5 Ways Shippers Save Time Using a Transportation Management System (TMS)
Shippers • Published on December 12, 2019
If you work in freight, you know the value of time. More time gives you more flexibility to respond to the inevitable exceptions that occur when moving product. More time also lets you step back and figure out how to improve your freight network instead of focusing on the day-to-day operations of moving freight.
So, how can you find more time?
If you are tendering loads using a combination of email and spreadsheets, your single biggest opportunity to free up time is switching to a Transportation Management System (TMS) to automate freight booking. Shippers using Convoy Connect, our free TMS with instant access to capacity, can save up to 50% of the time they used to spend tendering freight. This translates into more than an hour a day for some customers.
Here’s how they are getting back an hour each day:
1. Save time creating loads
Our data shows that 70% of loads are repeats: the same origin, destination, and truck type. With Convoy Connect you can duplicate a shipment with one click – no typing or copying and pasting.
2. Save time communicating with carriers
A TMS handles carrier communication on your behalf. Want to send a load to a carrier? Click a button instead of picking up the phone. Need confirmation that the carrier has accepted? Find all carrier responses in one place, no more sifting through emails in your inbox to see what has been covered.
3. Save time coordinating spot loads
One of the most time consuming experiences for shippers without a TMS is managing spot loads. Conducting a spot auction may seem easy – “I just send an email and BCC all my carriers” – but in reality this leads to a lot of wasted time.
You have to monitor incoming emails to figure out what carriers bid and at what price. Then, you often have to paste that information into a new spreadsheet to help keep track of responses. The winner must be notified via email and confirm that they are still able to run the load. And, losers need to know the opportunity is closed, so they can stop asking about the bids.
A TMS, like Convoy Connect, automates all of this. Select your carriers, then the TMS collects bids and shows you every response in one place. Pick a winner and the TMS notifies them while simultaneously informing the other carriers that the opportunity is closed. In addition, Convoy Connect offers an instantly bookable, guaranteed Convoy rate on shipments, allowing you to fully skip the spot process and click a button for instant coverage.
What previously took minutes over many emails, now takes a matter of seconds.
4. Eliminate errors when loads change
Last minute changes on shipments account for a hidden source of lost time. When tendering loads via emails and spreadsheets, it’s difficult to remember if a carrier was notified of a change. This leads to errors on the dock and wasted time by the shipper, carrier and the warehouse team trying to identify a solution.
Convoy Connect eliminates situations like this by automatically sending updates to carriers when you change important load details and makes all recent, up-to-date shipment information easily accessible to reduce the possibility of miscommunication.
5. Eliminate time lost when carriers fail
Experienced shippers know that when a carrier accepts a shipment, it is still not certain they will show for pick up. As the carrier books pickup and delivery appointments, and then assigns a driver, the probability of the load being picked up and delivered as planned increases.
When you are booking loads via email, you have no way of knowing where your carrier is in the process. You either have to waste time requesting status updates (“are we still good for this load?”) or you waste time scrambling to find a replacement carrier when your original one doesn’t show.
Convoy Connect eliminates this risk by letting you know when carriers book appointments and when carriers assign a driver so that you can be certain your freight will leave your dock.
Eliminate wasted time and get an hour back in your day with Convoy Connect, the free TMS.
Convoy Connect is now part of Convoy’s integrated online platform for shippers. For more information, take a look at our freight booking software.