Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) releases its 2018 Visibility Report, which draws from more than 20 sources. That includes five of the nation’s largest 3PLs, mid-sized brokers, and the logistics units of several top motor carriers.
3PLs are investing heavily in technology to deliver the freight visibility and business intelligence increasingly required by shippers.
That conclusion is one of many in the recently released 2018 Freight Visibility Report from the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), the organization representing the $185.7 billion third-party logistics industry.
“Visibility is at the forefront of what third-party logistics companies do,” said TIA President and CEO Robert Voltmann. “Among the key points in this report is that 3PLs continue to focus their technology on customer’s visibility needs and that amid an explosion of available data they are capturing the opportunity to deliver business intelligence.”
Advances in visibility technology have created a wide range of perceptions and expectations among shippers, including some that are inaccurate, Voltmann also noted.
“However, 3PLs are making a commitment to provide substantial financial resources to support shipper demand for more sophisticated visibility that enables real-time decisions,” he said.
The 2018 Freight Visibility Report from TIA draws from more than 20 sources. This includes five of the nation’s largest 3PLs, mid-sized brokers, and the logistics units of several top motor carriers.
The report consists of an overview of freight visibility. Including its technological evolution and the complexities attached to perceptions of 3PL visibility activities. It also illustrates how 3PLs are building visibility systems and how they are being refined as data options are growing.
It addresses how the latest developments in logistics, the surging freight market, and the ELD mandate are affecting freight visibility.
Key conclusions of the TIA report include:
- The array of delivery options that allow 3PLs to customize the data they provide to shippers has expanded and includes everything from complex strategies to proven methods such as electronic data interchange (EDI).
- As visibility needs accelerate the forces of growing demand, capacity strains from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, and others have introduced new variables into freight markets.
- The future challenge will be to find optimal and flexible methods to sustain the substantial advances already made by logistics companies in providing visibility to their customers.
“Increased freight visibility is creating significant value in today’s turbulent business landscape, and 3PLs are answering that need,” Voltmann stated. “Automation, digitization and collection capabilities have brought 3PLs closer than ever to their customer’s information, and the ways they leverage that proximity will determine what visibility means for years to come. Good technology underlies the delivery of relevant information, which in turn informs effective management.”
AGX Logistics TMS system provides direct customer visibility, carrier integration, and interaction.
We also provide a full slate of agent tools integrated seamlessly.
We are constantly improving the capabilities to save time, speed up order entry, carrier vetting, and onboarding. All of this with the goal of minimizing keystrokes and reasons for leaving the platform to gain valuable data.
AAGEX Freight Group, a new non-asset transportation services company headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., offers FTL, flatbed, heavy haul, LTL, intermodal, and expedited transportation services throughout North America. The company fulfills these solutions through a network of independent branch locations.
Jacksonville Business Journal
Just weeks after launching itself as a company, AAGEX Freight group has acquired two other companies.
AAGEX will act as the holding company to AGX Freight Carriers and AGX Freight Logistics, formerly Apex Carriers and Apex Transportation Solutions out of Rome, Georgia.
Mike Williams, CEO of AAGEX and former CEO of Sunteck, said that acquiring companies early on was always part of his plan to quickly grow his company. It’s now gone from less than 10 employees to 100, including 85 truck drivers.
“Acquisitions are a great way to jumpstart the business,” Williams said. “We made two relatively small but meaningful acquisitions.”
The company’s back office and administrative staff roles will be centralized in Jacksonville, while the drivers and equipment will stay in near where most of the freight is in Rome, just 50 miles outside Atlanta.
These acquisition will be the trucking company and broker company entities that AAGEX’s agents will represent.
“Agents will work with owner-operators leased onto our trucking motor carrier group,” Williams said. “On the broker side, agents will have broker authority under AGX freight logistics to offer those services.”
Williams declined to disclose deal terms, but said that the companies acquired had a combined annual revenue between $10 million and $15 million. Some executives will stay on with the company, while the owner will help during the transition phase.
Williams said that the acquisitions were key in order to have what was needed to support his business model right away.
“It was a critical step to instantly have the back end stuff in place to support our agent network,” he said.
Jacksonville Business Journal
A longtime Jacksonville logistics leader is starting his own company, after his brief retirement.
Mike Williams, former CEO, COO and general counsel for Sunteck, is now the leader of Aagex
Feight Group, a Jacksonville Beach agent-based third party logistics provider.
The company will have motor carrier authority and will operate commercial vehicles, as well have broker authority to broker freight and serve as a non-asset logistics company. Williams has been in the logistics business since he came to Jacksonville in 1995 with his law degree.
After working at Sunteck for more than eight years, he retired for just over a year. “It was a pretty intense eight-and-a-half years,” Williams said in an exclusive interview with the Business Journal. “When I started the company was headquartered in Boca Raton. I commuted back and forth many years. Over the course of time the company migrated its more corporate functions
The company was sold to a private equity firm in 2013, and Williams stayed on for just over a year-and-a-half, serving as CEO. “When you run hard and fast for eight-and-a-half years, and you sell the company to new investors with new ideas, there’s opportunities to go in different directions,” he said. “So I took time to take a breather and have more of a relaxed lifestyle than
the fast-paced world.”
That meant creating his Jacksonville Beach law practice, which he will continue doing pro-bono work out of representing children in dependency court, and running his charity, which protects children from sexual abuse. But after a year Williams said he was ready to get back into the transportation & logistics business.
“I have a real passion for the business, driven by my passion for working with entrepreneurs and small business owners,” he said. Aagex, which stands for American Freight Agent Exchange, will be an agent-only network. Rather than having employees, all of the sales team will be independent contractors, who earn a variable commission based on how successful they are in pricing, getting customers, etc. “Our agency model is clear-cut,” Williams said.
“The benefit shows up in your paycheck that week. It’s easier to motivate sales. Agents are entrepreneurs, they take risk in their own performance. I love to work with those that take risk and love to support them.”
The company will have between 10 to 15 employees, with about seven to nine in Jacksonville and the remainder in Georgia. Those employees will be back-office and clerical support. Williams said he is now hiring agents. While other companies, such as Landstar or Sunteck, use the agent-based model, Williams said his expertise and customer service will help set the company apart.
“A lot of these T&L companies are commoditized in the type of service they offer: they say ‘we keep up with tech advancements or regulatory advancements.’ Ultimately, it’s up to the competency of the team. Our basic services are in line with our competitors,” Williams said.
“But I think I make a difference in the mix. I know what success looks like. It’s important in an agent model to find the balance in commission, what you have after is for your platform to have top notch infrastructure. You have to have someone experience at the helm I think to have that value.”