Freight Broker TMS + Real-time Visibility Solution Drives Brokerage Growth
Driven by a vision to bring a more agile and responsive logistics approach to customers’ diverse shipping needs, Direct Traffic Solutions implemented Descartes Aljex™ freight broker TMS and real-time freight visibility solution Descartes MacroPoint™. The combined scalable solution automates freight brokerage tasks and provides full visibility, helping Direct Traffic to increase operational efficiency, strengthen customer and carrier relationships, and trim operating costs to boost margins.
“Descartes Aljex gives us all the tools we need to run the business in one place. We’ve been able to drive growth and increase margins with streamlined load building, rating, integrated load boards, and automated back-office operations. Descartes MacroPoint delivers the customer service edge we were missing, eliminating manual track-and-trace with real-time shipment visibility.”
– Robert Meehan, President & CEO, Direct Traffic Solutions
Challenge: Rapid Growth Impedes Operational Efficiency
Florida-based freight broker Direct Traffic Solutions moves 1,500 to 2,000 primarily truckload shipments every month for high-profile customers across various industries, including Nestle, Cascades, Domtar, and International Forest Products. Since opening its doors in 2012, the company has doubled in size almost every year. As Direct Traffic continued to expand operations, it became more onerous to carry out day-to-day brokerage and freight tracking workflows using manual practices and the company determined it needed more automation. The freight broker sought a cloud-based transportation management system (TMS) with integrated real-time freight visibility to better tackle escalating customer demand and business growth.
Solution: Visibility & Automation Streamline Freight Broker Operations
Direct Traffic had been spending considerable time and resources communicating with the thousands of carriers in its network in order to move loads—confirming rates, calling carriers to obtaining signatures and load status, and updating critical shipment data—and the results were not consistently accurate. With the aim of eliminating inefficient manual processes that were hindering transportation management operations and customer service, the company implemented the cloud-based Descartes Aljex TMS and real-time freight visibility solution Descartes MacroPoint in 2020.
The Descartes Aljex platform helped Direct Traffic streamline daily freight broker activities to boost operational efficiency, including order entry, lane rate comparison, covering loads, rate confirmation, carrier acceptance, dispatching, electronic data interchange (EDI). The sophisticated TMS automatically recognizes problem shipments and alerts all involved parties by text or email so Direct Traffic never misses an exception.
“After a rapid, smooth deployment, we’ve been impressed with how Descartes Aljex has helped us scale to better serve our customers. We can build loads more efficiently with full EDI/API integration, reduce dispatching time, and cut manual labor and paperwork with automated rate confirmation,” said Robert Meehan, President/CEO at Direct Traffic Solutions. Integrated seamlessly with Descartes Aljex, Descartes MacroPoint removes manual practices from the track-and-trace process. The cloud-based solution provides real-time load visibility, notifying Direct Traffic of pick-up, shipment location, predictive ETAs, stops, and delivery.
“With Descartes MacroPoint, we know exactly where trucks are, how many miles they’ve run, and how far out they are from delivery. As a result, customer service has improved, and we’ve been able to reduce fines and penalties from customers and minimize detention charges from carriers. Plus, our staff love it and took to the platform like fish to water!” noted Meehan.
The integrated Descartes solution automates carrier rate acceptance, dispatching, and EDI, and consolidates follow-up tasks, like accounting, invoicing, and reporting, within a single platform. Direct Traffic also replaced time-consuming and unreliable manual check calls with real-time load visibility.
Increased Profit Margins
With cost-effective and fast implementation cycles, the Descartes platform delivered immediate savings. The combined solution optimizes Direct Traffic’s margins with lane-based rating, eliminates costly manual tracking processes, and helps reduce fees and penalties.
With the company continuing to expand to meet escalating customer demand, the cloud-based Descartes solution simplified and automated cumbersome manual transportation management processes to boost efficiency, cover more loads, and scale revenue—with the same team.
Enhanced Service Levels
Direct Traffic can easily track trucks from departure to delivery, receiving updates every half hour, on average. The freight broker can manage by exception to improve on-time delivery performance and reduce customer penalties and carrier detention charges.
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