Archive for the ‘Optimization’ Category

Meeting Green Goals With First & Last-Mile Efficiencies

Posted on: November 16th, 2015 by The IAS Team No Comments

The ability to manage first and last-mile of the supply chain more efficiently could wind up being the difference between profit and loss. It can also lessen the environmental impact of goods transport, helping companies meet green initiatives of reduced fuel usage and lowered carbon emissions.

First and last-mile shipments can be fraught with logistical hazards and errors. Deliveries can be missed requiring a second attempt. Trucks can be driving empty after a delivery, which wastes fuel and driver time. Optimization improves the performance of transportation operations and lowers the environmental impact of shipping.

For example within intermodal operations, optimization removes the transportation inefficiencies where motor carriers leave a port with full containers bound for an importers’ facility, then make a trip back to return the empty containers– a truck travels two ways, once laden and once empty, plus the truck spends time idling at the gate. To eliminate these empty container trips, IAS facilitates street-turn opportunities where two moves are paired up to form one triangular trip.

In an optimized move, the motor carrier picks up a full import container at the port for delivery to the door destination; the cargo is unloaded and the empty container is transported directly to the export shipper; the container is filled with nearby export cargo; and the motor carrier returns the laden container to the port. One entire empty leg is removed, along with two empty gate moves at the port.

Depending on the distance between the import and export location, empty miles can be dramatically reduced. This equates to reduced emissions, fuel usage, and congestion. The principle applies to other first- and last-mile modes as well, such as the local pick-up and delivery of airfreight and less-than-truckload moves.

IAS DispatchManager and DispatchOptimizer help users reduce empty mileage and connect laden legs, shrinking fuel bills, boosting asset utilization and lessening environmental impact of landside goods transport.

How Much Does a Chassis Cost? The Math of Chassis Economics

Posted on: September 12th, 2014 by The IAS Team No Comments

Debate exists on whether the new chassis-provisioning model has simply shifted the cost of chassis usage to different industry players or if it has increased costs for most participants in the different pools as a result of new process implications.  In the USA, ocean carriers have traditionally provided chassis at no direct charge to trucking companies or shippers/consignees to move containers to and from the ocean carriers’ customers. The ocean carriers formed “pools” to share the chassis and manage usage of the chassis by the trucking companies in some busy port and inland rail terminal locations.

This is contrasted with outside the USA where the trucking companies typically own or procure and manage the chassis themselves. Several years ago Maersk announced its decision to end its ownership (and “free” provisioning) of chassis and, in 2012, the company had indeed divested those assets (sold them to leasing companies). On the heels of the Maersk decision other ocean carriers announced similar plans to discontinue managing and providing chassis, forcing truckers to either purchase chassis or lease them from equipment providers.

This, however, did not mean that the ocean carriers were no longer responsible for the cost of the chassis. As the ocean carriers sold their chassis, the large asset pooling arrangements took over the responsibility of providing chassis to the logistics community, apportioning cost according to the terms of each container move– either the cargo interest, the trucking company or the ocean carrier pays for the chassis.

IAS created ChassisManager to address this issue. John Allen of IAS will be discussing this issue at the upcoming IANA Show on September 22 – 23, 2014. Attendees at this presentation will be provided a compelling look at the true costs of chassis operations in the new chassis market and learn how this can be a new revenue source for many intermodal operators.

IAS provides a very proactive billing platform that receives the relevant gate activity, which drives usage billing along with the data from the ocean carriers on how to direct the billing (who pays). We make this information available to all billable parties in real time, so the party paying (motor and ocean carriers) get the most accurate invoice and complete back-up info possible.

Congratulations to the Inbound Logistics Green Supply Chain Partners

Posted on: August 1st, 2013 by The IAS Team No Comments

IAS would like to congratulate the 75 Green Supply Chain Partners named to the Inbound Logistics G75 Award. This prestigious list highlights sustainability leaders in the logistics and transportation space based on measurable green results, sustainability innovation, continuous improvement, and industry recognition.

These companies are on the leading edge of green innovation, resulting in reduced waste, lower emissions, and fuel efficiency. In particular, IAS commends the environmental responsibility of our customers:

  • ABF Freight
  • APL
  • Con-Way
  • J.B. Hunt
  • MOL
  • NYK Line
  • Old Dominion Freight Line
  • OOCL
  • Saia LTL Freight
  • Schneider National
  • Swift Transportation
  • Werner Enterprises

For a full list of winners, visit Inbound Logistics.

As many of you know, IAS aims to contribute to improving the environmental dimension of transportation. By enabling street-turn work orders, DispatchOptimizer helps clients drive down empty running miles, cut particulate and noise pollution, decrease congestion and idling time at ports, lower fuel consumption, and make better use of current assets and infrastructure. We are proud of the environmental initiatives of our partners and our industry.

DispatchOptimizer – street-turns from the motor carrier perspective

Posted on: October 30th, 2012 by The IAS Team No Comments

This week, we are concluding our DispatchOptimizer best practices series by taking a look at the motor carrier side of the street-turn work order. This is the fifth and final post in the series, so be sure to take a look at posts 1, 2, 3, and 4 for the full story, or schedule a demo of the solution.

Why is street-turn matching such a valuable tool for a motor carrier?

You probably know about the many benefits of street-turns, such as miles saved, reduced fuel costs, environmental benefits, and less wait time at a port. However, few motor carriers have an automated approach in identifying and approving street-turns. DispatchOptimizer and DispatchTender help bridge the gap not only by presenting potential street-turns, but also by allowing motor carriers to communicate rates and capacity quickly and easily. These tools are seamlessly integrated with all IAS Dispatch modules, including DispatchManager – everything works together in one efficient, streamlined package.

Once a street-turn has been proposed by an originator, motor carriers are shown relevant information, such as the origin, destination, delivery points, mileage calculations, appointment times, and even suggested routing powered by PC*Miler.

For a motor carrier, sending a rate response within the IAS Dispatch system couldn’t be easier thanks to DispatchTender, which allows originators to request pricing from their trucking network and receivers to present their competitive rate. IAS Dispatch shows you the work orders you’ve quoted and won along with those still pending. Thus, motor carriers have the ability to see the status of all street-turn offers at any point in time.

All in all, the system is designed to ease collaboration as it removes the current barriers to identifying and executing street-turns by providing transparency and by facilitating the communication process in the most efficient manner possible.

DispatchOptimizer – negotiating a win-win rate

Posted on: October 23rd, 2012 by The IAS Team No Comments

This week in our DispatchOptimizer best practices series, we are discussing the process of determining a rate once you’ve selected a street-turn match. This is our fourth post in the series; we recommend reading posts 1, 2 and 3 if you haven’t already.

What options are there for gathering rates on a street-turn move?

So you’ve found a match and are ready to find trucker power – you need to determine a rate. Chances are you already have a good idea of your round trip costs, but it is unlikely that you have a known trucking cost for any particular street-turn movement.

DispatchOptimizer works seamlessly with DispatchTender to help you to find a rate quickly and easily. You can gather rates from 1, 3, 5, or even 50 trucking companies all from the same screen. You can request a rate for your street-turn based upon the “Maximum Rate” feature, which allows a dispatcher to tell the receiver the maximum they can bid on an offer; or you can use the “Best Offer” feature, which displays the offer that is most likely to win the bid.

Then, DispatchOptimizer sends the complete street-turn work order to the selected motor carriers so they can suggest a rate should they choose to bid. Next, the system presents the rate responses to the dispatch coordinator and allows him to choose based upon the most appealing rate and the preferred service provider. Moreover, the system helps ensure you do not miss a pickup by including a “due date” showing the time that you need the rate response.

Have a mileage based tariff? DispatchOptimizer integrates with DispatchTariff to suggest a rate to you and your trucking partners.

Get off the phone, get into DispatchOptimizer, and get going!

DispatchOptimizer – interpreting the street-turn map

Posted on: October 16th, 2012 by The IAS Team No Comments

The third post in our DispatchOptimizer best practices series examines the route mapping feature that accompanies each street-turn suggestion. If you haven’t read them, we suggest you begin with the first and second posts of the series.

How does the routing tool assist in the decision process?

In addition to identifying street-turn matches, DispatchOptimizer gives you an accurate visual representation of the physical route using renowned PC*Miler technology. Moreover, the PC*Miler interface ensures that the savings and distance calculations represent real truck miles using truck-approved roads. The map featured in each suggested match serves as a visual aid in assessing the practicality of a route as well as the value a motor carrier is likely to get from it. DispatchOptimizer helps to create street-turn work orders that are as beneficial for the motor carrier as they are for the originator.

Upon mapping out your street-turn match, all the information you need for evaluating the potential work orders will be displayed, including the origin, destination, and all relative way-points throughout the journey. And as an added bonus, the tool even displays available fueling points along the way so that no motor carrier is left stranded.

DispatchOptimizer – selecting the best street-turn from match suggestions

Posted on: October 9th, 2012 by The IAS Team No Comments

Continuing the October posts for DispatchOptimizer best practices, this week we are looking at the matching work orders that are presented after you hit the Optimize button. For more information, start with last week’s post, follow the remainder of the Tuesday optimization posts, or schedule a full demo of the solution.

What criteria is used to select the best match?

DispatchOptimizer helps you determine the best street-turn possibilities using a variety of criteria, including miles saved, distance between delivery points, hazardous goods considerations, hours between scheduled appointments, and level of savings. The ability to filter this criteria allows you to to sort and evaluate the suggestions according to what parameters are most important for that particular work order. Additionally, you can more accurately compare one street-turn result to another in order to find the optimum match.

  • Want the most bang for your buck?
    Sort by miles saved.
  • Want to minimize drive time between the import/export?
    Then look for empty miles.
  • Don’t want to wait between live unload/unload?  
    Simply filter by hours.

DispatchOptimizer builds upon the dispatch coordinator’s own knowledge of the business and gives them more power by enabling them to see potential street-turn matches and by providing simple execution. DispatchOptimizer bolsters the optimization process by doing the busy work without diminishing the dispatcher’s role in decision-making.

DispatchOptimizer – selecting a work order for optimization

Posted on: October 3rd, 2012 by The IAS Team No Comments

Every Tuesday in October, we will be answering questions on DispatchOptimizer best practices. While the IAS Dispatch street-turn matching process is very intuitive – basically, you just select an order, hit the ‘Optimize’ button, and choose your preferred street-turn match – these five posts will give you a better idea of how the process works.  To kick off the series, we want to discuss the first step of the process, choosing a candidate for optimization.

How does an originator decide which work orders to select for optimization?

DispatchOptimizer has the ability to find street-turn matches on a variety of work orders including imports and exports. Furthermore, DispatchOptimizer is flexible enough to acquire matches for orders that have already been assigned to a trucking company, in addition to those that you have not yet sent to a motor carrier.

DispatchOptimizer functionality is conveniently embedded within your workflow – the Optimize button is right on the work order. By clicking the Optimize button on an export order, DispatchOptimizer will show you potential imports that could create a street-turn match; and if you click ‘Optimize’ on an import order, it will show you suggestions for matching export orders. You can optimize orders delivering today or you may even pre-dispatch weeks or months in advance.

In addition, DispatchManager tracks activity on all of your work orders, such as container movements. This gives your organization visibility  to which containers have been moved and which have not; thus, you’ll never waste time trying to match a container that has already moved.

Last mile visibility a growing focus for international container transport chain managers, says Aberdeen report

Posted on: February 28th, 2012 by The IAS Team No Comments

Intermodal carriers and 3PLs turn to collaborative technology to eliminate blind spots in complex, multi-party last mile inland operations

  • Full report and webinar: To download a full copy of the Aberdeen report including case study material, graphs and recommendations, and to register for upcoming webinars on last mile intermodal visibility and optimization, go to the resources section of our website.
  • Press interviews at TPM 2012: IAS executives including CEO Paul Crinks will attend the upcoming TPM 2012 conference in Long Beach, 5-7 March. To arrange an interview, please contact Amanda Hinton, IAS Marketing Manager at

Carriers and 3PLs are increasingly turning to collaborative technology to eliminate blind spots that exist today in the movement, delivery and return of containers to and from the last mile – the final customer destination. So says a new report, Intermodal Optimization – Enhancing Last Mile Visibility and Execution, just published by the Aberdeen Group.

Commissioned by cloud transportation technology provider IAS, the report surveys 58 intermodal freight users out of 123 North American BCOs, 3PLs and carriers first interviewed for Aberdeen’s August 2011 study Integrated Transportation in a Capacity Constrained Global Market. The goal was to analyze how challenges faced by intermodal users differed from their single-mode counterparts, how they were coping with current global intermodal requirements, and what technology strategies were being adopted in response.

Compared to the others, intermodal users – companies moving containers to and from ocean ports and rail ramps, mainly as part of international shipments – face more complex requirements. These include not only coordinating equipment and container movements from port, rail, truck and inland customer delivery locations, but also the tracking and return of the containers to the port designated by the container owner. The challenge is being magnified by the lengthening of global container supply chains, says the report.


IAS helps industry address challenges of intermodal container haulage with new collaborative solution

Posted on: November 11th, 2011 by The IAS Team No Comments

New IAS Dispatch cloud technology improves last mile visibility and connects multiple trading partners to optimize inland container trucking

IAS® has unveiled a new generation of cloud technology to address the complexities associated with planning, pricing, booking and executing inland container haulage. Developed as an extension to the industry-leading IAS DispatchManager, a web solution that automates the container haulage work order process from creation to proof of delivery, these latest solutions are designed to help ocean carriers, cargo owners, third-party logistics providers, and motor carriers connect and collaborate more effectively.