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SMC3 rolls out volume LTL pricing API

SMC3 explained that volume pricing rates are leveraged by shippers and 3PLs when they need a spot quote for shipments that do not fit within traditional LTL or truckload parameters.

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Atlanta-based SMC3, a provider of LTL (less-than-truckload) technology, data and education services announced this week it has rolled out a new direct-to-carrier volume LTL pricing API (application program interface) offering, which, it said, is delivered through its SMC3 platform and can be used in tandem with its contract rating tool, RateWare XL

SMC3 explained that volume pricing rates are leveraged by shippers and 3PLs when they need a spot quote for shipments that do not fit within traditional LTL or truckload parameters.

“By using this service, customers pay the going rate for the space their freight actually uses, not a previously agreed upon LTL contract price,” SMC3 said. “This volume LTL freight can move on a carrier’s backhaul or chronic empty lanes (a benefit for the carriers) and is priced at spot-market rates, which can save shippers money. Volume LTL can be looked at as a mutually beneficial arrangement among shippers and carriers.”

The company added that SMC3’s volume pricing solution is a “RESTful API” that was built with an a focus on easy and fast integration into transportation management systems, with new customers averaging one week of integration time.

SMC3 COO Brian Thompson explained that there were many factors that led to this new offering. 

“Volume LTL moves account for a small percentage of shipments for both carriers and shippers,” he said. “Even with this fact, carriers are beginning to make spot quoting more accessible to shippers and 3PLs in the hope to fill more backhaul lanes. In the current capacity-constrained climate, it’s important that our customers have all the tools available to them to ensure they can quickly, efficiently secure space for their volume LTL loads. While volume LTL isn’t a huge part of our customers’ day-to-day transportation needs, we still noticed an area where we could make their business processes more efficient.”

Thompson described SMC3’s volume LTL API offering as the company’s next amplification of its SMC³ Platform, which it refers to as the underlying fuel for transportation management systems because it gives TMS users access to unrivaled transactional and analytical APIs that can help them optimize their transportation spend. 

“We are continually expanding our suite of LTL APIs, adding volume LTL to analytical APIs like RateWare XL and CarrierConnect XL and our execution and visibility transactional APIs,” he said. 

When asked to offer up the benefits of Volume LTL for shippers and carriers, Thompson said that SMC3’s LTL pricing API turns the task of compiling spot pricing from an array of carriers into a fast, automated solution.

“Traditionally, securing a volume LTL price has meant exchanging emails and phone calls with a variety of carriers, and spending valuable time following up on queries,” he said. “With our new API, we’re removing that manual process, allowing our customers to save time and optimize the procedure of securing volume LTL rates from carriers. This allows shippers to redeploy resources to revenue-generating activities.”

What’s more, he said that the volume goods can move on a carrier’s backhaul or chronic empty lanes (a benefit for the carriers) and are priced at spot-market rates, which can save shippers money. And he also pointed out that with volume LTL, customers only pay the going rate for the space their freight occupies. 

“Volume LTL can be looked at as a mutually beneficial arrangement among shippers and carriers,” he said. 

Historically, Thompson said that shippers and 3PLs haven’t been able to connect directly to carriers via APIs to generate volume spot quotes, noting that this meant they had to exchange emails or pick up the phone to get the job done. But now that more carriers are embracing API communications, SMC is able to bring its customers transactional, API connectivity to spot volume pricing, he said. 

Thompson cited a few competitive advantages this new offering brings, including:

  • the simple fact that the volume API is part of the SMC³ Platform, which houses solutions that cover the entire LTL shipment lifecycle;
  • the volume API is only one of many pricing APIs, and we are proud to serve customers as a one-stop LTL shop, providing them with the tools to optimize their LTL spend; and
  • Volume LTL data is sent securely and easily through the reliable SMC³ cloud, which handles 50 million transactions each day, with SMC3 treating this data with the utmost care as its customers’ data is their property, not SMC3s product

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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