RateLinx has revolutionized freight auction with our Auction Module carrier software, a simple-to-use tool that allows our customers to create a shipment that will be bid on by as many carriers as they want to invite to an auction. It gives you the shipping intelligence to get the best price, best service and best carriers.
The RateLinx Auction Module isn’t merely a load board where anybody can bid on your freight. We always recommend that our customers invite brokers and asset-based carriers to their freight auctions. This ensures that they have capacity (using brokers) and competitive prices (using asset-based carriers). As one customer told me, the only thing worse than high-priced freight is freight that stays on the dock, and that’s why having brokers ensures the capacity exists to move the freight.
Customers using ShipLinx with the Auction Module are able to leverage the integration with their ERP/WMS. They type in an order number and ShipLinx pulls the ship-to address and shipment details automatically from their ERP/WMS. A ship-via code translates to the Auction Module to tell ShipLinx to transmit the shipment information to the carriers and then begin the auction. The user can check the status of their auction at any time using the ShipLinx history screens and they see the amounts being bid by each carrier. Once the auction is completed, the user is notified through ShipLinx or an email, and ShipLinx prints the bill of lading.
Get The Best Freight Rates, Better Carrier Relations and Real Accountability
The best business relationships are built on trust, honesty and mutual benefit. That’s exactly the type of shipper/carrier relationships RateLinx’s Auction Module helps you build. That’s because the Auction Module provides total visibility and transparency on the cost of the shipment. Each shipment is created with a starting bid based on a rolling 90-day historical average for the given lane. This ensures a reasonable price. Then, as each carrier bids on the shipment, and the price is lowered, the carriers can all see what the lowest price is so far, though they don’t know which carrier entered it. This has the dual benefit of removing the guess work and risk for the carrier and ensuring that the shipper receives the best possible price.
RateLinx software can also guarantee that you actually pay the rate quotes and that the shipments are being delivered on time and correctly. This is done through the Auction Module’s integration with Freight Audit. Now, a customer’s spot-quote can be audited to ensure they pay the correct amount. Other systems do not have a way to match the auction results to the invoice. Often, these shipments go un-audited with the risk of paying substantially more than the auctioned amount. With RateLinx, the price you’re quoted is the price you’ll pay.
Improve Your Carrier Network With Shipping Intelligence
Another advantage is that customers can now see how their carriers are performing. The system allows you to quickly see how many loads a carrier is bidding on, how many bids per load are being entered, how many shipments are being won by a carrier and how many times a carrier wins a load but doesn’t show up to pick-up the shipment. This can help you weed out poor carriers but also provide you a powerful opportunity to help develop your carrier network. I’ve seen our customers use this data to work with lower-performing carriers to help them improve in areas they were deficient. This provides the shipper with more options in the long run. This is just another example of how RateLinx data-based, transparent approach to shipping auctions benefits all parties involved.
The RateLinx Auction Module also makes it easier to take advantage of ‘backhauls’ (cargo carried on a truck’s return journey), which can be hard to find for both the shipper and the carrier. For example, a customer of ours worked out a deal with a major beverage company that has its own fleet. The beverage company had empty trucks they wanted to find loads for so they wouldn’t ‘deadhead’ (the industry term for operating a truck with an empty trailer) it back to their own distribution centers. The customer invited the beverage company’s private fleet dispatch department to their auction. So, whenever there was an empty beverage truck moving in a lane that the customer had freight, they were able to pick-up the freight and recoup their fuel costs. On the other side, the customer was able to add additional freight capacity and save money.
Complete Control of Your Freight Auctions On Any Mobile Device
We are proud to announce that we’ve brought the power of RateLinx ShipLinx Transportation Management System and freight Auction Module to iOS and Android with our RateLinx Mobile App. It allows you to bid on shipments, enter tracking information (pickups, delays, and deliveries) as well as search for payment statuses on invoiced loads.
With the power of smartphones it just made sense to go mobile and give the carrier another easy way to win shipments for our customers and have the visibility they need to their payments. It also allows our customers to obtain their tracking information in real-time from all of their carriers, sparing them the time-consuming process of setting up EDI and receiving tracking information hours after the event occurred. This is very important for many of the large retailers who require pickup information to be in their system before a carrier can make an appointment at their distribution center. This can become a problem because the drive time from the pickup to the distribution center can take less time than it does for the EDI message to be transmitted and received.
If you would like to know more about how RateLinx’s Auction Module and mobile app can make your carrier relations more efficient and cost-effective, please contact us.