This is an excerpt from Making the Case for Freight 2.0 by Logistics Management. Download the complete guide here.
As a full-service cooperative that utilizes a wide variety of transportation modes and methods, Land O’ Lakes in Minneapolis may be picking up milk in a temperature-controlled truck one day and then delivering feed products in a dry van the next. Each one of these different modes and methods comes with different challenges, with the underlying goal always being to maintain certain service levels in a very safe and cost-effective manner.
Jason Wicklund, senior transportation buyer, says the company is using Convoy’s digital freight marketplace to get consistent capacity, a more streamlined freight procurement process, and a seamless payment conveyance (for its carriers). In place for about a year, the platform is helping Land O’ Lakes navigate a capacity-constrained environment that Wicklund refers to as, “one of the worst markets in 20 years for getting freight covered.”
Using the platform, Land O’ Lakes not only can secure freight opportunities faster, but it can also be more competitive and streamlined as a result. In the past, for example, Land O’Lakes Transportation Planner or Manager would have to send out a mass email to the operations department of 40-or-so carriers, and then wait for someone to respond. That process could take two to three hours and dozens of email and calls. Using a digital marketplace platform, Land O’Lakes operations team handles the job from concept to completion in five to 15 minutes. “I just plug in the data and then quickly get a response back—in the form of a reliable quote—to cover the load,” he says.
Wicklund says Land O’ Lakes also benefits from the easily-accessible data that’s generated by the platform and is using it to make sound decisions. And because that data is right at its fingertips, the company doesn’t have to wait until “after the fact” to access and utilize it. “We’re using the data to make predictions and drive some of our internal decisions as to how we want to service a specific market or customer (e.g., shipping on a Tuesday versus a Friday in order to control costs),” says Wicklund. “Thanks to the data, we’re getting insights and making more sound decisions.”
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