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Supply chain and transportation executives from HEB Grocery and Publix Super Markets joined several carrier and shipper companies for a discussion about the benefits of collaboration during Manhattan Associates’ inaugural “Shipper/Carrier” Exchange, which it hosted at its global headquarters in Atlanta Sept. 13.
The event focused on the importance and benefit of collaboration between shippers and carriers, including working together to leverage flexibility, navigating new regulations, and creating a mutual understanding of priorities. Among the group’s goals were to focus on network alignment as a means to drive out transport inefficiencies, and thereby reduce costs.
“Getting freight to market isn’t optional,” said Bob Walmsley, transportation planning manager, Publix Super Markets. “With the current capacity constraints only increasing, if shippers don’t work more strategically with their carriers to create efficiencies, the only other option is to pay higher rates and that isn’t good for anyone.”
Event speaker Chris Caplice, executive director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, supported the collaboration theme with data that revealed shippers who are “carrier-friendly” enjoyed freight rates that were two to three percent lower than the rates of shippers that take a strictly transactional approach to carrier partnerships.
“Over the years, shippers and carriers have applied technology to facilitate transactional interactions with each other and missing opportunities to engage on a strategic level,” said Kevin Quast, COO, Knight Transportation, Inc. “This event helped bring into focus how technology and process refinements can be used to enhance shipper/carrier relations and drive benefits for both parties.”
Barb Pitroski, vice president, carrier and freight solutions, GENCO ATC, added: “It is imperative that shippers work more effectively with their carriers to keep costs as low as possible for customers.”
Most of the participants were users of Manhattan’s Transportation Lifecycle Management suite, which is designed to simplify, optimize, and reduce cost for operational aspects of managing a complex transportation logistics network. One of Manhattan’s goals of launching the event is to ensure its solutions stay current with these users’ evolving needs. Its next Shipper/Carrier event will be held during Momentum 2012 in Orlando, Fla., scheduled for May 6-9, 2012, at the Hilton Orlando.