Real-time Freight Visibility Strengthens Carrier & Customer Relationships
A FEMA-Approved Transportation Service Provider (TSP), ENERGY Transportation Group is a Canadian-based third-party logistics provider (3PL) with trucking assets on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. With the goal of improving carrier compliance and system stability, the 3PL replaced its legacy visibility solution with Descartes MacroPoint™, helping to build stronger carrier partnerships, ensure more reliable freight visibility, and elevate the customer experience.
The Challenge: Boost Carrier Compliance
Handling delivery of temperature-controlled food and beverage products, time-sensitive shipments to job sites, and emergency supplies for FEMA, ENERGY depends on real-time freight visibility to optimize on-time delivery performance while keeping customers informed of the status and location of their shipments. After moving to a low-cost visibility solution, the 3PL faced carrier connection and compliance issues. With only one core carrier successfully using electronic logging device (ELD) connectivity and the mobile application not widely adopted by drivers, freight visibility was compromised; drivers also experienced cellular coverage limitations with the app, further reducing visibility. Plus, solution stability was an issue, creating blind spots and forcing ENERGY to manually track loads when the system crashed.
“Descartes MacroPoint elevates our performance to deliver a higher standard of service for customers and carriers alike. By replacing our incumbent visibility solution with Descartes, we gained greater buy-in from our carrier community and better system stability, which resulted in enhanced carrier compliance and more reliable freight visibility for all of our customers.”-- David Grassi, VP Operations North America, ENERGY Transportation Group
The Solution: Real-time Visibility Boosts Compliance & Performance
Although initially a Descartes MacroPoint user (pleased with the performance and visibility the solution provided), ENERGY decided to switch to a less expensive load visibility solution in an effort to reduce operating expenses. “But at the end of the day, moving to a cheaper, less reliable visibility solution vendor caused us more pain and was ultimately more costly,” explained David Grassi, VP of Operations at ENERGY Transportation Group.
“The legacy system crashed two to three times per week and was down for an hour or more, creating problematic gaps in our visibility that compromised performance and customer service,” Grassi explained. “Carriers who’d previously easily connected to Descartes MacroPoint via ELD struggled to connect to the new solution and drivers were not eager to use the mobile app. As a result, carrier compliance became a serious challenge.”
ENERGY required a reliable load tracking solution with proven carrier compliance to keep pace with its explosive five-year 1,068% revenue growth. Faced with ongoing connectivity and visibility shortfalls, the 3PL transitioned back to Descartes MacroPoint.
The Descartes solution enables ENERGY to view, analyze, predict, and communicate the status of any shipment in real-time, dramatically improving its ability to manage supply chain disruptions, increase on-time delivery performance, and minimize carrier detention fees. Carriers can easily connect via ELD, transportation management systems, mobile phone applications, or EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).
“When we decided to go back to Descartes MacroPoint, the biggest drivers were system stability and carrier buy-in. The Descartes solution already has ELD connections to most of the carriers that we depend on,” noted Grassi. “Carriers and drivers are happy again and customers have reliable real-time visibility into the status and location of their shipments. It’s a win-win.”
Improved Carrier Compliance
ENERGY chose Descartes solution because carrier buy-in and driver adoption were strong. With the bulk of its carrier network easily connecting to Descartes MacroPoint through ELD, carrier compliance has dramatically increased.
Superior Customer Service
With real-time visibility, ENERGY has insight into load location and status throughout the shipping journey. The 3PL knows in advance if loads will be late and can keep customers informed and offer predictive ETAs.
Heightened Delivery Performance
On-time performance is critical for ENERGY’s perishable food and beverage freight, time-sensitive FEMA emergency supplies, and just-in-time (JIT) deliveries of equipment to construction sites. Real-time load visibility enables a proactive response to any disruptions and minimizes penalties.
Descartes MacroPoint simplified ENERGY’s workflow by eliminating frequent system crashes and manual load tracking. Real-time visibility and automated alerts help streamline transportation operations and improve communication about in-transit freight across the supply chain.
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