By Bek Abdullayev, CEO of Super Dispatch
To better serve the evolving North American used-car market, auto shippers and brokers must leverage digital load-matching and transport management technologies to meet delivery goals economically.
From the used car department at your local franchised new-car dealership to Larry’s Melody Motors on Main Street, auto dealers rarely purchase semi-truck loads of cars from a single source these days. Instead, they’re sourcing inventory from multiple sources, including other dealers, private sellers, and auctions, so it best fits its marketplace and price point. As such, shippers need access to multiple one-to-five-car carriers to move assets to meet their inventory challenge.
For these shippers and the brokers who support them, this load-matching to the carrier-supply matrix can be daunting. Managing the process and the number of players involved adds to the burden. Keeping players, their movements, the schedules, and the various paperwork organized, compliant, and moving forward grown to be more than what a shipper can reasonably feel confident managing by spreadsheets, whiteboards, or a good memory.
Enter digital transportation management systems (TMS) that do most of this heavy lifting for them.
A digital TMS explicitly designed for auto transport automates and simplifies the many tasks, and connections transporters and auto dealers make with each other daily. As a cellphone app or computer website, TMS tools help these partners source business, negotiate rates, track transportation, manage payables, and digitally document necessary paperwork and compliance requirements.
Typical TMS functionality includes:
- A pricing engine
- A load board
- E-Proof of Delivery
Carriers, too, are increasingly using this technology to improve their operational outcomes as well.
TMS use reduces freight costs by 8%, reports the research firm ARC Advisory Group. Shippers using a TMS from our company report having reduced average transport times from nine days down to three – and brokers say its use increases their transaction volume without having to add staff to achieve that gain
ResearchandMarkets.com indicates global TMS growth through 2024 at 13.4%. One factor driving the growth, the report noted, is growing awareness of the technology and how it improves customer service.
Forty percent of the participants in a recent transportation webinar cited pickup and delivery as a significant pain point, while 33% cited the need to call in for shipment updates.
TMS use put that information at hand in real-time, resolving those concerns too.
Also, a TMS enables digital load match and price negotiation, eliminating the frustration of telephone calls and the need to upkeep paper documents and records or to access customer lists and files. With instant updates, shippers know where their load is throughout the day, and because of digital recordkeeping, all documents and records are always and immediately accessible in the TMS.
With this technology, users find the right matches, much like travels who use lodging apps like Hotel.com or Travego.com.
For a margin-thin business as small-hauling auto transport is, TMS use helps small businesses operate with greater sophistication, with dispatch, back-end functions, and more in their pocket.
By enabling shippers and brokers to target load needs to smaller and independent car haulers, haulers move more cars more affordably as shippers save on time, frustration, and cost to get their inventories moved.
Ultimately, the right technology platform for your needs must deliver a simple, fast, and positive experience for all parties involved in the car shipping and hauling ecosystem. TMS innovators who continue to focus on solving auto transport pain points will continue to do well.
About the author: Bek Abdullayev is the CEO of Super Dispatch, a software platform for moving cars faster in the auto transport industry. www.superdispatch.com. He emigrated to the U.S. in 2001 from Uzbekistan to attend Park University for business administration and Lehigh University for leadership studies. He now lives in Kansas City, Kansas, with his family.
 “Proven ROI Drives Transportation Management Systems Market Growth,” Transportation Management Systems ARC Advisory Group, July 18, 2019, https://www.arcweb.com/market-studies/transportation-management-systems
 “Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market: Global Industry Analysis, Trends, Market Size, and Forecasts up to 2024,” ResearchandMarkets.com, January, 2019, https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/4757175/transportation-management-systems-tms-market#pos-2
 “Tackling Transportation Pain Points with a Digital Approach,” Blog, Project 44, October 22, 2019, https://www.project44.com/blog/tackling-transportation-pain-points-with-a-digital-approach