Why local freight carriers need to get API-powered dispatch – or get left behind

By: Lance Healy

It’s no longer new news: web-based transportation management systems have made traditional TMS software practically obsolete in today’s logistics market. And if you’re a local carrier who hasn’t kept up with the evolution of TMS among your client base –particularly if you’re still relying on manual dispatch processes driven by phone calls, faxes and email –you’re at risk of becoming obsolete, as well.

 

In fact, a 2018 InMotion Global Inc. survey spanning 12 years of data found that those companies still resisting TMS are those most likely to go out of business. And it found that while roughly 91 percent of motor carriers operating 20 trucks or more are currently using TMS, only 33 percent of carriers operating under 10 trucks are.

 

Why the disparity between high- and low-volume operations? Often, it simply comes down to resources. Smaller operations come with smaller budgets.

 

Due to their size, this is the same obstacle many regional carriers face when it comes to expanding their own technology portfolio. But without a web-connected dispatch system, your operation will stay small –lacking visibility to an increasingly web-reliant client base.

 

So how do you tap into the digital space to stay competitive, and do so affordably?

 

The answer lies in Banyan Technology’s unique, API-powered Local Carrier solution.

Why local carriers need API connectivity

If you’re not using a web-based dispatch system currently, your process is probably slow and labor intensive. You’re spending time referencing static rate tables, calling and emailing back and forth in response to RFPs, and manually entering shipping data.

 

What’s more, you’re missing out altogether on opportunities with high-volume players, who are using web-connected TMS.

 

Even if you’re among the minority of local carriers who have already taken advantage of a digital solution, you’re likely relying upon a system powered by Electronic data interchange (EDI) technology. Enabling computer-to-computer, batch exchange of data, EDI has helped both shippers and carriers move away from those manual, paper-based processes to more streamlined, electronic communication.

 

But while an improvement over having no web-based dispatch functionality, EDI is fast becoming an outdated standard in the wake of API (Application Program Interface) connectivity.

 

Systems powered by API technology can make live connections for two-way communication between you and shippers, brokers, forwarders, or 3PLs. This exchange of data and information resembles a real-time conversation, both faster and more effective when tendering and securing freight.

 

So whether you’re looking into your first dispatch system or you need to upgrade your current solution, the value of API over EDI seems like a no brainer.

 

But for small, local carriers, resources remain a barrier. Building API connections with shippers and 3PLs across the country would take a significant investment in technology and infrastructure to achieve –placing it well beyond your reach.

How to access API technology easily and affordably

Fortunately, Banyan Technology makes API-powered dispatch technology accessible to local carriers.

 

The first company to introduce API technology to the shipping industry nearly a decade ago, Banyan’s connectivity platform serves 33,000 unique users, with more than 1,400 local carriers linked throughout the United States and Canada.

 

How?

 

Banyan has already invested in building the components to facilitate live API connections between commonly-used TMS and dispatch systems throughout the industry, including:

 

So if you’re a regional carrier who still needs to optimize through a web-based dispatch system, simply choose one of these solutions and you can take advantage of Banyan’s connectivity platform to reach shippers – quickly and easily.

 

If you are already using one of these systems, the process to upgrade your connection to API is even faster, and you won’t have to change your existing operations.

 

Either way, the cost to you to integrate with Banyan is the same: nothing. The shippers and 3PLs using Banyan’s platform pay a fee to facilitate the live carrier connection with your business.

 

You foster a direct relationship with them using Banyan’s connectivity technology, establishing an account with them like any customer. You can then provide live, client-specific pricing directly through your dispatch system, andmanage subsequent order and shipment data from there.

 

You maintain complete control over your private data, and who has access to what rates.

Scale your business with API-powered dispatch

More than ever, your customers are using web-based TMS to make live connections. Are you equipped to speak their language and, ultimately, win their business?

 

With a web-based dispatch system integrated with Banyan’s API-powered Local Carrier solution, you will be.

 

To learn more about scaling your local carrier operation through live connectivity solutions, click here to speak to a Banyan Technology expert today.

 

 

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