Archive for TMC

Transportation Management and the Promise of Machine Learning

Transportation Management solutions have a proven ROI. But the additon of Machine Learning opens up some exiciting possibilities. ARC is excited about the promise of machine learning to allow a TMS to better handle competing objectives and discover nonobvious impacts on performance.

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Why Do Some Shippers Receive Better Prices from Carriers?

When it comes to getting a good price, there are things that one would reasonably suppose would lead a shipper to get better pricing when dealing with carriers. But do they? For example, one might reasonably expect that the way a shipper treats drivers when they arrive on site to pick up or drop off a load, could affect price or service levels. For example, is there an onerous driver check in process? Do the […]

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The Total Cost of Ownership Advantage of Cloud Solutions

The most important reason to go with a cloud solution is that is has a better total cost of ownership (TCO). These savings are driven by faster implementations, easier upgrades, better system longevity, and lower IT costs. Traditionally these advantages applied to public clouds, increasingly they now apply to private cloud solutions as well.

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Guest Commentary: Global Logistics and the Transportation Management Center: The Next Phase in Network Agility

In my previous guest commentary on the evolution of transportation management, Driving Value from a Transportation Management Center: Think Global, Act Local,  I discussed how transportation best practices were evolving from more rigid, centralized control towers to more flexible and collaborative Transportation Management Centers (TMC). The TMC merges technology, organization and processes to establish a set of services leveraging the scale and efficiency of consolidated network planning, procurement and unified metrics with the agility of […]

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Guest Commentary: Driving Value from a Transportation Management Center: Think Global, Act Local

To centralize or not to centralize? That is the question – or at least it is a major discussion point for many large, global companies considering how best to manage transportation across today’s vast supply and distribution networks. The argument to centralize usually includes the advantages of economies of scale when dealing with carriers and opportunities for better utilization through back-hauls and continuous moves. The argument for decentralization often involves strong relationships with local carriers, […]

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The Science Behind the Benchmarking of Lane Rates

Gathering benchmark data to drive better procurement is a very valuable exercise. In the realm of transportation, this means getting benchmark data on what companies are paying to move freight on particular lanes. However, for a benchmark to be valid, you need a sufficiently large sample size, which is not a  problem if you are moving freight from New York City to Chicago, but what if you have regular flatbed shipments between Helena, Montana and […]

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Transportation Regulatory Trends

Over the past few weeks I’ve attend TMC’s Interactive Client Forum and Descartes’ Evolution 2011 User Conference (TMC and Descartes are ARC clients). At both conferences, there were speakers focused on regulatory trends in transportation. The Descartes conference featured Annette Sandberg, a former Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). TMC’s conference featured Angie Freeman, C.H. Robinson’s VP of Investor Relations and Public Affairs (TMC is the transportation managed services division of C.H. […]

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Guest Commentary: Single-Minded Procurement Losing Ground in Europe

During tough economic times, long established practices tend to come under scrutiny as companies search for ways to gain a competitive edge. This is one reason why freight managers in Europe are reviewing a practice that has been part of their industry for many years: allocating all the cargo in a lane or other operational areas to a single carrier. Another approach is to employ multiple carriers in each lane to mitigate risks such as […]

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Power Users are Necessary to Drive Success

I visited my first Control Tower a few weeks ago–TMC’s North American facility in Chicago. TMC is the transportation managed services division of C.H. Robinson Worldwide, an ARC client. A Control Tower is a location where a transportation managed services provider uses its transportation management system (TMS) to do regional planning and execution of transportation loads for its shipper clients. TMC performs transportation planning and execution for 40 clients, but many of these clients retain […]

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Guest Commentary: Transportation’s Next Iteration of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is an integral part of advanced transportation management systems (TMS) and is largely viewed as providing the greatest time to value (see recent posting by Adrian Gonzalez of ARC Advisory Group titled, “Time-to-Value: Developing a SaaS Equivalent for 3PLs”). But as often happens when an innovative technology becomes widely adopted, users’ expectations rise a notch, opening the way for further refinements (see diagram below). In this case, the next step forward is software […]

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