FreightWaves 3PL Summit: Innovation drives J.B. Hunt 360 platform (with video)

Eric McGee of J.B. Hunt talks about the success of its 360 digital freight platform.

Listening and adapting to customers’ and carriers’ needs through innovation is key to the continued growth of J.B. Hunt Transport Services’ (NASDAQ: JBHT) 360 multimodal digital freight marketplace platform

“If you think about what 360 is for – it’s really to create the most efficient transportation network in North America,” said Eric McGee, executive vice president of highway services for J.B. Hunt, on Tuesday, July 21, at FreightWaves’ 3PL Summit. “When you think about shippers interacting in Shipper 360 and carriers interacting in Carrier 360, that intersection inside the marketplace is where that efficiency is created.”

McGee said the number of 3PLs, now more than 1,000, that have started using the 360 platform as a shipper has been surprising.

“I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a couple of those heavy users inside of our platform and heard from them directly about what’s important to them,” he said. “I’ve talked to these 3PLs about the access to capacity and the thing that they pointed to was their brokers making 100 phone calls every day to try to find a truck. They talked about the access to that capacity and finding the right truck instead of finding a truck.”

McGee said that 65% of all of the shipments posted in 360 are viewed within 60 seconds and that 100% of shipments are viewed within one hour. Its carrier network includes more than 700,000 trucks interacting inside the platform doing well over 30 million searches annually. 

One of the major focuses for J.B. Hunt’s 360 platform in 2020 “has been really around the seamless side of the process.” 

McGee added, “Making sure it’s easy for shippers to get in, get signed up, get quotes, book a shipment and be able to have visibility where that shipment is – that is what it is all about. And that’s very important to us because we want to make it easier for shippers to get into the platform and get their shipments there because that’s product on the shelf. As these carriers are coming in and searching for shipments that fill the needs that they have, we want to make sure that search doesn’t come up empty.”

For J.B. Hunt, creating the most efficient transportation network in North America means having the right shipment for the right carrier, which doesn’t always mean it’s a shipment that J.B. Hunt found or utilizes a J.B. Hunt truck, McGee said.

“If you are a 3PL today, you are either investing in technology understanding that the industry is changing and disrupting yourself or you are doing business the traditional manner,” he said. “The traditional way would have two-thirds of your people calling on trucks. I challenge you to ask yourself ‘are you executing for your customers in the most efficient manner?’”

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