcessWeaver, “the leading first-to-final mile multi-carrier parcel TMS solution provider.” Here are some details from the press release:

ProcessWeaver’s solutions will be integrated into Elemica’s Digital Supply Chain Network, including the Eyefreight TMS solution. This will give clients access to advanced shipment planning and freight cost management capabilities, increasing their freight-related cost savings and control.

ProcessWeaver’s multi-carrier shipping solutions automate the execution processes required in warehouse and distribution operations that must pick, pack and ship high volumes of small parcel and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments. Operators are ensured compliance with carrier data exchange, reference numbers and labeling. The solutions are offered in native ERP as well as hosted cloud models. ProcessWeaver also brings strategic partnerships to Elemica along with advanced integrations with customer ERP systems such as SAP, Oracle, Netsuite, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, Acumatica and Epicor.

Simply put, parcel is no longer the forgotten mode in TMS; it is becoming a must have capability for almost all shippers.

And with that, have a happy weekend!

Song of the Week: “Pure” by The Lightning Seeds