Securing Truckload Capacity with Rating API

Rating API allows you to secure truckload space.
Having adequate capacity is critical to supply chain execution. 
Capacity has a specific definition in the world of logistics. Trucking or freight capacity is the number of trucks available at any given time. Lately, that amount continually shrinks by the day.
As we approach the two-year mark since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it’s important to reevaluate our current processes and how they could be improved. While we’ve pulled out all the stops and come a long way, some still rely on many outdated solutions. The old-fashioned way of securing freight is no longer effective in the current environment. Specifically, to overcome the capacity issues that plague the intricate supply chain, we have to get creative.
In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the major issues impacting capacity today, define Application Programming Interface (API), and explain why it’s an essential tool for businesses navigating this narrow road ahead.

A Multi-layered Issue

Depending on who you speak to, you’ll likely hear about the endless list of issues supply chain professionals navigate on a daily basis. When it comes to capacity, it is impacted by numerous variables within the supply chain, including:
  • Driver shortage – From being sidelined until markets and warehouses opened back up to working overtime to meet the nonstop demand, the pandemic introduced difficult working conditions for drivers. Additionally, the majority of drivers are nearing retirement age, and not nearly enough new drivers are entering the industry. Over 100,000 new truckers would have to enter the industry per year over the next 10 years to meet the expected demand. Without enough drivers, there simply isn’t a way to increase capacity.
  • Fewer trucks – With fewer drivers comes fewer trucks. A semiconductor shortage has also limited new truck production. Not only that, but specialized trucks, especially refrigerated trucks, are frequently being used to safely deliver and distribute vaccines across the country. Every sector of the truckload market continues to experience elevated load-to-truck ratios, which also increases prices significantly.
  • E-commerce boom – This peak season, consumers are encouraged to shop early or expect major delays. Due to the pandemic, more people started shopping online and haven’t stopped. As retailers recover from closures and reduced sales, and address the demand for fast and transparent shipping, there’s more competition than ever to secure a truck. Continued domination of e-commerce in the market means capacity will only grow tighter.

Smaller Business, Bigger Challenge

 

According to the most recent U.S. Census Small Business Pulse Survey, 45% of businesses said they are having domestic supplier delays, up from 26.7% during the first week of the year.  Unlike larger corporations, small businesses don’t always purchase products in mass but often rely on certain items in specific quantities. With supply chain shortages, this continues to impact smaller businesses with items in low stock or not in stock at all. 

Companies of all sizes, but especially those that are medium to small, can benefit greatly from instant, real-time freight rates across all markets, lanes, regions, and modes.

Where Rating API  Steps In

At its most basic level, an API is code that allows for two software programs to communicate effectively. APIs act as a set of standards that can permit or deny outside software to request information from the main program.
The use of API has increased over the past decade. Some of the most common uses range from Google Maps to Facebook and other large social media platforms. Within transportation, API can bridge the gap between shippers, carriers, brokers, and software systems. Using internet-based connectivity, API provides consistent and reliable communication between all parties and can help automate manual tasks to save money.
With today’s current market and capacity problems, perhaps one of the biggest benefits of API is utilizing the connections to thousands of carriers and helping to secure and streamline shipments.
The old-fashioned way to secure rates included numerous phone calls and wasted time on hold, only to be given a quote that may or may not accurately represent other standard rates. Other capacity procurement options included emails or online forms, but these often result in a wait for response and could force the need for expedited same-day or next-day delivery and premium pricing.
Rating API can be integrated within your TMS to quickly book freight, review your options, and lower your costs overall.

Redwood’s Rating API 

Redwood is a preferred integration specialist to some of the most recognized TMS providers in the industry, including MercuryGate.

In partnership with MercuryGate TMS, Redwood’s  Rating API connects customers to Redwood’s private network of over 30,000 carriers, enabling MercuryGate TMS users one-click access to thousands of carriers, delivering speed, security and scalability. Within seconds, customers can compare rates and secure capacity with flexible coverage for contracted and non-contracted freight with 100% tender acceptance.

MercuryGate’s highly configurable, SaaS-based TMS can manage multi-leg, multimodal shipments across the country or across the planet as a single, digital freight platform for all shipments and modes. In addition to instant rates, Rating API can also provide robust capacity and tender acceptance.

Within a SaaS-based platform, real-time tracking resources open the doors to savings across all freight management segments, including shippers, freight brokers, logistics service providers (LSPs), and carrier drivers.

As a result, companies of numerous sizes and across industries realize an efficient, capacity crunch-ready strategy.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

API to the Rescue

Navigating the winding road of the truckload market was complex prior to the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. Today, it’s a constant battle for many to secure capacity, gain visibility on the whereabouts of products, and avoid long wait times.
Even the most seasoned logistics professionals can use support. Relying on Rating APIs is a great way to ensure you receive the best quotes and spend your valuable time where it’s needed most.
The trending logistics challenges of today will persist long after the pandemic, and the steps you take now will determine your success as a shipper or carrier for years to come. Investing in technology can help you spend less time covering rejected or failed service freight, and more time on growing and expanding your business.

Michael Johnson is the EVP of Strategy at Redwood Logistics. In this capacity, he works with the Executive, Brokerage, and Technology teams to drive business growth through operational efficiencies and digital transformation. He is responsible for identifying and executing strategic initiatives that are aligned with the short and long-term goals of Redwood Logistics.

Find more information about transportation API’s

Michael Johnson
Executive Vice President - Strategy
Redwood Logistics
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