Eliminates Manual Steps
Eliminates Manual Steps When Searching For Capacity
Search historical data. The MercuryGate TMS makes it easy for you to see what carriers you used in the past as well as what you paid carriers on a similar lane across all clients. The lane can be defined as specifically as desired or expanded based on mileage radius searches around the origin and/or destination. Many packages allow searching by city and/or state, but mileage radius searches are more precise and effective, particularly near state borders. You can also search existing loads to see if the current quote might be a backhaul opportunity for one of those loads.
Use a private capacity board. You may also use MercuryGate’s FreightFriend application to expedite the matching process. FreightFriend is a social media application that allows carriers and brokers to share information with their “friends”. The application automatically matches loads with an identified friend’s truck making it easy to find available capacity.
The private capacity board (below) shows trucks you’ve entered into FreightFriend as well as those entered by other users in the TMS. Carriers are allowed to log into the TMS and upload trucks or do the same process in FreightFriend. You can also enter trucks as you talk with carriers about loads.
Use external load boards. MercuryGate has linked in with systems such as Transcore’s 3Sixty product, Internet Truckstop, and GPS411 electronically so that users no longer have to go re-enter the same information to find trucks. MercuryGate takes the data already entered and passes that information via a system-to-system communication link that returns the data directly back into the TMS.
Eliminates Manual Steps When Determining Quotes
Use historical lane averages —Easily look up lane averages that are based on quotes and/or secured loads.
Use external indexes. Use an external rate index, such as the Transcore Rate Index, to benchmark against your peers directly from within the TMS.
Eliminates Manual Steps Communicating With Carriers
Send quote requests and receive replies. Carriers that service a given lane can be based on history, carrier service areas, or carrier preferred lanes. The list of carriers allows the user to send an email quote to one or all of the carriers. Carriers may respond to the quote directly from the email they received by simply clicking on the link and entering the quote amount. Once all the quotes have been received, the user may review the responses to determine which carrier is awarded the transportation. The awarding process does not have to be on cost and in fact the quotes may be sorted by ranking, performance, or routing guide.
Send rate confirmations and receive replies. Once the carrier has been selected, the process moves to the next step automatically and sends the selected carrier a rate confirmation sheet based on the process setup for that carrier. As with the quote itself, the rate confirmation sheet may be sent via email, allowing the carrier to respond directly from the email message.
Eliminates Manual Steps When Providing Quotes
Allow your customers to get their own quotes. The MercuryGate TMS allows brokerage of any mode. The LTL brokerage process, although similar to the truckload brokerage process, has some variations. Quite often the LTL brokerage has contracted rates for each of the LTL carriers. These rates are loaded into the system and allow the LTL customer to receive quotes automatically online, book the quote, and tender to the LTL carrier without any intervention by the brokerage organization.
The customer's profile determines the default location and item information (customers only see their own information and load history). References may be entered as desired or made mandatory where required.
Once the data has been entered, the customer is presented with a screen showing the available rates for any mode that is set up for them.
The customer may stop at this point and save this information as a quote. The quote is assigned a quote number and can be brought up by the customer and shipped until the expiration date is reached. If the shipment cannot be quoted online, a message can be displayed to let the user know that you will contact them with a quote.
Eliminates Manual Steps When Communicating With Customers
Allow customers to book & track their own shipments. Your customer can enter their shipment information, tender the shipment to the carrier, book the shipment, and display a bill of lading to print. The document displayed is based on the user profile as well as the mode selected (for example, parcel shipments print labels with tracking numbers).
Once the customer selects a rate, a confirmation screen is displayed to the client which contains a configurable disclaimer indicating that the rates provided are only as good as the information they entered.
Customers can track their own shipments using the manage shipments window. You don't have to send them tracking numbers; they can simply use their order number or any other reference to find their information.