3PL - INNOVATION & TECNOLOGY\\\
experience in logistics technology: vice president of Operational Transformation. Agility, with $4 billion in
revenues, says that of its 22,000 employees, 400 are dedicated to developing software in a tech center in India. The Kuwait- headquartered
with offices in more than 100 countries, also operates IT sites in the Middle East, United Kingdom, Singapore, and the
That growth has happened steadily throughout the whole time I’ve been here,” he says. C.H. Robinson’s high-
tech tools include Artificial Intelligence,
analytics, and data science, he says.
“When you look at,
especially the truckload market, the supply base is extremely fragmented. We use 60,000, up to 70,000,
“There’s a combination of rising
expectations from customers, clicking a button and wanting to get that
product quickly, maybe even today.” -- Robert Oliver, Quintiq.
U.S. “There is a core group of
maybe the top 10 or 15 (3PLs) that are able to stay abreast and keep evolving, but I think that divide is becoming greater,” Kewalram says. That’s largely because of technology’s own wicked pace, while, “Some companies,” he adds, “say, “‘Well, let’s get this latest version done, and then we’re set for the next few years.’” Barnes
cites Saddle Creek Geodis,
Robinson Worldwide Inc. as 3PLs ahead of the curve. The latter, billing itself as
one of the world’s largest 3PLs with 113,000 global customers, has been innovating logistics technology for the last three decades, says C.H. Robinson CIO Chad Lindbloom. He has been with the Minnesota- based 3PL for 27 of those years. “We’ve spent over a billion
dollars in the last 10 years in technology,” he says. “This year, we’re running at a pace somewhere between $140 million to $150 million,” he says. The company’s 2016 revenues were $13.1 billion. Lindbloom, who left his CFO
position of 15 years to become Chief Information Officer 2½ years ago, says, “Technology began to account for about 40 percent or 50 percent of my time.” He remembers when company, with 14,000
employees, had about 25 or 30 people in IT. “It’s now getting close to 800, and that didn’t happen in the last two years.
“Don’t expect technology to be a
capital-expenditure type of item.” -- Biju Kewalram, Agility
motor carriers to execute our freight. That’s how fragmented the market is,” he says. “With
supply chains getting
more complex, shippers are demanding better service from their transportation providers, doing things like supply chain optimization, and they want to know, real time, where their freight is.” In a 2017 report, 3PLs Are
Buzzing With Innovation: Bridging the Expectation Gap Between 3PLs and Shippers, the
Supply Chain advanced
3PLs on the vanguard of tech innovation are
digitization, e-commerce, Big Data, and the Internet of Things, which refers to machines talking to machines. Another report, 2017 Third-
Party Logistics Study: The State of Logistics Outsourcing, from Capgemini Consulting, Penn State, and Penske, lists these among the “most frequently cited technologies”: •
that’s on top of doing a better job of meeting your customer expectations: arriving on time, within committed windows, and arriving with the right equipment.” Moreover, better tech
creates a better relationship between
shipper, 3PL, and,
ultimately, the customer. “The changing B2B
T r ans po rta ti o n management (planning and scheduling)
• EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
• Web portals • Global
management tools Bar coding
T r ans po rta ti o n sourcing
• Network modeling and optimization
• Data mining tools •
Says Barnes: “As we move to the Internet of Things—there’s a
relationships are forcing 3PL companies to shift their business models from what used to be moving goods, to now providing services, such as personalization, additive manufacturing, merchandising support, and even inventory management,” the Supply Chain Digest report says. “This change is difficult as it forces the companies to change their value propositions.” As the Digest report says, and
3PLs here agree, companies either innovate or evaporate: “On the 3PL side, innovation
survey says 69 percent of its 200 reader-respondents rate innovation in 3PLs as “very important.” “The majority of shippers in
the market believe that 3PLs deliver low and modest levels of innovation,” the 19-page report says. “The concerns are too often that they invest in technologies whether or not they fit in their customers’ business models.” Now, according to the report,
is really no longer a ‘nice to have,’ but rather a competitive essential. A combined 65 percent of shipper respondents, for instance, say they always or usually evaluate a 3PL’s innovation capabilities as part of the selection process.” As Barnes puts it: “It’s, like,
‘Guys, wake up. If you don’t wake up and start doing innovation proactively, you’re going to be out of business. At the end of the day, Amazon’s going to eat your lunch, but Amazon’s already eating your lunch.’
“We’ve spent over a billion dollars in the last 10 years in technology.” -- Chad Lindbloom, C.H. Robinson
physical component of moving an asset, inventory items, etc.— the emphasis that 3PLs have used to build infrastructure to move physical assets, that same level of mindset needs to go into innovation.” What about ROI, especially
for those mid- and lower- tier 3PLs that don’t have the capital resources as, say, C.H. Robinson? Everyone knows that high-tech isn’t low-cost. “Our real goal,” Quintiq’s
Oliver says, “is for our customers to get that payback within a year, maximum two years.” Oliver cites cost savings
through “less diesel fuel, less hourly wages, less wear and tear on the vehicles—and
“The point of this
conversation is that you’re not going to eat Amazon’s lunch but how can you eat the other competitors that you deal with every day? You’re either going to differentiate yourself, or you’re going to die. The question is, how are you going to differentiate?” Agility’s Kewalram answers
that. “The main trend now is that previously you could look at superior freight handling and physical movement of goods, or you could differentiate on the grounds of technology and information,” he says. “I think what’s happening now is that you have to do both, and that’s where the biggest market expectation is changing.”
FourKites announced a partnership with leading compliance provider J.J. Keller to provide their mutual customers with access to seamless, real-time load tracking capabilities. The integration will allow customer GPS information to be communicated between J.J. Keller’s Encompass Fleet Management System with Elogs and FourKites’ tracking platform.
CX North America Information Services, Inc. announced the availability of the Freight Vision Mobile App, a new product designed to give a range of users, especially at the management level, visibility over the status of their freight operations anytime and anywhere.
CaroTrans has announced the launch of its freight management mobile app. It’s currently available as a free download for Android phones in the Google Play App store. The iPhone version is being released in early September.
Peak Scientific, a leading innovator in the design, manufacture and support of high performance gas generators for analytical laboratories, is partnering with SEKO Logistics to help optimize its supply chain with enhanced visibility, reporting and cost saving solutions. Working with SEKO, Peak now serves customers in two of its major markets in China and the US with in-territory stock, using seafreight to ship products in bulk and eliminating its former approach of shipping single units by air. SEKO has helped Peak reduce transportation costs by using consolidated FCL and achieve a steady flow of product and faster response times for its customers.
AMIis set to revolutionize express imports to South Africa, with the launch of an all-inclusive online service. Called click2ship Express Imports, the new service is the imports counterpart of click2ship Express Exports, launched in South Africa in 2014. Click2ship Express Imports provides online quotes and bookings for imports from any location in the world. Prices include collection at origin. Customs export entries, freight, Customs clearance on arrival, and local delivery from airport to agent or consignee.
FourKites announced a partnership with 3GTMS. To enhance processes for 3PLs providers and shippers, the partnership incorporates FourKites’ freight visibility platform with 3GTMS’software into a unified powerful offering.
Werner Enterprises was named a Top 3PL and Cold Storage Provider by Food Logistics. The annual award serves as a resource guide of third- party logistics and cold storage providers whose products and services are critical for companies in the global food and beverage supply chain.
PS Logistics, LLC, announced that it has joined the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) as a charter member, to help advance the transportation industry through smart technologies and standardized performance standards.
Prime Distribution Services announced that it has finalized the implementation of cloud-based HighJump Enterprise Warehouse Management System (WMS) to support the future needs of its clients in an ever-changing retail environment.
Compliance with Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines for the transport of pharmaceutical and biomedical products is improved with Carrier Transicold’s new temperature sensor calibration capability for its PrimeLINE® container refrigeration units. Effective immediately, the calibration function will be included in software loaded into every new PrimeLINE unit, including those with energy-saving EDGE technology.
Issue 7 2017 - FBJNA
News Roundup Forwarding & Logistics
RoadOne IntermodaLogistics announced the acquisition of UGL, United Global Logistics, Inc., to strengthen its Midwest service offerings and overall North American network. Jerry Chey, owner and UGL president, and his team will continue to run the UGL business as a separate, independent division within RoadOne IntermodaLogistics under Jerry’s leadership. There will be no change to services and operations.
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