SalesTech Star

New Bid-Management Solution Transforms Freight Procurement for Shippers

Shipwell, an industry leader in cloud-based transportation management, announces the general availability of RFP Automation, a module within the Shipwell TMS that makes the freight-bid process less tedious, more efficient and more effective. With freight rates declining, shippers can reduce their spending significantly with more frequent bid events, only if they can overcome the painful manual processes of typical RFP preparation, carrier bid comparison and evaluation. In times of freight-rate volatility, re-bidding more often than once per year can maximize shipper savings from sliding rates or help assure freight capacity remains available when market rates are climbing.

RFP Automation is offered as a native component of the Shipwell transportation management platform and provides customers a powerful tool to improve their freight procurement processes. Notably, RFP Automation features current market intelligence about freight rates derived from the Shipwell network through carrier-bid comparisons to the shipper’s historical rate data and dynamic market prices. The product assists in preparation for bid events and carrier negotiations with valuable analytics, such as identifying lanes with high carrier rejection rates, lanes where shippers may currently be overpaying, past carrier performance or compliance issues and potential lane risks for weather-related delays.

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Dan Sweet, Transportation Manager at Mighty Swell Spiked Seltzer, a leading Austin, Texas, beverage producer, uses RFP Automation with the Shipwell TMS to attain major efficiency gains across the bid-management and tender process:

  • Just two clicks in Shipwell TMS replaced their previous carrier process involving five or more emails and additional phone calls.
  • Carrier bid evaluation and selection is improved with shipping lane insights and carrier performance histories.

“There was a large degree of variance in carrier bids on each lane, and Shipwell made it easy to compare those bids and award new contracts based on price and other factors,” said Sweet.

Andrew Pieri, Vice President of Operations at Mighty Swell Spiked Seltzer, added, “This is especially beneficial for our type of business in which we rely heavily on multi-stop full truck loads (FTLs) for cost and speed. We’ve also enjoyed the increased visibility, automation, and analytics that the TMS has brought to our transportation processes.”

Many shippers have increased their use of mini-bids, a more frequent RFP process for sub-groups of lanes, typically with carrier contracts of shorter duration. The benefits of mini-bids are more easily realized with Shipwell’s RFP Automation, helping shippers react quickly to short-term market shifts and cost savings opportunities. The combination of external market and shipper-specific business intelligence with Shipwell means that past carrier performance and service exceptions can easily highlight the need for a new partner. Additionally, RFP Automation can support a rate-reduction request for certain lanes, while real-time market data can point up when the spot market offers better rates for last-minute shipments than currently contracted carriers.

Better freight procurement decisions are a significant contributor to ROI from a TMS investment, helping to reduce annual freight spend and improve shipper profitability.

“A key factor in building a competitive and robust supply chain network is an agile procurement strategy — one that’s highly flexible and cost-effective, to help shippers toggle more options in addressing freight market challenges,” said Shipwell CEO and founder Greg Price. “Instead of depending on expensive spot rates or being locked into outdated freight contracts, Shipwell’s RFP Automation simplifies on-demand procurement activities so that transportation managers can deliver cost savings and service improvements for the business.”

Andrew Pieri, Vice President of Operations at Mighty Swell, has used Shipwell’s TMS to streamline their shipping processes:

“Prior to using Shipwell’s TMS solution, it was a very manual process to manage shipments. We were relying heavily on spreadsheets to track orders, which really limits the number of carriers that you can work with. Using the TMS solution, we are able to easily connect with multiple carriers, which in turn allows us to compare different rates.”

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