Weekly tech news: cash is king, but safety comes first

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Updated Dec 19, 2019
Moran Transportation Corporation recently started running the FACTS transportation and freight management system from Carrier Logistics Inc.Moran Transportation Corporation recently started running the FACTS transportation and freight management system from Carrier Logistics Inc.

Cash flow has become more critical for motor carriers as spot market rates fell in 2019 from their historic highs in 2018. This, together with rising operating costs, has created more demand for quick payment and invoice factoring services.

The level of competition among third-party logistics firms to offer quick payment services has led to some very attractive, and even free, offers.

On Dec. 17, the freight management division of Capstone Logistics, LoadDelivered, launched a free, one-day payment service, QuickPay+. The service is available to the company’s qualified carrier partners in exchange for consistent volume and visibility compliance.

Third-party logistics firm LoadDelivered, a specialist in food and beverage shipments, was acquired by Capstone Logistics in June 2018.

Jon Ackerman, vice president of carrier procurement for LoadDelivered, notes that hundreds of trucking companies went out of business in 2019 due to pricing pressure and high operational costs (up 7.7% from 2017 to 2018 according to the American Transportation Research Institute). He says QuickPay+ is one of the industry’s fastest ways to get paid.

“LoadDelivered is hyper-focused on serving our carrier base and delivering solutions that help them better serve their customers,” he said in a press announcement. “QuickPay+ gives our partners the cash flow they need within 24 hours of submitting paperwork, without any fees or hassles.”

Other initiatives that Capstone and LoadDelivered have been working on for carriers include visibility integrations, driver surveys, and programs to reduce dwell time.

In other technology news this week, motor carriers implemented new systems to multiply their cost savings from operational and safety improvements.

Moran Transportation Corporation recently started running the FACTS transportation and freight management system from Carrier Logistics Inc. (CLI), a transportation software company for LTL, truckload, package delivery and non-asset providers.

FACTS replaced three legacy systems that have formed Moran’s main operating system for more than 30 years.

Moran Transportation is an Elk Grove, Illinois-based 225 truck fleet with regional LTL and less-than-container operations. Michael D. Moran, president of Moran Transportation, said the company is saving money from better operations management and capturing data to fix anomalies.

“FACTS does the thinking for you so we can focus on exceptions that impact operations and customers,” he said.

Administrative time has been reduced by 15 to 30 minutes per day per customer service representative (CSR) by connecting with customers electronically. Additionally, he cites the potential to reallocate personnel to focus on other parts of the business, such as sales and maintenance cost management.

ITS Logistics in Reno, Nev., has signed on for a full-fleet deployment of the Lytx Driver Safety program. The third-party logistics fleet provides supply chain solutions to Fortune 500 companies, with dedicated fleet and asset-light transportation services.

With over 200 trucks, 550 trailers and 350 drivers, ITS Logistics serves clients across the western United States. After a three-month trial of the Lytx Driver Safety Program, ITS Logistics has now installed Lytx DriveCam Event Recorders in approximately a quarter of its vehicles, and expects to complete installations across its entire fleet by the end of 2019.

“The installation of Lytx in our vehicles has been a major component in helping us achieve our ambitious safety goals,” said Tony Frank, vice president of fleet operations at ITS Logistics.

Another safety-related news item that crossed the wire this week is a partnership between Otonomo and GreenRoad that will enable the provision of Driver Risk Profiling and other intelligence to fleets to engage drivers in improving behavior.

With the global data sources and secure data management capabilities in the Otonomo Platform, GreenRoad says that customers using its system can use data directly from OEMs or any onboard device deployed in fleet vehicles.

The Otonomo Platform ingests automotive data from OEMs and fleet operators, then reshapes and enriches the data for application and service providers to develop offerings.