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US Shippers To Demand More Of Tech Suppliers In 2017
Kinghood International Logistics Inc | Updated: Feb 09, 2017

    Shippers concerned about the potential for surface transportation price hikes this year are looking for technology that will help them control costs, and that’s good news for Mark Williams. The software executive joined uShip, the auction-based online transportation marketplace, as CEO Wednesday, and his first priority is to expand the company’s enterprise-level business with large-scale shippers.  

  “I’m viewing this as a new chapter for uShip,” said the former Accruent executive. “This space is very important. We want to build our product to meet the needs of this segment,” which could include global manufacturers and retailers, as well as third-party logistics providers. Those potential customers represent a growing market for uShip and others as uncertainty about truck pricing and capacity spreads.

  Pricing isn't the only issue. Shippers with complex, multi-layered supply chains increasingly need more sophisticated technology to keep all the parts of those supply chains running and to ensure the right data moves from one section of the business, or one business partner, to another. What shippers are striving for is greater control over the end result of all logistics activity: a successful delivery.

  “It comes down to meeting consumer expectations,” David Wangler, president and CEO of transportation software company TMW Systems, said in an interview. “Basically, that’s ‘where’s my stuff and when’s it going to be here?’ There’s a need for much better visibility but beyond that for control needed to manage appointments and delivery windows, over execution.”

  Getting to that next level of visibility and "control" will be a major challenge for logistics technology firms in 2017. Shippers will not only want to know a truck’s location, but which shipments that truck is carrying and when those shipments will arrive. That level of data will allow them to satisfy customers whose expectations are being reset by Prime, Wangler said.

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