Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Echo Global Logistics rolls out FlexTMS

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 08, 2011

Echo Global Logistics, a non-asset based freight brokerage company and a provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services, recently introduced a new, self-service Transportation Management System (TMS).

Entitled Flex TMS, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) application provides shippers with integrated managed services, according to Echo. The company said that it provides shippers with a customized, cost-effective solution which includes routing guide management, automated load entry, tendering and acceptance, load visibility with customized reporting and analytics to assist with freight management.

In an interview with LM, Echo CEO Doug Waggoner explained that Echo’s enterprise business, which is primarily comprised of contractual transportation management, have centered on deals single-source deals exclusive to Echo, with Echo providing shippers with technology services, staff, and management of processes, RFPs, and carriers and act like a shipper’s transportation department.

“Along the way we have realized that dealing with larger shippers, particularly in the truckload space and intermodal, already have a sizeable investment in their process for things like staff, carrier relations, and negotiated pricing, among others,” said Waggoner. “What we heard from our customers was that they like what we offer but they don’t want to let go of what they have…and disrupt our existing carrier relationships, but they like our technology and want to improve their process and automate it as much as possible.”

This led to a shift by Echo to take their existing technology and modify it to a cloud-based, SaaS TMS that would enable a shipper to load its transportation processes and data into Echo’s IT platform and subsequently have Echo manage it for them.

Waggoner described this shift as going from Echo’s single-source enterprise solution to a multi-source solution.

“We’d still like to participate in the freight handling for some portion of the shipments, but we are going to give our customer technology that they can manage all of their shipments with, regardless of whether Echo gets the shipment or not,” said Waggoner. “And they get all the benefits that go with that. In cases when companies do not need us to act as their transportation department, they are still asking for the technology we provide and this is how we can do that.”

The FlexTMS also helps shippers with automating time-consuming processes and providing shippers with greater visibility to the entire transportation management function while also continuing existing carrier relationships.

When asked to cite an example of how FlexTMS helps with automating processes, Waggoner cited how a large truckload shipper who has created a routing guide will run an RFP process with asset-based carriers and a few brokers. The routing guide would note that in any given lane there are a certain number of carriers that the shipper has pre-screened and pre-selected capabilities and pricing. And as the shipper gets shipments in that lane, the shipper will use the top carriers in the routing guide.

“Depending on the number of shipments there are, that process can be quite time-consuming, with shippers calling carriers on a daily basis to see if they have capacity for lanes they bid on,” said Waggoner. “We automate that whole process and load that routing guide into our system, which pings carriers telling them about an available load and the carrier can bid on that lane if they want the load. If the carrier says no, then the system goes to the next carrier on the list and offers the load to them.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

In the third-party logistics (3PL) sector, the ongoing trend of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity never seems to take a break. That is apparent in recent weeks alone, with XPO Logistics recent acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle for $3.53 billion, Echo Global Logistics scooping up Command Transportation for $420 million, and Kuehne+Nagel buying ReTrans for an undisclosed sum.

During this webcast attendees will learn about technology that is delivering real-time tracking on freight and putting an end to the all too common question of “Where’s My Brokered Load?”. Whether you’re a broker, 3PL, shipper, or carrier, find out how you can gain automated, TMS-integrated visibility on all your shipments.

FedEx recently took another step in its plans to acquire Netherlands-based TNT-NV and a provider of mail and courier services and the fourth largest global parcel operator for $4.8 billion, which it announced in early April. The company said it has “submitted the required filing to the European Commission to obtain regulatory clearance in connection with the intended recommended public cash offer all issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of TNT Express.”

The American Trucking Associations last week praised Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) for her bill that takes some positive steps towards alleviating the current environment regarding the truck driver shortage.

Global third-party logistics (3PL) services provider Kuehne+Nagel (KN) said this week it has entered into an agreement to acquire ReTrans Inc., a Memphis-based provider of multimodal transportation services.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA