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Freight Brokerage Firm GlobalTranz Takes Freight Management Technology And Services To A New Level

GlobalTranz has a cutting-edge logistics technology platform, great people, and an industry that we really like. Transportation and logistics are a fascinating intersection of people and technology where all the actors – shippers, brokers, and carriers – use advanced technology to do something that is extremely physical and impacts so many things in the real world. Below is our interview with Greg Carter, CTO from GlobalTranz:

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Q: What attracted you to GlobalTranz?

A: When I was a software developer early in my career, I was fascinated by how software worked and excited by the fact that that thousands or hundreds of thousands of people would be using a software product I helped develop – that was a real high.

Providing technology and services to the transportation industry takes that high to a new level. Driving around the country, I see our customers – shippers of all kinds of freight – and our carriers every day. It keeps me motivated and energized to improve our product and services. Having hundreds of users a few feet away from our corporate headquarter office helps too!

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Q: Who are the primary users of GlobalTranz technology products and what are some of the key challenges you are helping them solve?

A: GlobalTranz has three primary types of users – shippers, carriers and freight brokers.

First, shippers of freight, both large and small use GlobalTranz. People and organizations need to move goods of all kinds every day – anything from five pallets of car parts in a less-than-truckload (LTL) shipment to an entire car on a flatbed trailer. The GlobalTranz freight management technology platform helps shippers find the best carrier rates and service to meet the specific needs of each freight shipment, and then we track the shipments to delivery.

Transportation carriers who move things also use the GlobalTranz platform. Truckload (TL), less-than-truckload, refrigerated, and flatbed carriers are examples. Our transportation carrier network can move almost anything nationwide. GlobalTranz not only helps our carrier partners find goods to ship, but we facilitate fast payment, repeat business and in some cases access to new markets.

Finally, freight brokers who operate as agents of GlobalTranz and make up our extensive freight agent network are heavy users of the GlobalTranz freight management technology suite. Freight agents can establish and grow a successful freight brokerage business using the GlobalTranz technology platform as the foundation, and leverage our back-office freight brokerage services as supporting infrastructure.

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Q: What is unique about GlobalTranz’ technology platform and how does it stand out from other freight brokerage platforms?

A: GlobalTranz is unique in that we’ve built a complete freight brokerage technology product set with modules designed for each of our target users. A highly-tuned user interface makes complex shipping options and freight management functions easy to understand and monitor.

The GlobalTranz platform captures a huge amount of data about shippers, shipments, agents, and carriers. We leverage this data throughout our platform to (1) guide shippers in selecting the best rates and making the right freight management decisions, (2) allow freight agents to identify new business opportunities and monitor carrier performance, and (3) help match carriers with the optimal freight shipments for their business.

Q: What new technologies are disrupting the logistics industry right now?

A: Cabs and trailers are increasingly being instrumented and connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). Federal safety laws will push this further with the requirement for drivers to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). Many larger carriers have pioneered the use of instrumented truck cabs and trailers to improve safety, reduce fuels costs, optimize the use of assets, and for freight tracking both in the yard/dock and on the road. Savvy freight carriers are using this new level of connectedness to generate more revenue by offering real-time, high-precision tracking.

While self-driving and driverless cars are suddenly making the headlines, driverless vehicles have been widely used in ports, yards, and warehouses for years. A freight container can arrive in a port, be unloaded from a vessel, placed on a yard trailer, pulled to a location in the stack, and placed on the stack all without human involvement. All while dozens of other cranes, lifts, yard trailers, and tugs are whizzing by at 15mph. So it’s not too hard to imagine that same container being placed on a truck and driven across the state or across the country?

Independent contractor (IC) drivers will leverage new technology – trucks, carrier/broker networks, and mobile devices – to create on-demand capacity. This is the universally over-hyped “Uber for Trucking,” which is effectively what GlobalTranz does with our carriers and shippers now – we match carriers who want to haul freight with shippers with goods to ship.

Maybe a bit more out there but the rise of 3D printers could have a huge impact of what goods need to move. It is easy to envision consumers, retailers, and manufacturers printing goods and components using patterns bought from retailers or vendors. This could change the LTL market dramatically as there could be a move from hauling finished goods to hauling raw materials used by 3D printers. All of this, at scale, alters not only the density of the load but also the actual type and configuration of trailers.

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Q: What are your plans for keeping GlobalTranz on the forefront of logistics technology innovation?

A: Invest in our people through education, training, innovation exercises, and attracting new talent. The GlobalTranz product development team has a generous education and training budget that team members are encouraged to use. While we focus on technology, our team members are also encouraged to find adjacent but relevant areas to explore – such as overall supply chain optimization, rather than limiting their thinking to ground transportation.

We conduct a variety of innovation exercises where we pick cutting-edge technologies or methods for moving freight and explore how these would change the world for our shippers, agents, and carriers. A recent example would be the impact of 3D printers replacing many manufactured and shipped goods, which make up a significant volume of freight. In this example, we discussed how the shift would be to raw materials, possibly produced in new shipping lanes our freight agents currently do not cover or perhaps a big shift from less-than-truckload to full truckload or flatbed shipments.

Bringing in new people to enrich the product team is key as well. Our team members have a variety of background and skills, including several from the Kewill operations floor as well as military logistics, software development, and formally educated supply chain and logistics professionals.

2017 will be an exciting year for GlobalTranz as we roll out new and enhanced technology products to meet the always dynamic needs of the logistics industry.

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