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As the transportation landscape continues to change, it is creating expanded opportunities for 3PLs to grow their transportation business, provide a better customer experience, and create innovative new services. To capitalize on these opportunities, 3PLs need to balance agility, staff costs, and freight margin to ensure their growth is scalable. With new capabilities for the Descartes Transportation Manager™ solution, our customers have new tools and capabilities to take advantage of these types of growth opportunities.

While last year the transportation sector contended with the great capacity crunch, this year, with dropping rates, 3PLs are focused on ensuring network fit and differentiating through value-added services. Descartes has significantly expanded its transportation capabilities to better serve 3PLs. These capabilities include:

Better Management of Transportation Margin: Descartes has introduced several new features to support customers’ control and visibility of the margin on their transportation operations. For 3PLs, our Transportation Management System (TMS) now supports buy and sell rates to enable expansion of managed transportation and growing business with customers.

Load Board Integration: Descartes has enhanced capabilities to support spot quotes with integration to This complements existing spot quote functionality for contracted carriers and opens up a much larger carrier network for new relationships.

LTL Carrier Rating APIs: By leveraging LTL carrier rating APIs, 3PLs can bring on new carriers much more quickly, enabling a quick ramp-up to manage their carriers, enabling faster time to value.

Benchmarking Rates: Descartes has added pre-built integration to rate indices to provide benchmark rates, which provides transportation managers with better insight into market costs. With the ability to see benchmark rates in a specific lane based on history, and visibility to contract costs, 3PLs can more intelligently assess profit.

Descartes continues to expand solutions in order to support our 3PLs customers. Beyond these new capabilities, Descartes provides Descartes MacroPoint™ for real-time freight visibility and capacity matching solutions to drive efficiencies in transportation operations and reduces overall transportation costs.

Technology is not simply an enabler for 3PLs—it can be a major differentiator. Through greater? automation and optimization, 3PLs can drive costs out of their transportation department and pass those savings onto customers. Furthermore, shippers are looking for technically advanced 3PLs, as their expectations on service, visibility continues to escalate without compromising on costs.

What are the most critical TMS capabilities that help you win and differentiate? Optimization? Speed to bringing on customers? Visibility? Let me know.