When UltraShipTMS set out to develop a solution for logistics IT in 2001, leadership imbued its directives to the talented developers, coders and transportation logistics professionals with a specific philosophy. Simply put, the team behind the UltraShipTMS platform was told to think about transportation logistics as an activity that affects stakeholders far beyond the confines of the transportation department. The resulting UltraShipTMS platform successfully realizes this directive and recent headlines from TransportTopics underscores why this vision was so prescient.
Here’s a fun fact: “Ultra” means “beyond” in Latin and was selected as a name for the company and the software expressly because the mission has always been to produce solutions that extend visibility and control far beyond the business needs of transportation alone. That is why the UltraShipTMS platform provides modules beyond the TMS functions of the UltraShipTMS CORE. A recent issue of Transport Topics posited the following ideas in three separate articles. Viewed through the lens of “going beyond transportation” it is clear to see how the Ultra approach is perfectly suited for the direction the industry is heading.
Headline 1: US Fleet Size Surpasses 4 Million, Report Says
According to IHS automotive, the $4 million figure represents a record in terms of US fleets and the trend toward private fleet growth is also expected to continue to grow. UltraShipTMS led the TMS industry in integrating private fleet management capabilities into the TMS platform, correctly predicting that market dynamics – driver shortages, fuel prices, capacity challenges and other factors – would drive increased usage of private fleets as a hedge. While other TMS providers have begun to offer private fleet management features in their solutions, UltraShip’s 3 year head start in this regard yields a functional advantage in the ability to manage common carriers and private fleet resources from a single screen.
Upstream and downstream visibility for inbound and outbound logistics, all managed from a single platform, enable shippers to maximize not just the movement of freight, but also compliance with regulations, management of fleet drivers and assets and even sales and financial activities.
Headline 2: Facing increased Regulatory, Business Pressures, Private Fleets Seek Assistance with Compliance
Hours of service and restart rules, integration with telematics units now mandated by the FMCSA, Food Safety Modernization Act requirements – these are but a few of the burdens weighing on private fleet operators in the US.
The article notes, “Nearly a third of the (TTNEWS) Top 100 Private Carriers are in the foodservice agriculture and food processing business, and would be directly affected by the new rules, which require increased documentation and tracking of goods in transit.” Another passage from the article quotes Harry Popplewell, president of Sky-Biz Inc., of Virginia noting “a pickup in demand for trailer and asset tracking from oil and gas companies in an effort to get better utilization from their fleet of trucks and more productivity from drivers.”
With the head start UltraShipTMS has in integrating driver hours, telematics integrations and track and trace capabilities for food shippers and other fleet operators, private fleets have no better ally when it comes to ensuring compliance across their operations.
Headline 3: Rules Push Fleets to Outsource Yard Management
Again, UltraShipTMS goes “beyond” the functionality of CORE TMS, offering the kind of low-cost, high impact solution – in this instance, UltraYMS – that helps shippers address the pressing challenges of the day.
While some companies noted in this article outsource the entire yard management function to third party service providers, those wishing to take less drastic and more cost effective steps are opting to take advantage of cloud-based solutions like UltraYMS to put controls and visibility around yard activity. UltraYMS – tied into the planning and optimization functions of Ultra’s LoadFusion Optimizer, as well as the scheduling functions from CORE TMS – enables dramatically improved yard throughput. Upstream and downstream visibility for inbound and outbound logistics, all managed from a single platform, enable shippers to maximize not just the movement of freight, but also compliance with regulations, management of fleet drivers and assets and even sales and financial activities that make the entire enterprise more efficient and effective in competitive markets.