I recently enjoyed the privileged experience of a personal tour of the Port of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, whose Master Plan aims to, “ enhance the port as an economic engine for job growth of family-sustaining jobs that reflect the composition of our community.”

To bring this into focus, the port will double its capacity to 900,000 TEUs, construct 100,000 sq ft of warehousing to support a 21% increase in breakbulk capacity, and double its auto transport capacity.

Much of these goals have risen from the recent widening of the Panama Canal, which can now accommodate ships carrying 13,000 TEU containers.  That’s nearly triple the number of containers on a single voyage… and this is merely one economic region of global trade in the world!

These increases in global trade are however placing the industry’s participants under increasingly greater pressure.  Pressure to deliver, on time, in budget, claim free.

Documentation management which has historically operated in a peer-to-peer manner, has been placed under greater stresses over the years as the number of participants in a typical international shipment transaction has grown.

Manufacturers, wholesale traders, freight forwarders, lenders, insurers, inspectors, customs officers…all parties to each transaction, must have visibility into the history of the documents that show proof of delivery for each respective step in the process.

Our team at Neurored consistently heard ideas like this from our customers, and so we built a fully multi-modal, global track and trace Control Tower, the centerpiece of our cloud-based Global Supply Chain & Transportation Management solution.

What began as single sets of documents, gradually became replicated and shipped to each peer via parcel shipping services, as each participant expended more and more labor costs attempting to organize their very own version of “the truth” for any given shipment.

Transportation Management Systems historically operated within a given mode of transportation.  Supply Chain Management Systems tended to focus on the costs and sourcing of physical goods, challenged by the notion of delivering a fully landed price.

Meanwhile, the logistics industry evolved to attack this problem, developing Third Party Logistics into its very own niche.  These 3PLs became the concierge service of international trade…shipment status was now a single call away, regardless of the mode of transport, because you now had a single contact.

But here we are in 2018, a time when our homes tell us when a visitor arrives before they even land on our doorstep, our cars can tell us exactly what type of service they’re about to need, and parcel package delivery is gradually becoming crowd-sourced.

For all consumer deliveries, we can open up a phone app or web browser, and have a very clear sense of when that delivery will arrive.

With Neurored’s Control Tower, our customers see all of their shipments, everywhere in the world, with status updates occurring in a matter of minutes throughout each day.

Therefore it is absolutely no surprise to anyone, that buyers and sellers of global trade, are ready to demand, the same level of visibility and transparency.

Our team at Neurored consistently heard ideas like this from our customers, and so we built a fully multi-modal, global track and trace Control Tower, the centerpiece of our cloud-based Global Supply Chain & Transportation Management solution.

Just a few months ago, Hurricane Harvey was bearing down on the city of Houston, Tx.  One of our customers operates two terminals there, importing cement.

Leveraging Neurored’s Control Tower, our customer was able to quickly identify assets at sea, engage in digital communications to divert them out of harm’s way, and commence the safe shutdown of these facilities until the storm had passed.

Thanks to Neurored’s Control Tower, our customer was able to proactively protect their assets both at sea and on land, and with a little help from above, the terminals were back up and operational within 24 hours!

With Neurored’s Control Tower, our customers see all of their shipments, everywhere in the world, with status updates occurring in a matter of minutes throughout each day.

Our most innovative global trade clients have engaged in a very powerful new capability, a FinTech tool which exposes the chain of custody we already provided them, now made available to all participants of each shipment through a secure, transparent, private Blockchain solution we’ve developed on IBM’s Hyperledger architecture.

And we built our app completely native on the Force.com platform by Salesforce.com, ensuring our clients gain the benefits of continuous innovation beyond our own.

As our customer base began to encompass more types of global trade participants, we began to see even greater opportunities to create value.  These opportunities form the basis of Digital Collaboration.

Our freight forwarding customers are sourcing quote requests from shippers, while simultaneously managing their customer, asset owner, and lead relationships, completely online in secure communities.

Manufacturing and wholesale trading customers are planning shipments, and comparing quotes to freight marketplaces like Freightos, with which we have seamlessly integrated.

But transaction and relationship management is really just the foundation for the biggest disruption we are now delivering in international trade.

Our most innovative global trade clients have engaged in a very powerful new capability, a FinTech tool which exposes the chain of custody we already provided them, now made available to all participants of each shipment through a secure, transparent, private Blockchain solution we’ve developed on IBM’s Hyperledger architecture.

And we built our app completely native on the Force.com platform by Salesforce.com, ensuring our clients gain the benefits of continuous innovation beyond our own.

Now, shippers are achieving far more competitive financing, because the manual work of peer-to-peer workflows have been eliminated.

Freight forwarders are even empowered to bring the full suite of these features to their customers, recognizing that their role is shifting from merely broker to technology solutions provider.

And Digital Collaboration is Accelerating the future of global logistics. [/av_textblock]

“Uber Freight users (truckers) download the app, search for a load, and tap to book it, which is followed by a rate confirmation within seconds that eliminates common anxiety in trucking about whether or not a load is really confirmed.” – Eric Berdinis, Uber Freight Product Manager. It is just another disruption threat that traditional brokerage business models face time to time, but on this occasion, it is in our industry so the “ripple effect” is shaking us.

Before Uber Freight many companies tried to implement the same concept with a disparity of results. Yet to date none disrupted the 3PL industry.

Can a crowded and developed marketplace like 3PL brokerage have an entry point towards the path of a total disruption?

In words of the Product Lead of Uber Freight, Eric Berdinis, their key to success is on truckers: “Over the last year, we’ve gotten pretty deep in the crazy pain points that drivers have an are going one by one to knock them off”. Among them Berdinis highlights that basically, the whole payment process in the carriers/shippers ecosystem does not work:

– Payment terms are net 30 or 60 days.
– Factoring skims off between 2% and 5% every load.
– Uber Freight pays turnaround of 7 days.

“We are paying quickly. We are just giving loads in a more efficient way” he said.

Is this enough for causing a disruption in a complex industry, the Achilles heel of the traditional players?

A bit too simplistic. Freight movement is not just a transaction and it is not relying on one actor such as Carriers nor ultimately in the Truckers – despite the fact of their tough and valuable activity. For a freight to become a load, be shipped and reach a destination, many logistics companies, partners and experts are involved, more or less depending on the complexities of the shipping, but all are exposed to potential exceptions resolved ultimately by 3PLs and their customer support network.

3PLs bring value to shippers with a wide array of shipping, technological and financial options, including generally today:

  • Multimodal freight, not only truck freight.
  • Warehouse management.
  • Customs management.

And this plus IT services, compliance, risk management, analytics, and many other added value services.

Building an APP, Uber Freight and other players such as Convoy or Transfix, they believe they will overcome the 3PLs empowering small fleets and indie truckers and provide better and cheaper service to shippers. However, a new species of player is moving forward in the trying to replace the traditional 3PLs, one collateral effect is happening already: if disrupting driver is a technology making happier truckers, what is the impediment for 3PLs to take advantage of it?

Supply Network Technologies and new Supply Trade Finance solutions for 3PLs like the ones provided by Neurored will more likely impact in a real disruption of the industry by those 3PLs adopting them rather than by those called the disruptors of today.

Future 3PLs

Future 3PLs

If you are a 3PL Contact Us for the answer today.