Freight-tech innovation showcased during American Shipper’s first-ever Global Trade Tech summit.
Each company had the opportunity to to highlight their latest offerings through rapid-fire demonstrations. Blume Global, HubTran, Front and Fleet Complete demoed their products during the afternoon block. Don’t forget to catch the demo presentations from this morning’s lineup.
As international freight is exchanged at many points along the multmodal journey, keeping track of each shipment can be challenging for carriers as shipping information often isn’t available in one place. Blume Global has aimed to give carriers of all sizes the ability to visibly track international shipments end to end and in real time on a single platform.
“People look at TMSes (transportation management systems) in silos,” said James Miller, a Blume Global solutions consultant. “Blume Global provides a holistic view of transportation management through its global network and location intelligence, giving users a comprehensive view of their logistics network. Our platform allows users to more efficiently plan and book air and ocean capacity, move cargo end to end with ease, accrue costs, audit and pay invoices all in one system.”
Users of Blume Global’s TMS have access to complete multimodal rate and route management. Miller added that the platform enables users to manage rates, book ocean capacity, track shipments end to end, as well as manage costs and audit invoices. All truck, rail and ocean shipments are linked, providing carriers the ability to view all legs of the end-to-end journey.
Document processing is a bottleneck issue for freight forwarders as customers often prefer to send shipping paperwork via email. Sifting through emails to process the right documents is tedious and time-consuming and is a task that HubTran plans to eliminate with its automation platform.
“Freight forwarders do not realize how much time their workforces are spending on documents every day,” said HubTran CEO Matt Bernstein. “HubTran’s forwarder automation will reduce that time by 90%.”
HubTran is integrated with most TMSes. It uses optical character recognition, machine learning and artificial intelligence to automatically read and extract documents from each customer email, including bills of lading, commercial invoices, arrival notices and proof of delivery. The cloud-based platform then assigns each document to the correct shipment inside of the TMS, dramatically reducing the need for manual processing.
Front presents a modern email solution that’s been adopted by Convoy and Flexport and addresses the inefficiency of email for remote teams. Traditionally, an employee spends 13 hours a week writing and responding to emails — that’s 28% of the workweek.
“All that noise is causing us to move slowly on customer requests, mix up messages and leave customer relationships on the table,” said Andrew Berger, VP of global sales at Front. “Front is the customer communication platform built for modern logistics and transportation teams.”
Frontapp utilizes shared inboxes to create accountability, intelligent routing to prioritize important work and analytics to ensure dynamic service-level agreements are achieved.
Users can create internal chats within group emails to assign workloads, send text messages from the same inbox and export proof of delivery directly into the TMS.
Berger says Frontapp saves each person six hours per week and can be easily integrated into apps like Slack, Salesforce, WhatsApp and Twitter. Custom integration also can be done for those companies that want their TMSes built on top of Frontapp.
In Fleet Complete’s platform, fleet managers can easily and comprehensively manage their assets, tasks, employees and hours of service.
The tracking screen within the platform allows fleet managers to search for the vehicle they need to locate. The in-vehicle device captures the trucks’ current direction and speed of travel, as well as any instances of aggressive driving. Fleet managers who incorporate vision or an inward-facing camera can gain deeper insight into driving events and organize those videos according to date or asset type.
Fleet managers can use the portal to create, schedule, manage and store tasks for field employees. Parameters can be set to send alerts to contact the driver when the vehicle has been idling longer than 15 minutes, for example. The dashboard module gives managers access to recent workflow stats within a specific time frame — transparency that helps managers optimize time and driver performance.