trucks

Are You Prepared for the Peak Shipping Season?

2022 has had its fair share of supply chain disruption. Trucking rates through 2022’s Q3 haven’t seemed as volatile as in months past, as fuel prices have stabilized a bit. But even if things like fuel prices and inflation have peaked, Q4 is too vital for many businesses not to be prepared. Now that we’re heading into the Holidays, the peak trucking season is ramping up which will bring on more chaos and fluctuation in truckload capacity, service and rates. The key question to all large shippers is… how have you prepared for it? To help fend off potential risk, some shippers have continued to lock in long-term carrier contracts. But unfortunately, RFPs produce fixed pricing that does not fluctuate with market demand resulting in the shipper paying too much or receiving horrible service. Innovative shippers have taken a much deeper look inside freight management protocol, and they have determined that traditional practices, such as the time-consuming RFP, no longer work. Why? Because static and manual processes can’t keep up with today’s market turbulence. They don’t provide the flexibility needed to pivot as disruption occurs.  Forward-thinking shippers have embraced technology and industry 4.0 concepts, such as automation, AI, and visibility/ data. They have spent time and money overhauling critical supply chain processes, such as freight procurement, to help keep goods moving. Shippers who continue to rely on decades-old processes, like RFPs and freight brokers, will eventually lose their supply chain competitive advantage, and worse erode their margins and profitability.  Automation & Data Freight procurement automation utilizes AI to help shippers always deliver goods on time, and at a fair market...
i win

While Shippers Struggle, Popular 3PLs Thrive!

Supply chain woes, high prices of fuel, and budget overages have many large retailers, manufacturers, and distributors that rely on shipping facing uncertainty. But not everybody is feeling the squeeze of these problems that have been ongoing since the onset of the pandemic. Popular third-party logistics companies (3PLs) – as well as large freight brokers – have taken advantage of this situation to the tune of record-setting earnings for multiple months in a row, according to Transport Topics. That’s good news for them, but many large shippers are still scrambling to find ways to trim expenses. Innovative shippers have turned to smart technology and automation to help remove waste.   Why 3PLs & Freight Brokers Are Thriving 3PLs help large shippers streamline critical supply chain operations such as distribution, warehousing, and packaging. Similar to freight brokers, most 3PLs also offer brokerage services and act as middlemen to set up shippers with third-party carriers. Unfortunately, as disruption occurs in the freight market, freight middlemen know that shippers are willing to pay an arm and a leg to move goods. And with hidden margins, these middlemen charge upwards of 30% more to pad their own pockets- hence record-setting earnings.   Take Control of Shipping With Technology Award-winning, AI-powered automation technology helps shippers uncover resilience, sustainability, and cost reduction opportunities by eliminating the need for middlemen. By automating freight procurement, 80+ configured shipper attributes-- along with artificial intelligence-- dynamically match loads directly to the right carrier, at the right time, location, and price. Logistics can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Automating freight procurement helps shippers overcome freight market volatility by always delivering...
Balance

Can A Shipper Really Balance Transportation Cost With Service (OTD)? Yes They Can.

Costs surrounding freight always fluctuate up and down. The trick for shippers is to deliver the goods their customers expect on time, without acquiring and then passing down increased transportation costs. There’s more focus on transportation budgets and service than ever before, and utilizing software-- that outputs real-time data-- will take the mystery out of how shippers can successfully balance transportation costs with service levels. Because as transportation insiders know all too well, shippers are either over-paying and receiving great service, or under-paying and receiving horrible service. The new way forward for savvy shippers is to utilize a combination of automation and data intelligence to always deliver goods on time while paying a fair truckload price.  Automating Freight Procurement Procedures It seems overnight, the digital transformation and new emerging technologies have instantly changed supply chain procedures to become more agile to help overcome new challenges. For example, instead of relying on freight brokers and RFPs to source compliant carriers, innovative shippers have turned to automation technology, which uses a self-regulated freight marketplace to dynamically source compliant, asset-based capacity at the right time, place, and price! On average, these shippers are saving  over 17% on truckload cost, while generating 97%+ OTD.  Closing the Freight Procurement Data-Gap  Forward-thinking shippers have also prioritized the need to close the massive data gap associated with freight procurement by choosing to only do business with partners that provide 100% data transparency. Once the data gap is filled, shippers are then empowered to make stronger, data-driven decisions surrounding how best to optimize their carrier network so they can always deliver goods on time, at fair market price. ...
MicahelPaul

Shanghai, Back to School, Fall Peak, And More– Are You Prepared?

Michael Paul, Sleek's VP of Sales, has been helping shippers source qualified carriers for years now, and based on his expertise and what he's witnessing overseas, he is predicting a high-water mark of containers will soon generate another capacity crunch at US Ports. To help support his point, Michael Paul said, "The Port of Savannah this past week moved 255K TEUs, and the same week in 2021 only moved 170K. Thankfully, port leadership had strong foresight and created a number of container yards which resulted in only 12-15 containers on water, versus 40-50." Here are additional challenges, and what shippers can do now to proactively prepare to weather the approaching capacity crunch storm.  New Shanghai Quarantine Measures Will Have Resounding Impacts This past April and May, as part of continued quarantine efforts, Shanghai closed several important highways which negatively impacted trucks carrying exports bound for city ports. To help mitigate delays, shippers began to rely on Ningbo and other smaller loading ports along the Yangtze River as alternate port destinations. As a result, the Port of Ningbo is now showing an increase in congestion. Just as production and manufacturing levels were resuming in Shanghai, new restrictions were implemented which will negatively impact the supply chain and freight procurement. During the initial lockdown period, a trucking slowdown led to raw material shortages for large companies such as Volkswagen and Tesla. “Before the latest restrictions, truck drivers were still required to provide a nationally recognized 48-hour negative Covid test result and traffic permit”, said Akhil Nair, Asia-Pacific VP at Seko Logistics. He also noted that local governments continue to demand more testing....
AdvanSix

Sleek Technologies Announces Joanne Savage from AdvanSix as 2022 ISY (Innovative Shipper of the Year) Award Winner

AdvanSix, a leading producer of differentiated products in the industries of nylon solutions, chemical intermediates, and plant nutrients, saved over $100,000 in truckload costs while delivering goods on time 97.6% during extreme market conditions when other shippers struggled to maintain cost and service.  Chicago, IL June 2, 2022 - Joanne Savage, Logistics Manager at  AdvanSix, was recently named the 2022 Sleek Technologies ISY Award Winner for her excellence in freight procurement automation. Each year Sleek Technologies recognizes one customer who has embraced technological advancements to strengthen freight procurement results. Award recipients uncover resilience, sustainability and cost reduction opportunities for their company, and in turn their end customers.  “Joanne is a true trailblazer,” said Mike Nervick, Sleek Technologies CEO. “As an early adopter of freight procurement automation, Joanne embraced new technology which mitigated rising truckload cost and poor service levels for AdvanSix during unprecedented times for transportation professionals.” Joanne's willingness to embrace new technology resulted in a truckload savings rebate of $114,524 and an industry-best on-time delivery rate of 97.6%. This is no simple task, especially during volatile freight market conditions when many other shippers struggled to maintain cost and service levels. Joanne has risen to the occasion with a strong work ethic and an innovative spirit, successfully managing transportation efforts for AdvanSix.  “Joanne understands the importance of servicing the customer at a high level while still controlling costs in a volatile marketplace,” said Dean Corbolotti, Sleek Technologies VP Managed Services. “During the supply chain crisis when reliable and cost-effective freight capacity was hard to find, Joanne delivered 100% on time delivery multiple times when most shippers were lucky to deliver...

Using AI to Battle Rising Diesel Costs

There’s not much shippers and carriers can do when decisions or events on the other side of the globe impact the price of fuel. But just because fuel gets more expensive doesn’t mean business stops. According to the American Trucking Association, trucks moved around 72.5% of freight in the United States by weight in 2020. Since the majority of those trucks run on diesel fuel, seeing a major increase in the price of a gallon of diesel - like the one the U.S. is in the midst of right now – can have an immediate impact on profits. The average price for a gallon of diesel jumped up to $5.623 on May 9, according to the Department of Energy, marking a 46.3-cent leap over the last two weeks. As recently as Valentine’s Day, diesel was only $4.019 per gallon. A year ago, it was $3.186 – marking a rise of almost $2.50 per gallon over the last 12 months. Trucking companies generally apply a fuel surcharge to cover those inflated fuel prices, but those increases often get passed on to the customer. It’s hard to predict when the rise will stop – or even slow down – so it’s up to shippers to find other avenues to reduce costs. As diesel prices continue to rise, shippers are faced with the dilemma of charging their customers more or operating at reduced margins – unless they can find other ways to cut costs. Innovative shippers have embraced AI-driven tools for automation that have helped offset rising fuel costs. By using these tools, it can lower the overall cost of shipments, ensure that goods are...

AI in Freight Procurement Refresh

Technology is one of the hottest topics of conversation today in the freight procurement and logistics space, with AI, in particular, being one of the foremost areas of focus. Given how unstable and chaotic freight procurement has been over the last 24 months, shippers are desperately trying to adopt tools that turn static procedures dynamic and provide real-time insights and visibility to drive better performance, savings, and overall success. And AI-powered freight procurement automation software is proving to be a pivotal tool in helping to achieve these goals. Here are a few ways that AI is helping shippers break new ground in their freight procurement operations. Capacity Oversight Navigating capacity fluctuations has been one of the most challenging aspects of freight procurement over the last two years with the space experiencing a historic period of unpredictability. Shippers simply can no longer rely on outdated tools and the scant data provided by brokers to navigate an incredibly fluid capacity landscape. In turn, shippers have turned to AI as a way to gain a real-time look into the ebbs and flows of the capacity market instead of relying on partial or outdated data they were receiving from their legacy tools and partners. Price Management For years, brokers have been a thorn in the side of shippers for numerous reasons. However, arguably nothing has made this relationship more strained than issues of overpricing. The broker market is renowned for its heightened and opaque pricing structure. And with budgets tightening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, shippers have grown tired of this price gouging and thus have turned to AI as a way to dynamically...

Before Investing Millions in A Private Fleet, Give Freight Procurement Automation A Test Run. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

There seems to be a new costly trend amongst large shippers to deploy their own private fleets to help ease transportation bottlenecks. Sherman Williams just announced it would be using a private fleet of trucks and railcars to aid suppliers’ raw materials deliveries to boost production and inventory levels. But with a new fleet comes additional costs, added risk, and sometimes inefficiencies. Sherman Williams CEO, John Morikis, said “It’s a little less efficient than what we would like. We want to optimize our supply chain to its fullest. But when it comes down to it, we are going to choose serving our customers.” Walmart has continued to strengthen its own private fleets to not only support store delivery but inbound shipments from its suppliers. Last month, Walmart announced that it would increase pay for its 12,000 truck drivers between $95,000 to $110,000. They also launched a dedicated training program for distribution center employees to become certified Walmart drivers. As the largest retailer shipper, Walmart spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year on intermodal freight services using its own containers and chassis, along with a private fleet of drivers for pickup and delivery. That said, not all large shippers are in the same position as Walmart, therefore don’t have the same level of resources to launch such efforts. So instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on adding a private fleet, what else can a shipper do to avoid transportation bottlenecks? Innovative shippers have embraced AI-powered software to dynamically source compliant, asset-based capacity to always deliver goods on-time, and at a fair market cost. And the software seamlessly integrates with a shipper’s TMS for a...

How Has AI Automated Freight Procurement To Make Shippers Agile?

No doubt, digitalization is the future of supply chains across the world. It’s no secret that transportation and logistics are slow to advance, and mired in manual processes. And the pandemic certainly put a glowing spotlight on the need to revisit digital transformation within the supply chain. A recent survey by Bain & Company with the World Economic Forum stated that supply chain resilience and sustainability have become priorities for many large businesses. To proactively manage future supply chain disruption, shippers need to be agile and resilient. In other words, they need to be capable of pivoting– to follow what the market demands– on a second’s notice. Do you remember Sears, or what about Blockbuster Video? Both brands failed to adapt to market changes, and either missed or were slow to embrace innovative thinking. It’s unfortunate to think there are many large shippers who are still using archaic procedures within their supply chain. This is precisely why many shippers have struggled over the last 24 months to deliver goods on time, and at fair market price. Static, linear freight procurement procedures were never set up to effectively manage freight market fluctuation. The physical movement of goods is riddled with unknowns, such as natural disasters or shifts in consumer demand, and therefore requires smart tools to support resilience. AI-powered technology has helped many shippers turn static freight procurement processes into dynamic ones. Once the software is configured with the shipper’s unique load attributes and rules, the software goes to work by dynamically sourcing compliant, asset-based capacity whenever and wherever the shipper needs it. With no middlemen, carriers bid directly on loads, so shippers know...

Sleek Technologies Announces Michael Paul as VP of Sales

Pioneer in AI-driven freight procurement automation announces the addition of Schneider, RGL Logistics and Ascent veteran to its rapidly growing executive ranks CHICAGO, April 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sleek Technologies, a technology data company, and leader in AI-driven freight procurement automation, today announced the hiring of Michael Paul as the Vice President of Sales. With over 30 years experience in supply chain sales and operations, Paul will lead the overall sales strategy which will support the growth of new SaaS customers, and expansion of the existing base. "We're extremely delighted to welcome Michael Paul to our executive leadership team," said Mike Nervick, CEO and Co-Founder of Sleek Technologies. "As a transportation insider, he brings extensive knowledge and experience working with shippers to understand their transportation challenges and needs. And with that, he will help us continue to disrupt the logistics space as shippers look to gain more control over their freight procurement operations." Paul’s hiring signals another important step in the expansion of the Sleek Technologies executive team and represents the fifth senior executive hire in the last two years. Prior to joining Sleek Technologies, Paul held pricing yield management, sales and account development positions – including stints at Schneider, RGL Logistics and Ascent. “Sleek Technologies is quickly becoming one of the most talked about freight procurement disruptors in the space today,” said Paul. “I’m incredibly enthused about joining a very talented team of innovators, and educating shippers across the country on how AI-powered technology, along with 100% data transparency, has automated one of the most critical supply chain processes - freight procurement.” About Sleek Technologies Sleek Technologies is the...