Transportation Management: Weathering the Perfect Storm

With powerful market factors converging to negatively impact transportation costs, capacity-and the bottom line-shippers can apply effective strategies to weather the storm and begin to build a world-class, integrated transportation system.

Table of Contents

Part I: The Changing Landscape of Transportation Management

- Elements of Transportation's "Perfect Storm"

- The Impact of Carrier Challenges on Shippers

Part II: Strategies for Weathering the Storm

- New Strategies for Transportation Procurement

- Leveraging Technology to Drive Transportation Execution

- The Importance of Yard Management

- Improving Relationships with Carrier Partners

Part III: Conclusion

- Taking a New Perspective on Transportation Management

- On the Road to Supply Chain Execution Success

Executive Summary
In today's competitive business environment, shippers in the manufacturing, distribution and retail sectors face enormous challenges, including increased outsourcing, globalization, and growing consumer demand for rapid order fulfillment - all of which lead to supply chain complexity. As a result, efficient supply chain execution and transportation management have become more important than ever for sustained profitability and customer retention.

For North American shippers, one of the most challenging areas of supply chain execution to manage and control is that of inbound and outbound transportation and logistics. In addition to unrelenting competitive pressures, several external factors have recently converged to create a "perfect storm" of adverse market conditions. Taken together, these factors can wreak havoc on the best-conceived transportation strategies and ultimately negatively impact the timely arrival of goods at their destination.

According to a report entitled Freight Shipments in America, released this year by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation (USDOT) Statistics, commercial freight shipped in the U.S. in 2002 totaled nearly 16 billion tons by weight, a rise of 18 percent since 1993, and almost $11 trillion in value, up 45 percent since 1993. That amounts to a staggering $29 billion in freight moved every single day.

This phenomenal growth has brought new challenges because the capacity of the transportation network has not increased at a rate commensurate with growth. The USDOT estimates that by 2020, annual freight value will soar to about $30 trillion, including both domestic and international. The American Trucking Association (ATA) reports that the trucking industry alone hauled more than nine billion tons of freight in 2003, or 68.9 percent of all freight tonnage transported in the U.S. The ATA estimates that trucking revenues will likely surpass the $1 trillion mark by 2015 and account for 87.3 of all freight transportation revenue.

Given these statistics, it becomes clear that the importance of profitably managing transportation cannot be overstated. Yet with today's fluctuating fuel prices, driver shortages, ongoing security concerns and changing industry regulations, the transportation industry has a host of tough issues to contend with. In this paper, we will take a closer look at these issues and potential solutions that can benefit shippers and carriers alike.

How can shippers position themselves to deal with the new realities in transportation and still control costs and maintain their competitive edge? The key is to carefully measure and analyze the impact of each of these external market factors on their own transportation planning, procurement and execution processes, and to implement strategies that will help mitigate the pain points. By intelligently applying information technology and adopting a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement, shippers can improve their relationships with suppliers and carriers, automate many of their processes, and fully optimize their transportation and logistics execution

Part I: The Changing Landscape of Transportation Management

Elements of Transportation's "Perfect Storm"
For the past year or more, industry analysts and media alike have been charting the dramatic changes taking place in the transportation industry. Following is a summary of the supplier and carrier issues currently driving up prices and reducing capacity for North America shippers and making it more difficult to ensure high customer fulfillment service levels and profitability.

  • Rising diesel fuel prices. In mid-2004, diesel fuel cost the industry $241 million more per week than at the same time in 2003. Faced with rising costs, carriers raise shipping costs or implement fuel surcharge agreements with their shippers. Shippers end up directly bearing the cost of increased fuel prices. Volatile fuel prices make it virtually impossible to plan strategically over the long term and, on a tactical basis, make it much more difficult to forecast transportation costs on a season-to-season or even month-to-month basis.

With fluctuating fuel prices, transportation planning becomes more complex. Keeping track of the various fuel surcharge schedules from each carrier, and which level is under affect at a give moment is a complex task. Seeking to manage costs, shippers must spend more time analyzing the relative cost of each carrier option given the now dynamic overall transportation cost, and trying to formulate viable trade-offs between cost, transit time and customer expectations. All of this leads to higher administrative costs and lower efficiency for all concerned.

  • Ongoing driver shortages. For surface transportation, the shortage of qualified drivers has never been so severe. According to the ATA, the driver turnover rate at large truckload carriers hit 116 percent on an annualized basis this year, and 94 percent for small truckload companies. Yet demand for capacity continues to grow to historic proportions. One analyst estimated that the industry could employ 80,000 new drivers immediately, and many more will be needed in the future if the freight volumes continue to grow.

It is estimated that the current capacity shortage has already driven up rates between three and eight percent. In previous favorable business cycles, carriers aggressively recruited drivers in order to expand capacity. In the currently increasing freight volume cycle, they are hiring just to maintain capacity and keep up with demand. As a result, both driver pay and carrier’s rates are going up.

The importance of keeping drivers happy is a major issue for carriers. This is having an affect on the loads that carriers are choosing to haul. The overall capacity shortage has allowed carriers to become more selective about the freight they accept. Given a choice, carriers will choose the freight that is more likely to make a driver happy. Carrier-friendly shippers are more likely to get a carrier’s capacity - often independent of the rate the shipper will pay. Carriers are doing everything they can to keep their drivers satisfied by negotiating with shippers on "softer" issues such as assignment and route optimization and they want to work with shippers who are sensitive to drivers' issues.

  • Increased security concerns. New and impending government regulations related to domestic border security, port and cargo security, and driver licensing background checks for transport of hazardous materials are all contributing to higher transportation costs and reduced capacity due to longer transit times. In all cases, industry and government regulations are now demanding more reporting and technology from carriers, which adds both costs and administrative time.

North American shippers face increased border checks that can tie up equipment and shipments. Although some security advances are now being made to streamline acceptance of goods at the Canadian border through the use of shipper certifications and the application of wireless (RFID) technologies, these strategies are more likely to be deployed by larger freight carriers than by small to midsize ones.

Since the Transportation Security Administration recently imposed hefty fees for conducting fingerprint-based background checks on drivers hauling hazardous materials, it is expected that implementation of the background screening program will almost certainly lead to a significant percentage of trucking firms and independent drivers dropping this option and their hazmat licensing because of financial considerations. This will reduce the pool of eligible drivers and will likely have a specific impact on the hazardous haulage sectors, leading to higher shipping costs.

To ensure optimum security and accountability of goods in transit, shippers need to ensure greater visibility from origin to destination. This has become increasingly difficult to achieve, given the proliferation of suppliers, manufacturing and distribution sites across the continent and, indeed, across the globe. Nonetheless, security concerns continue to loom large on the transportation landscape, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. For shippers and carriers alike, security is part of the new reality and must be considered in formulating long-term transportation strategies and in making near-term tactical decisions.

  • Rail capacity and performance. Traditionally, railroads have served as a kind of "safety valve" during times when truck transportation capacity is constrained-especially for bulk freight. In recent years, rail industry consolidations have created serious service issues and increased congestion across the entire rail network. In spite of these service issues, the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) said in a recent article that intermodal growth is averaging more than eight percent in 2004.

Contributing to this increase in volumes are shippers feeling the truckload capacity crunch. These shippers are taking a closer look at the viability of intermodal (truck/rail/truck) transport for certain types of shipments-even shipments with relatively tight service requirements. However, for typical truckload and time-sensitive shipments, there just is not enough rail capacity today to fully alleviate the capacity and cost issues associated with pure truckload freight. In addition, though gains have been made, intermodal rail service to date has not proven to be as reliable as over-the-road transport when it comes to timely delivery. Rail is not immune to increasing costs either. According to a Freight Pulse survey conducted jointly by equity research firm Morgan Stanley and Logistics Today, the rail shippers surveyed expect their rates to rise 4.5 percent over the next six months, while reporting continued erosion of on-time service levels.

Facing both trucking capacity and rail constraints, only shippers having the visibility and instant communications capabilities offered by information technology will be capable of quickly finding and evaluating transportation modes in a way that enables them to make appropriate tradeoffs between speed and cost even across multiple modes of shipping

  • New environmental requirements. Also contributing to the truckload capacity issue are new diesel emissions requirements set to go into effect in 2007. Many carriers today are replacing their fleets ahead of this deadline, after which it is expected that the new regulation will result in a higher cost for acquisition of power units. So though, on the surface, the volume of new trucks sold recently would seem to point to an increase in total truckload capacity, really the opposite is true. Unlike previous expansion periods, the primary intent is not to expand their fleets, but rather to replace aging capital assets ahead of the regulatory milestone. As a result, the increase in buying on the part of carriers is not expected to significantly improve the capacity crunch, especially if the severe driver shortage continues.
  • Hours of Service churn. When the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) new Hours of Service (HOS) regulations took effect early in 2004, there was much discussion in the industry about how accommodating the new rules would affect trucking capacity and shipping costs. Despite all the legal activity in 2004, it appears that the new regulations will be with the industry for a quite some time. However, the jury is still out on their overall economic impact.

It is clear, however, that the changing rules have made shippers more keenly aware of how they utilize drivers' time-and more watchful about avoiding delays and the resulting carrier-imposed detention charges. Many are working to improve their yard management and scheduling practices to ensure drivers get in and out in a timely and productive manner. Both shippers and carriers suffer from the inefficiency of idle drivers and equipment and the resulting erosion of profit margins. In this sense, the new HOS regulations may ultimately prove to be a good thing for the industry, having increased awareness of long-standing delay issues among carriers and especially shippers. Overall, most recent studies actually point to increased carrier and shipper efficiency under the new regulations - the change having resulted in fewer loading and unloading delays and increased trailer turns.

  • An improving business cycle. Today, with the economy improving in most market sectors, capacity has become even more of an issue for shippers. This is especially true for consumer goods companies where sales tend to be highly cyclical. Summer, back-to-school and the holiday season demand greater capacity and throughput, more shipping options and better service during the surge months. All this so that warehouses and retail distribution centers have ample stock to support increases in demand and special promotions.

The 2004 holiday season is a prime example of heightened seasonal capacity constraints. With so many consumer products-especially toys, apparel and electronics-coming in from Asia, the West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were clogged with cargo container ships waiting to be off-loaded. Due to a shortage of labor and equipment in the fall, delays were running upwards of a week-more than enough to worry many retailers and reduce their hope of a highly profitable holiday sales season.

Shortages of refrigerated trucks and flatbed equipment are even more severe, with an estimated 15 percent more demand than capacity driving prices even higher. As a result, these carriers have become more selective in the contracts they accept and do not hesitate to turn down unprofitable or challenging loads. For this reason, just-in-time manufacturers try to lock up capacity guarantees as early in the cycle as they can. Others typically find themselves competing for carriers to get their freight covered at reasonable prices and within reasonable time frames.

The Impact of Carrier Challenges on Shippers
It is not surprising that the simultaneous convergence of these carrier issues is making life exceedingly difficult for shippers, both globally and domestically. According to a recent article by AMR Research industry analysts Greg Aimi, Lora Cecere and Joe Souza: "The global and U.S. logistics infrastructure is stressed, and there are no signals that significant relief will come in 2005. In fact, indicators show it will get worse before it gets better…Getting product to store shelves has never been harder."

The constrained capacity in the industry has changed the traditional relationship between shippers and carriers significantly, with carriers "in the driver's seat" as to which companies they choose to work with. More and more, larger carriers are working smarter and adopting a selective approach-opting for the most desirable business and turning down less profitable loads. And profitability is not just determined by the rate the shipper will pay, but is affected by all the “softer" issues associated with a load, especially issues that may affect a driver’s happiness.

As a result, manufacturers and distributors are casting about for solutions that can help them maintain profitability and customer service levels despite the capacity constraints, longer lead times, escalating transportation base rates and fuel surcharges. Many are frustrated in their efforts to do "business as usual" and are instead experiencing increased turndown rates and more requests from carriers regarding “softer" load issues, even from long-time transportation partners.

Additional shipper "pain points" arising from ongoing carrier issues include:

  • Increased difficulty in negotiating strategic and reliable, long-term contracts with preferred carriers.
  • Decreased ability to establish consistently dependable transportation plans and budgets.
  • The necessity to expend significant administrative time to find and evaluate new carrier partners and alternative transportation modes-as well as in preparing RFQs, evaluating bids, negotiating terms and rates, and monitoring carrier performance.
  • A surge in the number of distressed and/or expedited shipments required because of unforeseen carrier constraints leading to load turn-downs.
  • Lack of visibility and control in meeting customer service quality standards relative to on-time deliveries, leading to increased customer dissatisfaction and, potentially, lost orders.
Part II: Strategies for Weathering the StormNew Strategies for Transportation Procurement
Optimized Transportation Procurement. The foundation of any effective transportation strategy is an adaptable, real-time, dynamic procurement process. The goal of this process is to produce the strategic routing guide-which carriers will be used where, and what are the contracted rates. Using this routing guide, the ongoing carrier selection execution process will be able to meet transportation requirements while satisfying service, profitability and business goals. With an optimized procurement process, transportation professionals would be able to:
  • Communicate directly with transportation providers to supply detailed information about the freight and its requirements: expected volume, frequency, surge seasons, delivery locations, preferred lanes, pick-up and delivery times, special instructions, etc.
  • Receive direct responses from carriers to procurement bid requests through a Web-based portal-eliminating communication lag times and the efforts needed to collate the data from multiple carriers.
  • Analyze and evaluate multiple carrier assignment options across multiple lanes, considering factors such as carrier’s capacity, cost, and reliability-while examining trade-offs between company transportation goals and constraints against overall transportation cost.
  • Award contracts and prepare the optimal routing guide for execution.

Effective transportation procurement processes empower shippers to take control of the complex processes involved in selecting carriers. Effective strategic procurement is the first step towards transportation optimization. By automating the bid process for both shippers and carriers, shippers gain better responses and service in tapping into available capacity, as well as more favorable rates. Clear communication about expected freight and its requirements means that carriers respond with their best rates.

Similarly, carriers gain the ability to choose the freight that best fits their capabilities, lane preferences and capacity, while shippers can feel confident that carriers will be able to deliver the service they are promising. For both parties, the resulting efficiencies save time and costs by significantly reducing the amount of time required in researching, gathering and evaluating bid data, as well as minimizing of failed performance against the awarded business.

It is important to keep in mind that the effectiveness of any automated transportation procurement process depends on the scope and power of its analysis and optimization capabilities. Intelligent analysis and optimization tools are essential to support the thought and analysis that goes into developing the best strategic transportation plan for your particular business. The plan needs to be “business optimal"-taking all critical business factors into account: freight variability, network flows, equipment requirements and carrier rates, capacity and service levels and any other factors critical to success.

Optimization of transportation procurement cannot be achieved in a single step. For shippers, true optimization calls for a whole new mindset of communication and collaboration with transportation partners, accompanied by careful analysis of business and service requirements, and carrier performance. Neither the traditional nor more current "pain points" of carrier procurement can be resolved by technology alone. Rather, success requires incremental implementation of the right infrastructure, the right process improvements, and getting the right information into the hands of the right people at the right time for more informed decision-making at both the strategic and tactical levels. This is where flexible, modular technology solutions can add the most value.

Leveraging Technology to Drive Transportation Execution
Today's advanced technology solutions can offer manufacturers, distributors and retailers relief for many of the transportation "pain points" discussed here. In addition, the right technology-process-driven and intelligently applied-can help shippers overcome competitive challenges and external market forces so they can begin to build a fully optimized transportation management strategy. Smart strategies for transportation optimization include:

Dynamic Transportation Execution. Transportation execution is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, as shippers carry out their strategic plans through month-to-month, week-to-week, and sometimes day-to-day tactical decision-making. Here, too, advanced technology solutions make it easier for shippers to manage their complex transportation networks smoothly and efficiently. New optimization algorithms make it possible to evaluate and compare multiple transportation modes, routings and service levels, and to quickly source additional capacity should that become necessary. An effective transportation execution system is one that automatically selects the best mode and carrier based on your current rates and service options.

Progressive shippers seeking to optimize their transportation execution processes let technology do the "heavy lifting." Keeping track of the relative costs of different transportation modes, as well as the relative costs of each carrier option, is all the more critical in today’s environment of fluctuating rates and accessorial charges. A good transportation management system will evaluate the relative costs and service levels of every transportation option, and making recommendations that are optimal for the shipper’s defined business goals. For example, as fuel surcharge cost increases, LTL may be a more attractive option for shipments close to the break. A good execution system will automatically identify these opportunities.

When the plan goes awry, when shippers are confronted with unexpected events, such as demand surges, out-of-stock situations or otherwise distressed shipments, a good execution tool can help shippers cover their loads quickly and efficiently. For example, using web-based technology, detailed load requests can be sent to multiple acceptable carriers simultaneously. Carriers can respond very quickly to these ad hoc requests, which means that shippers can very effectively get multiple responses from carriers in a short time period. The shipper can then quickly sift through the bids to find the best match, award the bid and get the freight covered. This concurrent request approach for distressed freight is infinitely preferable to the time- and labor-intensive sequential tendering process, which is not always appropriate in time-critical situations.

Real-TimeCarrierCommunications. At today's speed of business, enabling real-time communication solutions, such as EDI (electronic data interchange) and Web-based solutions, is critical for keeping in touch with trading partners, customers and transportation providers. Whether considering bid offers and counter-offers, negotiating contracts, communicating load details to carriers, or seeking carrier capacity for a distressed shipment, the days of "dialing for diesels" and spending hours (sometimes days) sending phone or fax messages and awaiting responses are over. Instead, fast, efficient system-to-system communication with a variety of carriers has proven to be the most effective way to expedite fulfillment requirements.

Rapid two-way communication is also essential in order to handle unforeseen events, such as supplier or shipment delays, before they become a service problem. With real-time communications, you can also support advanced execution processes such as spot bidding, spot capacity, yard management and appointment scheduling.

In times of high freight volumes and constrained capacity, streamlining communications and collaborating closely with carrier partners are proven strategies for improving workflow synchronization, negotiating cost-effective contracts and maintaining desired rates of fulfillment performance. The faster you can get your load tenders into the carriers' systems, the more likely you will get the trucks you need when you need them. Shippers lacking real-time, system-to-system communications will find themselves at the bottom of their carriers' lists and will be more likely to have problems getting their freight covered in a timely fashion.

Performance Tracking, Measurement and Analysis. What you cannot measure, your carriers will not improve. When transportation optimization is the goal, knowledge is power. Performance management technology tools enable shippers to dynamically monitor and measure the performance of transportation providers in real time and use that information as a basis for future carrier selection decisions. Keeping scorecards on carrier performance through analysis of current and historical data is a sound business practice that will pay dividends in the efficiency and quality of transportation service levels. Using carrier performance management tools, shippers can monitor on-time delivery rates, identify unacceptable delivery patterns over time, and even view transportation profit margins by carrier, customer, or supplier.

Shippers striving for continuous improvement should also benchmark and periodically measure the effectiveness of their own internal processes relative to velocity, throughput and profitability. The success or failure of a strategic transportation plan is just as dependent on your own ability as a shipper to follow the plan, as it is for your carriers to perform at the levels they have committed to. A good performance management approach will help identify problem areas not just in carrier performance, but in shipper, supplier, and customer performance as well.

The Importance of Yard Management
Often overlooked as an essential part of effective transportation execution are the activities that take place in the yard. The recent Hours of Service rule changes have focused attention on what has historically always been a problem area. The effectiveness of your transportation planning and execution is dependent on getting the carriers turned at pickup and delivery as quickly as possible. Automating appointment scheduling and synchronizing operations in alignment with yard capacity and layout is the best way to minimize turnaround time, avoid detention charges and maximize productivity-which can go a long way in making your freight contract more attractive to shippers. Timely and auditable yard management also enables shippers to track carrier compliance.

Improving Relationships with Carrier Partners
With the capacity crunch, fuel costs and driver shortages expected to continue, the dynamic between carriers and shippers has changed dramatically from a buyer's to a seller's market. As a result, it is more important than ever for shippers to forge and maintain strong partnerships with their preferred carriers. Central to this relationship is a strong understanding of what factors are driving carrier’s costs. In many ways, a shipper’s behavior and practices relative to shipment execution can have a significant affect on a carrier’s cost. Rate negotiation aside, a shipper can often improve the service and cost they pay for transportation by becoming a more"carrier friendly" shipper.

How then can shippers adopt a new and collaborative paradigm that makes it easier for high-quality carriers to partner and do business with them? Consider the following:

  • Maintain a formal appointment scheduling process to ensure freight pick-up and delivery efficiency.
  • Properly plan and execute yard functions to demonstrate respect for drivers' time and their Hours of Service schedules.
  • Appropriately staff dock operations at pickup and delivery times.
  • Eliminate or at least minimize driver involvement in loading and unloading.
  • Clearly communicate load, delivery and location-specific requirements and have all paperwork-and the load-ready to go.
    Consider drivers' needs, preferences and comfort, as well as Hours of Service regulations, when planning routes and schedules.
  • Be open to "out-of-the-box" ideas for innovative communications processes and cost-saving execution tactics, such as trailer pool programs, whether the ideas originate with carrier or shipper.
  • Consider non-traditional approaches, such as incentive-based contracts, to ensure top-of-mind loyalty with preferred carriers.
  • Leverage technology tools and solutions to foster trust, good will and open communications, so that when problems do arise-and inevitably they will-there will be two partners committed to finding a prompt resolution.

Part III: Conclusion

Taking a New Perspective on Transportation Management
In light of the changing transportation landscape, the time is right for shippers to take a new perspective on how they plan and execute their critical fulfillment processes. To overcome today's new challenges and mitigate the effects of rising costs and reduced capacity, manufacturers, distributors and retailers need to change how they view inbound and outbound transportation processes and their impact on business results and customer service. Rather than seeing transportation management as an isolated process, they need to view the entire supply chain execution and fulfillment infrastructure as a single, integrated logistics operation that can be synchronized and optimized for maximum profitability and customer satisfaction.

Taking a more holistic approach will enable companies to realize the inherent efficiencies of synchronizing transportation, warehouse and trading partner processes. Intelligent application of information technology will allow them to automate transportation planning, procurement and execution processes, and to measure and analyze service levels and options. And, by establishing real-time, two-way communications with suppliers and carriers, they will gain the visibility and agility required to make better and more informed decisions-both at the long-term strategic level and day-to-day tactical level.

On the Road to Supply Chain Execution Success
In today's fast-paced and demanding global marketplace, profitable customer order fulfillment has never been more critical-and transportation plays a crucial role in timely, accurate fulfillment. Despite the uncertainty and turbulence caused by rising fuel prices, industry regulations and capacity constraints, shippers can take appropriate steps to improve delivery performance, reduce transportation costs and strengthen relationships with carriers and trading partners.

Clearly, one size does not fit all when it comes to managing transportation. Every company distributing goods has its own business model, its own freight requirements, fulfillment policies and customer service goals. Yet, when it comes to transporting inbound materials and outbound products, they all need to gain better visibility and control, as well as the agility to respond quickly and effectively to events and unexpected changes in demand. These improvements can help optimize transportation and supply chain execution, reduce costs and meet corporate financial and customer service goals.

To overcome the challenges of the 21st century, manufacturers, distributors and retailers need to chart a new course. Taking a more holistic view of transportation management as an integral part of a synchronized supply chain execution strategy is a good first step. The next logical step is to leverage information technology to synchronize internal and external operations, drive real-time communications and implement process automation and collaborative workflow processes.

In fact, many progressive companies are already experiencing competitive advantages through the elimination of warehouse, distribution, transportation and trading partner siloes of information, and the integration and optimization of critical fulfillment operations-from source to consumption.

Comprehensive Transportation Management Solutions for Shippers
Manhattan Associates' Transportation Management solutions are designed to help shippers optimize their inbound and outbound shipping processes, as well as their transportation planning, procurement and execution. Our Web-native systems transmit real-time data to improve communication flow between shippers and their carriers, customers and suppliers and to provide 360# visibility of shipments, from source to destination. Both shippers and carriers benefit from faster, easier management of transportation bids and contracts, the ability to quickly adapt to network changes and events, using these unprecedented levels of cooperation.

Our Transportation Management solutions include:

  • Transportation Procurement, a Web-native system that automates and standardizes the entire bid process to identify and secure the most efficient and cost-effective transportation providers for each shipment, taking into account your business priorities and carrier capabilities. Benefits include more reliable capacity acquisition with fewer turndowns, higher on-time delivery rates and significantly reduced procurement time and costs.
  • Transportation Planning & Execution enables shippers to dynamically manage and optimize the day-to-day operations of their transportation network, no matter how large or complex it may be. Web-based communications and automatic Event Management alerts provide global visibility and the ability to respond quickly to avert potential delivery problems. Benefits include reduced transportation costs, stronger supplier, customer, and carrier relationships, fewer transportation problems and better customer service.
  • Load Management, a powerful solution that allows shippers to plan, execute, track and audit all incoming and outgoing loads through efficient appointment scheduling, carrier communications and secure, coordinated yard management. Benefits include higher productivity, improved asset utilization and increased yard throughput, while minimizing the risk of detention fees and service failures.

Manhattan Associates' comprehensive Transportation Management solution set provides all the tools shippers need to plan an optimal long-term transportation strategy and to execute that strategy through swift and efficient day-to-day operations.

Why Choose Manhattan Associates?
With a customer base encompassing shippers, retailers, vendors and transportation providers, Manhattan Associates is uniquely positioned in the marketplace to understand the current issues affecting transportation operations and they opportunities they present. The effects of volatile fuel costs, tight transportation capacity availability, the revised Hours of Service rules, new security regulations and other 21st century logistics challenges have created new opportunities and risks for transportation operations.

By taking a holistic perspective for the supply chain that goes beyond just transportation, we provide practical steps shippers can take to mitigate the impact of today’s issues on their bottom line. Our technology solutions are designed to synchronize and optimize shipper, supplier and carrier workflows for maximum efficiency, productivity and customer service. Designed with our customers' existing technology applications in mind, Manhattan Associates' solutions have been successfully integrated with more than 100 external packaged and homegrown systems.

About Our Company
Manhattan Associates, Inc. is the global leader in providing supply chain execution and optimization solutions. We enable operational excellence through our warehouse, transportation, distributed order management, reverse logistics and trading partner management applications, as well as our RFID, performance management and event management capabilities.

These Integrated Logistics Solutions™ leverage state-of-the-art technologies, innovative practices and our domain expertise to enhance performance, profitability and competitive advantage. Manhattan Associates has licensed more than 900 customers representing more than 1,600 facilities, which include some of the world's leading manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Learn more about how Manhattan Associates' Transportation Management and Integrated Logistics Solutions can help your organization streamline business processes and reduce supply chain execution costs-from source to consumption. Contact us at (1-877-596-9208) or visit our Web site at