Providing accurate and continuous visibility data to shippers is vital to third-party logistics providers and freight brokerages who want to stay ahead of their competitors. Trustworthy visibility data helps both segments of the transportation market provide precise ETAs to shippers. Reliable tracking information also allows 3PLs and brokers to be proactive in resolving shipping exceptions, unforeseen delays and other barriers to efficiency. When shippers receive accurate tracking data from brokerages and 3PLs, they can optimize their dock scheduling and shift human resources to accommodate freight pickup and delivery schedules as they change, offering greater overall efficiency for shippers as well.
Serving the United States, Mexico, and Canada, Syfan Logistics is a full-scale logistics management provider that offers freight capacity, expedited delivery, freight management, and brokerage services to some of the most successful manufacturers in the country — from leaders in the automotive industry to beloved brands in the poultry, confectionery, and soft drink industries.
Led by CEO Jim Syfan and his sons Greg and Steve Syfan, Syfan Logistics is a family-owned, multi-million dollar 3PL known for its commitment to providing on-time delivery and exceptional customer service to shippers of all sizes. Syfan Logistics was named one of the nation’s most successful freight brokerage companies in Transport Topics’ Top Freight Brokerage Firms ranking for 2019, with an estimated gross annual revenue of $84.4 million, and has been named to Inbound Logistics’ list of Top 100 Logistic companies for the last five consecutive years.
The 3PL recently expanded its Gainesville, Ga., headquarters to house its staff of more than 250 logistics professionals and to accommodate projected growth, including the addition of 100 more staff members over the next two to three years. In addition to its Gainesville headquarters, Syfan Logistics’ assets include fleets of over-the-road trucks and trailers, from refrigerated trucks and dry vans to food-grade tankers and flatbeds. For added freight capacity, Syfan Logistics relies on an extensive carrier network that is comprised of carriers of 100 trucks or less and owner-operator trucks, particularly for its expedited freight division.
In search of accurate freight visibility and greater operational efficiency, Syfan Logistics implemented several app-less visibility solutions in recent years with the goal of providing continuous freight location information to shippers and their customers. The integrity of the freight location data provided by these solutions often has proved to be inaccurate and unreliable, however. According to leadership at Syfan Logistics, the location information provided by these app-less visibility solutions is frequently incorrect, showing that freight has been delivered when it actually hasn’t and/or reporting incorrect location information. Because the freight location data provided by these visibility solutions tend to be unreliable, Syfan Logistics’ staff members still need to make five to six manual check-calls per load to carriers and truckers to monitor freight pick-up, delivery, and location. Unfortunately, these app-less freight tracking solutions have not been able to deliver on their promises of greater efficiency.
Adoption of these visibility solutions by Syfan Logistics’ carrier network also has been low. The most significant barrier adoption is that these app-less visibility solutions are single-feature tools that don’t offer any efficiency gains or added value to carriers and truckers. Carriers and truckers don’t generally realize any efficiency gains in their daily operations because they continue to receive multiple check-calls on the loads that are tracked using these app-less visibility tools. For many carriers and owner-operators, the app-less visibility programs have felt like an added distraction in their already busy days, a productivity drain instead of an efficiency gain. The inaccuracy of the app-less visibility solutions also has hurt adoption rates, as carriers and truckers recognize that the data generated by these solutions is often incorrect.
Syfan Logistics introduced the Trucker Tools driver app to its fleets and carrier network in 2017 after seeing a live demo of the driver app’s visibility tool. Impressed with the precision of the driver app’s visibility data, Syfan Logistics sought to test the driver app’s capabilities in its expedited freight division, which requires the highest levels of visibility and customer service. To help increase efficiency, the Trucker Tools’ development team created a custom integration for Syfan Logistics that allows staff members to view freight location information directly in its McLeod transportation management system.
Shortly after the implementation of the Trucker Tools’ driver app, Syfan Logistics noticed a considerable increase in the accuracy of pick-up and delivery confirmations in its expedited freight division. Instead of utilizing cell phone triangulation technology that can only offer an approximate radial location, the driver app’s visibility tool uses the GPS technology native to the trucker’s smartphone to determine with pinpoint accuracy the location of trucks and their freight. Following the success of the Trucker Tools driver app in its expedited division, Syfan Logistics successfully rolled out the driver app to all of its other divisions.
Today, 90 percent of Syfan Logistics’ expedited freight and 60 to 70 percent of all freight is tracked via the Trucker Tools driver app and its visibility feature. With the addition of Trucker Tools’ driver app and its visibility tool, the operations team at Syfan Logistics has been able to reduce daily check-call volume by 30 percent. Instead of making repeated calls to carrier dispatchers and truckers to obtain freight location information, staff members can view freight location data instantaneously in the McLeod TMS, increasing daily operational efficiency for Syfan Logistics.
The integrity of the location data provided by Trucker Tools’ driver app has increased accurate pick-up and delivery confirmation by 50 percent for Syfan Logistics. Rather than relaying incorrect or approximate location data to shippers, members of the Syfan Logistics operations team can provide highly accurate location information and ETAs to shippers. Staff members can anticipate and react quickly to delays as they may occur and are empowered to be proactive problem-solvers when dealing with shipping exceptions, ultimately raising the bar on Syfan Logistics’ delivery of exceptional customer service. Syfan Logistics reports that some shippers even specifically request Trucker Tools’ visibility solution for all their freight because of the continuous, accurate location data it provides.
Syfan Logistics’ carriers and truckers appreciate the multi-functionality of the Trucker Tools driver app and the efficiency it brings to their everyday operations; with fewer check-calls, carriers can concentrate on safely picking up and delivering freight instead of answering multiple calls from the operations team several times each day. The driver app’s freight tracking tool also is just one of the 16 features and tools included in the Trucker Tools driver app — the driver app also offers carriers information on repair shops, traffic, rest stops, fuel prices, optimal routes, weather, weigh scales, load matching, detention and more.
The added value and accurate freight visibility of the Trucker Tools’ driver app have translated into higher tracking compliance success when compared with app-less freight tracking solutions. The tracking compliance success rate of the Trucker Tools driver app within the Syfan Logistics carrier network currently averages 84 percent. During peak freight seasons, tracking compliance success with Trucker Tools’ solution has been as high as 95 percent. According to Syfan Logistics’ leadership, the Trucker Tools driver app has become the visibility solution preferred by most carriers in Syfan Logistics’ network.
Looking to build on its success with Trucker Tools’ driver app, Syfan Logistics recently migrated to Smart Capacity, Trucker Tools’ carrier relationship and capacity management platform. Smart Capacity allows the 3PL to access even more small carrier and owner-operator freight capacity, particularly with reloads, with the potential to further strengthen and grow its carrier network, which is a top priority for the organization.
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