Accelerating Coverage through APIs

December 27, 2018

THE CHALLENGE

To keep up with demand and cover spot opportunities that had fallen through the routing guide, a major brewing company needed to speed up spot quoting and decrease EDI expenses.

THE RESULT

In the first five months since Coyote launched a new API pilot, the brewing company saw batch quote response time decrease to less than five minutes and over 4,000 loads tendered that would have otherwise gone uncovered.

Getting Connected with API: The Full Story

The role of technology in the modern truckload market has taken on a whole different meaning in recent years with the introduction of self-service solutions. Instant pricing and automated workflow are just a couple of the many manual tasks shippers are looking to have available at the click of a button. In efforts to streamline their supply chain operations, customers are relying on the technology capabilities of their third-party logistics providers to help enable proactive decisions, identify risks and bypass issues as it relates to their primary and spot shipments.

One technology solution that is growing in popularity among shippers of all sizes is the integration of an Application Program Interface (API).

What is API, and how does it differ from the more commonly used EDI?

A newer software medium that allows two applications to communicate with one another, APIs “communicate” in real-time to provide up to the second updates on the status of freight shipments. Furthermore, they are viewed as a superior solution in comparison to traditional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) platforms due to quicker response times and higher efficiency.

For one large brewing company, Coyote was tasked with the challenge of configuring an IT solution to seamlessly quote thousands of daily spot shipments to help mitigate rising costs and untendered freight. With manual quoting – including email blasts and spot load boards – this shipper was unable to support their volume. Working closely with the customer, Coyote looked to introduce an API connection to instantaneously price their transactional shipments.

In under two weeks, we established API connectivity with the shipper, allowing us to provide instant truckload and less than truckload (LTL) spot quotes based on real-time network capacity for their transactional freight. Through the first five months of the new pilot, roughly 1,500 quotes per day were provided by Coyote. Plus, during Peak months, roughly 30,000 quotes have been supplied to the brewer with over 550 loads being awarded in the process. With the ability to communicate real-time capacity against volume, Coyote was able to help lower their operating costs and carrier response time to move over 4,000 loads tendered to Coyote that had otherwise gone uncovered.  

Our core goal is to offer the right capacity to shippers and right freight to carriers, when and where they need it, in the most efficient way possible. The better we can achieve that, through new technology innovations, the more valuable we are to both sides of the market. By integrating proprietary technology solutions at critical stages throughout the shipping process, from quoting through settlement, we foster a better experience for all users.”

 – Sean Gill, Coyote Manager, IT Solutions

Along with instantaneous quoting capabilities, facility ratings were provided to the customer to further improve the program’s efficiency. A rating scale, as well as a qualitative feedback section, could be reviewed by key decision-makers to adjust for underperforming facilities from the insight submitted by their contracted carriers. With the addition of the API pilot, and implementing “Shipper of Choice” best practices, a more efficient process was established for longer-term success.

Summary

From automation to self-service, technology’s role in the truckload market has become a critical factor in the ability to scale up as an organization. In turn, the ability for 3PL providers to offer customized, IT-based solutions has become a requirement. With an offering ranging from spot quoting to tracking, Coyote’s API suite allows for more fluid communication and efficiency when it comes to the transportation of shippers’ goods. 

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