Transportation Optimization For Everyone

Cloud-based TMS software provides tools needed to achieve transportation optimization and automation.

The transportation industry has seen many changes in recent years. Shipping processes have become increasingly complicated. More organizations are doing business globally, online shopping is accelerating, and customers have growing expectations for fast (and inexpensive or even free) delivery. For organizations seeking benefits of transportation optimization, the transportation management system (TMS) has replaced spreadsheets and manual processes for many companies, but is it enough? 

A TMS certainly provides an advantage in examining and understanding your shipping processes. With a TMS, all your transportation data is in one location making it easier to see trends and issues.

While a growing number of organizations have embraced technology to manage their transportation strategies, it can still be challenging to develop efficient load and route plans. That’s where optimization comes in. While transportation optimization software used to be “nice to have,” managing transportation in today’s complex environment requires going beyond the status quo. Yet many businesses continue to think optimization is too complicated or only for the largest shipping requirements. 

By using route optimization software, you will be able to look at freight movements holistically, analyze your shipments, rates, and constraints, and improve your decision making.

Is it really a TMS without Transportation optimization?

Many TMS solutions on the market today already have optimization built into the software. In fact, most industry experts will tell you that any system without load and route optimization is not a true TMS. 

Without optimization, you might be able to execute shipments, but not with the efficiency that most logistics operations require to manage the complexities found in the industry today. 

What can transportation optimization do for your business? When you input data into an optimization tool, it will build an optimal plan that is ready to be executed in the TMS based on provided details  including planned shipments, available pool points for consolidation, cross-docking and deconsolidation, and any constraints.

When looking for an optimization tool, it’s important to consider the impact that changing conditions will have on your transportation strategy. These conditions can include delays from unforeseen circumstances like weather, fluctuating market demands, actions of your competitors, and how your suppliers and partners are performing. 

MercuryGate Transportation Planning takes your real-world data to design effective plans. Data may include contract rates, schedules from your TMS, live fuel index, accessorial charges, LTL rates, international geocodes, and actual mileage.

Transportation Planning uses all this data to perform “what-if” scenario modeling of your transportation network. This allows you to take advantage of opportunities to consolidate shipments, shift modes to reduce costs, use multi-point optimization, zone skipping, or pooling. These “what-if,” real-time scenarios are crucial for your transportation strategy perform in an optimal way. They allow you to identify opportunities in-route for adding efficiencies and edging ahead of your competition. While it may sound complicated to consider all these variables, sophisticated optimization tools can help you simplify the process.

Because transportation optimization is quickly transitioning from “nice to have” to “must have” for more organizations, we have recently introduced a new implementation model for Transportation Planning. 

Optimization+ is our customer-centric approach that accelerates implementation by putting you in control and allowing you to determine the scope and speed of your implementation. We provide access to the MercuryGate team of optimization experts and documentation, but Optimization+ will enable you to implement Transportation Planning at your own pace – potentially providing you with faster set-up and faster return on investment.

If you’re ready to strengthen your multimodal transportation strategy, there’s no better time to embrace optimization and take a closer look at the benefits it can bring to your business.

You can also find out how MercuryGate executes transportation Optimization as a Service, so you can focus on your core competencies. 

Click the link below the FAQs to watch our demo video for a deep dive into our transportation Optimization as a Service capabilities. 

fAQ: Additional Questions about Transportation Optimization

What information would you need to optimize transport?

Transport optimization requires various pieces of information to develop efficient load and route plans. Key data points include the origin and destination of shipments, the volume and weight of goods, delivery deadlines, transportation modes available (such as trucking, air, rail, or sea), carrier rates and contracts, fuel costs, traffic conditions, weather forecasts, and any specific constraints or requirements, such as temperature control for perishable goods or hazardous materials handling. By integrating and analyzing this information, optimization tools can generate optimal transport plans.

What is the transport problem in optimization techniques?

The transport problem is a classic optimization problem in which the goal is to determine the most cost-effective way to transport goods from multiple sources (origins) to multiple destinations. This problem typically involves minimizing transportation costs while satisfying various constraints, such as capacity limitations at each source and demand requirements at each destination. Optimization techniques, such as linear programming, are commonly used to solve the transport problem by finding the optimal allocation of goods to routes that minimize total transportation costs.

What are the 5 steps of optimization?

Optimization in transportation typically involves several steps:

  • Define the Objective: Clearly articulate the goal of optimization, whether it’s minimizing transportation costs, maximizing delivery speed, or optimizing resource utilization.
  • Gather Data: Collect relevant data on shipments, routes, carriers, costs, constraints, and other factors that influence transportation operations.
  • Modeling: Develop mathematical algorithms or models to represent the transportation network, including decision variables, constraints, and the objective function.
  • Solving: Apply optimization techniques to find the optimal solution that satisfies all constraints while optimizing the objective function.
  • Implementation: Implement the optimized transport plan into operations, considering practical constraints and operational feasibility.
What is an example of shipping optimization?

An example of shipping optimization is the consolidation of multiple small shipments into a single larger shipment to maximize transportation efficiency and reduce costs. By combining smaller shipments destined for similar locations or along similar routes, shippers can take advantage of economies of scale, reduce the number of trips required, and minimize empty space in transport vehicles. Shipping optimization can also involve selecting the most cost-effective transportation modes, optimizing route selection, and minimizing transit times to improve overall logistics performance.

What is optimization in supply chain?

Optimization in the supply chain involves maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of various processes, including procurement, production, inventory management, transportation, and distribution. It aims to minimize costs, reduce lead times, optimize resource utilization, and enhance customer service levels. Supply chain optimization utilizes mathematical models, algorithms, and advanced analytics to optimize decision-making across the entire supply chain network, from suppliers to end customers, while considering constraints, uncertainties, and strategic objectives.

How do transportation optimization tools affect day-to-day operations and decision-making?
Implementation of transportation optimization tools impacts day-to-day operations by streamlining processes, enhancing visibility, and improving decision-making. These tools enable businesses to react swiftly to unforeseen circumstances such as weather delays or market fluctuations by providing real-time data analysis and scenario modeling. By integrating various data sources like contract rates, fuel index, and live schedules, organizations can make informed decisions to mitigate risks and optimize routes efficiently.
Can transportation optimization tools effectively handle various complexities and constraints within the transportation network?

Transportation optimization tools are designed to handle complexities within the transportation network effectively. They employ algorithms and advanced analytics to optimize load planning, route sequencing, and mode selection. These tools can adapt to changing conditions in real-time by continuously analyzing data and adjusting plans accordingly. Features like multi-point optimization, zone skipping, and pooling allow businesses to maximize efficiency and minimize costs by consolidating shipments, optimizing routes, and leveraging alternative transportation modes as needed.

What are the 7 R’s for better logistics management?

The 7 R’s for better logistics management are:

  • Right Product: Ensuring the correct products are available to meet customer demand.
  • Right Quantity: Maintaining optimal inventory levels to prevent stockouts or excess inventory.
  • Right Place: Ensuring products are available at the right locations within the supply chain network.
  • Right Time: Delivering products to customers or downstream locations on time.
  • Right Condition: Ensuring products are handled and transported under appropriate conditions to maintain quality and integrity.
  • Right Cost: Optimizing logistics costs while meeting service level requirements.
  • Right Customer: Tailoring logistics processes to meet the specific needs and preferences of different customer segments.

These principles guide 3PLs to protect profit with transportation optimization, and achieve strategic objectives and deliver value to customers.

In what specific ways does MercuryGate’s Optimization as a Service implementation model empower businesses to control the scope and speed of their transportation planning implementation?

MercuryGate’s Optimization as a Service implementation model offers businesses greater control and flexibility in deploying transportation planning solutions. By empowering organizations to determine the scope and speed of implementation, Optimization as a Service enables faster setup and return on investment. This customer-centric approach provides access to optimization experts and documentation while allowing businesses to implement transportation planning at their own pace. By tailoring implementation to their specific needs and priorities, organizations can accelerate time-to-value and realize the benefits of transportation optimization more rapidly.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1556822040504{background-color: #d9d8d6 !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”22811″ img_size=”large” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1551210820614{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Webinar: Optimize Your Transportation Strategy: Mojo Demo
On-Demand[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Watch Now” style=”outline-custom” outline_custom_color=”#fe4c24″ outline_custom_hover_background=”#fe4c24″ outline_custom_hover_text=”#ffffff” align=”left” link=”||target:%20_blank|” css=”.vc_custom_1551890658351{margin-top: 5px !important;margin-bottom: 5px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Want to learn more about transportation optimization?

See how MercuryGate Mojo can analyze shipments, rates, and constraints to produce realistic load plans. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/12″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”5/6″][vc_column_text]

Find Out More By Contacting Mercury Gate Online Now.

See how Optimization as a Service works.


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