Sophisticated Freight Broker TMS & Real-time Visibility Transforms Operations

Atlanta-based broker Freight Scouts implemented the Descartes Aljex™ transportation management system (TMS), fully integrated with freight visibility solution Descartes MacroPoint™, to streamline and simplify its transportation operations. By automating manual processes with a brokerage-focused solution and ensuring real-time visibility into shipments, Freights Scouts increased productivity, improved the customer experience, and buoyed the bottom line.

“With the combined Descartes Aljex and Descartes MacroPoint solution, we’ve automated cumbersome manual processes to increase operational efficiency, ensure accuracy, and boost our margins. End-to-end supply chain visibility helps us improve freight delivery performance, minimize costly penalties, and, most importantly, keep our customers satisfied. Plus, our team loves how the integrated solution eliminated the headaches from our day-to-day operations.”

-- Jan Jones, VP/General Manager, Freight Scouts

Challenge: Freight Complexities Hampering Operational Efficiency

In addition to its own brokerage customers, Freight Scouts handles truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) freight originating from fulfillment centers managed by its parent company, PBD Worldwide. Serving a diverse range of customers and load types, including construction supplies, refrigerated freight, consumer goods, and modular buildings, the broker struggled to manage TL transactions efficiently with its current TMS. Freight Scouts sought a brokerage-focused logistics solution that could manage the lifecycle of shipments from order creation through execution. Plus, with error-prone manual load tracking compromising customer service, the company needed an integrated real-time visibility solution to optimize delivery performance and strengthen customer and carrier relationships. Solution: Automation Drives Brokerage Performance

With Freight Scouts’ reputation riding on the promise of ‘Exceptional Service every time,’ the organization turned to the combined freight broker TMS solution of Descartes Aljex and real-time freight visibility platform Descartes MacroPoint to drive greater operational efficiency, increased accuracy, and improved communication across the supply chain.

“From dry van, box truck and temperature-controlled equipment to flat-bed, gooseneck and step deck for heavy haul loads, we work with thousands of carriers—and are onboarding new ones all the time—to manage approximately 1,200 TL and LTL loads per month,” said Jan Jones, VP/General Manager at Freight Scouts.

“We needed a TMS that would improve our planning and decision-making by defining the most efficient transport options,” noted Jones. Descartes Aljex saves Freight Scouts time and resources, helping to make better lane pricing choices by comparing historical prices and automating carrier rate acceptance, dispatching, and electronic data interchange (EDI).

The cloud-based Descartes MacroPoint gives Freight Scouts real-time visibility into load status, replacing time-consuming and ineffective manual check calls with automated status updates from carriers every four hours. With accurate data on freight status, the company can take corrective action before any potential supply chain disruptions occur.

“Descartes MacroPoint was the logical choice for us: it has the highest adoption rate from carriers, integrates seamlessly with Descartes Aljex, and is able to scale easily with us as we grow and take on more diverse customers,” said Jones.

“We’ve also seen how the data-driven capacity matching capabilities of Descartes MacroPoint have helped other brokerages to cover increasingly larger load volumes and grow revenues in a volatile market—and we’re keen to realize similar benefits going forward, especially as we face the challenge of finding carrier capacity with specialized equipment such as for flat-bed service,” Jones added.

Results

Elevated Customer Experience

By automating communications and leveraging real-time load visibility across multiple parties and modes of transportation, Freight Scouts can serve customers more proactively and strategically to improve delivery performance and minimize customer service issues and penalties.

Greater Efficiency

By uniting the most commonly-used functions in a single dashboard, the Descartes freight broker TMS solution automates and streamlines daily activities—lane rate comparison, rate confirmation, carrier acceptance, dispatching, and EDI—to boost operational efficiency.

Lower Operating Costs

The Descartes solution eliminates the need for administrative-intensive check calls to track ~40 loads every day. The scalable solution ensures Freight Scouts can determine the best mode, lane, and fees without increasing staff or resources.

Heightened Productivity

The Descartes solution eliminates cumbersome manual processes, including time-consuming carrier check calls. Automated real-time freight visibility allows Freight Scouts to manage exceptions and reduce supply chain disruptions, saving valuable time and resources.