LTL API Case Study: Improving Workflows and Enhancing Efficiency

Integrations that offer LTL API solutions streamline workflows through digital technology.

For TMS providers like MercuryGate and large 3PLs, less tedium means more time to help their customers secure capacity. But every manual freight transportation task, from receiving quotes to transmitting a bill of lading to generating invoices, adds inefficiency, reducing the ability to provide value to their customers. This case study explains how an effective LTL API solution can amplify value for customers.

Electronic data interchanges (EDI), the standard cross-system communication technology in LTL, often provides information in end-of-day batches, constraining parties with information that’s often out of date by the time it’s received.

But the increasing use of spot and dynamic pricing also means 3PLs can’t wait until the end of the day for data visibility. And as a critical link in the chain between shippers and carriers, MercuryGate and a large full-service 3PL needed a way to enable automated data flow between systems to generate the real-time insights that drive their logistics services.

In this blog, we detail a customer case study that met other solution needs including:
  • Better workflow automation to reduce hands-on tedium.
  • Real-time insights to secure the right capacity for shipping customers.
  • Faster tendering and invoicing to improve customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
  • Smooth integration with existing systems.

Let’s examine how the SMC³ LTL API solution supports MercuryGate and this 3PL’s needs.

The SMC3 LTL API Solution to Improve a Leading 3PL’s Workflows

MercuryGate and this leading 3PL chose SMC³’s LTL APIs to better streamline workflows. The SMC³ digital platform automates the shipment lifecycle with freight transportation visibility solutions, sending and receiving data to reduce tedium while enabling better, more timely data flow between systems.

SMC³’s cloud-based platform seamlessly integrates with existing communications systems, providing instant functionality like:
  • The ability to receive less-than-truckload (LTL) quotes for volume, contract, broker and dynamic pricing and transit schedules from multiple carriers.
  • Self-assigning PRO numbers prior to pick-up.
  • Use of Electronic Bills of Lading (eBOL) to digitally transmit shipping information to carriers quickly and securely.
  • Digital pickup scheduling and immediate pickup confirmation.
  • Real-time shipment monitoring and messaging.
  • On-demand access to vital documents (including bills of lading, weight & inspection certification, proof of delivery, and invoices).
  • Proactive supply chain management with real-time alerts.

Here are some of the results realized through this solution.

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The Results: Automating Tasks to Increase Efficiency

SMC³ APIs have enabled MercuryGate and this 3PL to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and impress customers.

APIs help 3PLs and TMS providers eliminate gaps in shipment visibility, automate manual processes and redeploy resources to help revenue-generating activities—especially in the less-than-truckload (LTL) space.

“There are some really challenging LTL-specific rules like minimum density or linear footage that can be difficult to rate automatically in your system,” said the 3PL’s executive vice president. “With an API, you can catch those on the front end and get a proper rate.”

SMC³ APIs also automatically tender shipments to carriers and ping the shipper with confirmation, providing increased freight tracking throughout the freight transportation supply chain.

Automating freight transportation tasks reduces inefficiencies. With SMC³ LTL APIs, all shipment information is stored in the same location, using the same digital format, making adding security and speed to freight processes — all with less hands-on work.

“EDI setups could sometimes take weeks or months,” said the EVP said. “We’ve set up APIs with customers in an hour. There are a lot of advantages for us on that side, getting the data from SMC³ and pushing that to customers.”
“The return-on-investment increases with each carrier setup,” said MercuryGate Advisory Pre-Sales Consultant John Martin. “Once you have that initial setup, setup of subsequent carriers are self-serve. With EDI, each carrier may take three to five hours to add.”
SMC3 has spent decades as a trusted, proven supply chain partner, serving the freight transportation industry and its stakeholders with reliable guidance and unrivaled technology tools. SMC3 LTL APIs can optimize freight transportation shipments and meet a variety of supply chain business needs.

Tap into the LTL API capabilities of MercuryConnect Partner SMC3.

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