Why struggle with the same small pool of transport services when you can have access to hundreds of companies and thousands of trucks, virtually instantly?
The advent of ride-sharing platforms revolutionised the personal transport industry, allowing people to access a reasonably-priced ride within minutes, thereby opening up a new era of travel.
Linebooker Technology Allows the Company to Match Loads With Available Trucks Quickly, Connecting Customers to Hundreds of Pre-vetted Transport Companies, Allowing Them to Choose Who They Want in Their Subcontractor Pool.
Naturally, what works for the private sector can also be tweaked to suit the commercial sector, which is exactly what Linebooker has done for the South African transport and logistics industry.
The company has developed a platform that allows companies requiring freight to be moved to improve their supply of trucks when they most need it.
“Essentially, Linebooker is designed to help you move stock on a fixed lane-rate basis – with guaranteed supply or variable lane rates – utilising any of South Africa’s top-rated transport companies that are operating on the platform. As with ride-sharing platforms, businesses can expect a transport cost reduction of approximately 12 per cent, along with improved vehicle supply. Naturally, the Linebooker platform provides full visibility, tracking updates and data on all subcontractors,” explains Linebooker CEO Naudé Rademan.
Linebooker, he notes, works with the top-rated transport companies in South Africa to solve your truck supply issues. This means that you have access to 501 transport companies with 15 900 trucks and growing, while you also have a choice between fixed lane rates with a service level agreement in place, and/or variable rates.
“Linebooker is designed to help you move stock on a fixed lane-rate basis – with guaranteed supply or variable lane rates – utilising any of South Africa’s top-rated transport companies that are operating on the platform.” – Naudé Rademan
“From its start-up stage in early 2017, Linebooker has created a level of disruption in the industry that continues to grow. Over the past few years, the company has grown to provide critical freight services to several large South African blue-chip companies and brands, mega farmers, mining organisations, and other businesses both large and small.
“We did not set out to disrupt – the central business idea is not complex, although translating the idea into a total online solution was a different story. But essentially, it was a very simple change that caused the disruption – our platform created instant transparency in a marketplace that up to that point had very little,” adds Rademan.
A Better Technology
From a South African perspective, the logistics industry and, particularly, the road transport sector is a significant part of the economy, with an estimated annual spend of R274-billion (total logistics sector estimated at R480-billion), according to Business for South Africa’s April 2020 report on the importance of the logistics industry in South Africa.
“Clients today are mostly exposed to Transport Management Systems (TMS) as the most-sold term when transport technology is involved. These types of systems usually provide a one-dimensional solution in a closed circuit. Linebooker technology allows customers to better manage their current transport service providers with full visibility and tracking updates for any number of subcontractors on one platform. Plus, the platform offers the ability to connect instantly with all other top transport companies in South Africa on fixed lane rates or ad hoc lane rates for urgent loads.”
Rademan explains that Linebooker technology allows the company to match loads with available trucks quickly, connecting customers to hundreds of pre-vetted transport companies, allowing them to choose who they want in their subcontractor pool, while also ensuring they receive trucks at the best lane-rate levels in the market.
“For customers, lower costs are always important, and Linebooker’s transparency and large network certainly deliver significant savings. But we know that the real long-term benefits for a customer sit in the efficiency created by the technology, outside of lane-rate cost only. Customers see much better vehicle supply consistency, as they can communicate efficiently with current service providers or request trucks within 30 minutes from the platform’s large active supply base.“It should be obvious to anyone looking at the speed of new technology developments today that, to remain competitive, it is critical to begin utilising new technology solutions. When considering a technology solution, such as a TMS, consider cost, the complexity of contract terms, implementation timelines, and the ability of your employees at all levels to use the technology without training,” Rademan adds.
This is where Linebooker sets itself apart, he continues, as it aims to provide clients with an easy-to-implement platform that is cost-effective enough that even small businesses can afford and implement it easily. With this platform, they can manage all their transport operations in one place while maintaining full control and choice on lane-rate pricing and the service providers they use.
An Automatic Business Continuity Plan
Linebooker aims to be the platform that improves the lives of all players in the transport industry by providing customers affordable easy-to-implement technology to manage all their transport operations and engage with any transport company in South Africa, which Linebooker has already vetted and approved as credible operators.
“Businesses have realised the benefits of online technology-driven ways to manage their operations, giving them more speed and flexibility and allowing them full visibility while staff are working remotely. We do believe transport operations that have traditionally been run manually without any visibility will continue to migrate to integrated platform solutions to manage this,” says Nick Hoffman, the company COO.
“For customers wanting to access the bidding marketplace to arrange transport, the customer experience is fully integrated. Any customer can register online, gain access to the platform, and book a truck without any intervention or contact required with the Linebooker team unless requested.”
He points out further that, until now, an industry bane has been the difficulty in engaging or co-ordinating with the many quality transport companies in the country to ensure a consistent supply of vehicles throughout the year. This, he says, is the key to Linebooker’s platform; its technology allows customers to use an unlimited number of transporters, chiefly because the challenging issues of load planning, allocation, tracking, proof of delivery and payment are all automated on the platform
“Customers often take on significant business supply chain risks because they do not have immediate access to a larger fleet of trucks at times when their volumes, routes or truck types change. A business continuity plan in most cases does not exist,” says Hoffman. “Linebooker is that automatic business continuity plan, offering nothing less than access to just under 16 000 trucks via one vendor.”
Automation and Live Updates
A key challenge faced by sales managers is that they previously had no live access to data on transport movements or costs, making it very difficult to manage customer service. In addition, although transport is in the top three costs for businesses, there has been, to date, little oversight of costs due to the lack of proactive data visibility. Once again, Linebooker has resolved this difficulty as the platform provides live visibility and data dashboards for sales managers, which enables them to drive better decision-making while also improving customer service and reducing costs.
“There are no pricing standards in the industry to guide customers and transport companies on what relevant market lane rates on certain routes and seasons should be. The Linebooker platform, meanwhile, acts as a self-regulating marketplace and delivers lane-rate pricing that is driven by market dynamics, making it a true indication to customers and transporters of lane-rate levels,” explains Hoffman.
“We understand that daily booking of trucks and following up on load progress is a manual process that wastes significant amounts of time, which could be better spent on core functions, like managing factories or warehouses, not to mention customer service. Moreover, transport costs for cargo owners are often inflated by around 15 per cent, simply because of manual interactions with a limited number of transporters.”
Rademan suggests that a lack of transparency and real-time data in these traditional brokerages and manual dealings results in inflated supply chain costs. The transportation markets are increasingly volatile, he adds, due to many current economic and social factors impacting the industry.
“Linebooker’s focus has been on providing customers with technology solutions that deliver accountability and transparency while addressing challenging transportation environments in a large, old-school and under-regulated market.
“To this end, all load bookings with transporters and all load progress updates happen live on the platform for users to see in real-time. This means that operators only have to deal with anomalies – on average around 5 per cent of the time – historically, they spent 100 per cent of their valuable time dealing with booking trucks and following up on load progress.”
The Future of Trucking
When using traditional systems, the customer also does not have a view of the total pool of transporters available in the country, meaning they end up selecting from the same group with significant indirect influence on noncompetitive pricing. Having immediate access to a larger pool of transporters reduces costs and increases service levels via better availability of trucks.
“We also understand that for transport companies, cash flow is one of the biggest business risks as customer payments are regularly delayed, and companies do not necessarily have the customer leverage to resolve the payment delay and/or the cash flow to continue operations until payment is made,” says Rademan.
“Linebooker takes on this risk on behalf of transport companies. We guarantee payment and handle payment delays from customers. As another bonus, transporters can also choose to fill up with diesel at the best market rate through Linebooker Diesel Assist, using their Linebooker payment balance, thereby increasing transporters’ leverage to take on more loads.”
In South Africa, logistics and supply chain decision-makers are finding themselves in an increasingly tricky, crisis-driven world, he notes. Contingency plans, business continuity, and cost reduction are top priorities and a reason for the increasing use and popularity of co-ordination technologies and platforms in supply chains.
“Linebooker is having a significant impact on the country’s transport economy, and there remains wide scope for growth. In just four years, we have signed up a vast array of small, medium and large businesses, including several blue-chip clients. This has lowered logistics’ costs for clients, streamlined load allocation to providers, increased operational execution, and allowed complete transparency, with live visibility of all load statuses and automated reporting any time.
“Between enabling truck availability within 30 minutes through open bidding, and no more than one week for a full business-specific transport technology solution, Linebooker is the answer to your logistics nightmares. Transport platform, digital freight matching, call us what you will, Linebooker is the future of trucking,” concludes Rademan.
Benefits of Using a Transport Platform
Transport companies that embrace transport platforms gain the benefit of:
- quickly finding loads without the payment risk typically attached to new or unknown cargo owners
- better cash flow management because of guaranteed on-time payment
- reduced empty legs and administrative documentation burdens
- access to lower fuel prices via bulk fuel procurement
- tracking technologies that reduce the workload on control room operators
- lowered insurance and finance costs
- improved agility in the supply chain, thanks to increased market participation between
- customers and transporters on the platform, which is enhancing collaboration opportunities.
Linebooker has revolutionised transport and logistics, offering customers and transporters a digital solution that is simple and transparent. For more information, contact Linebooker at +27212016969 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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