Automated Pre-Spot Truckload Booking Avoids Price Hikes and Service Failures

Loadsmart was the first to launch truckload instant pricing/booking in the US (2015); first to launch One-Click load acceptance app for carriers (2015); first to launch instant pricing API for TMS integrations (2016) and experienced the first fully automated quote-book-source flow in the truckload spot market (2016).

We are now providing a pre-spot solution by fully automating quoting and booking of truckload shipments. By doing this, we make it possible for companies to automatically book a truck before the shipment turns into a spot load, accepting 100% of those tenders and guaranteeing capacity. This helps shippers avoid the same-day/next-day markets,  which are known for steep prices and service failures. Here is how it works.

1 – Semi-Automated Pre-Spot

We integrate with the Shipper’s transportation management system (TMS) via API to access data about all shipments that need to be moved. Loadsmart runs each shipment  through our machine learning pricing algorithm and returns a live, bookable rate directly to the Shipper’s TMS.

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This allows the shipper to compare the prices from other carriers and brokers, which are logged in their static rate tree, with Loadsmart’s bookable rate. Because it is given real-time, the rate is always live and can be booked with one click. No emails; no phone calls.

That means that when the primary carrier fails, the load planner can execute the shipment right away. Not only does this provide price protection at above-standard service levels, it also creates internal efficiencies for the shipper by saving time for the planners. It goes without saying that this also allows Loadsmart to operate much more efficiently, generating further savings that can be passed along to the customer.

2- Fully Automated Pre-Spot

In a fully-automated flow, instead of the shipper’s load planner manually comparing our pre-spot dynamic prices with static rates from their routing guide, this is done automatically on a server.

There are two steps to the automated process of price discovery and comparison. First, an algorithm evaluates the acceptance rates of carriers and brokers whose static rates are in the route guide. If they have rarely or never agreed to move the load at their routing guide (or annual bid) rate, then the algorithm skips them to save time.

Second, the algorithm requests a real-time rate from the Loadsmart pricing API. It then moves down the routing guide from least expensive to most expensive rate, contacting only carriers who the shipper has reason to believe will respond. It keeps doing this until the next lowest rate is Loadsmart’s instantly bookable rate. At that point, the algorithm automatically tenders the load to Loadsmart via API.

This allows for a full automation experience that in practice reduces the time to identify and secure truckload capacity by as much as several days, increasing on-time delivery and decreasing cost of hire. Further efficiencies accrue to the shipper as either very limited or indeed no manual work is necessary, decreasing errors and human capital costs while optimizing decisions.

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We have implemented both semi- and fully-automated pricing and booking  with Fortune 500 companies across the US. Pre-Spot Automation has dramatically accelerated the quoting and booking process (check Daimler’s case), slashing the time required to secure capacity, reducing rates by adding liquidity and reducing dependency on same-day spot markets, and minimizing the risk of human error.

Want to integrate with our system? Let us know.

 

Felipe Capella, Co-founder 

Hunter Yaw, Senior Product Manager

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