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Using social media to move freight

By Kate Lee | 06/03/2014 | 9:28 AM

Many companies within the logistics and supply chain industries are stuck on the social media starting line.  The reason – “they can’t get past the word ‘social’ and the perception it creates.”  The reality is that social media is a tool that can be utilized to create value and grow your business. 

Over the next four weeks I will be providing examples of companies within the logistics and supply chain industries who have moved beyond the social media starting line and have realized the business value of participating in social media.

Using social media to move freight

Transportation logistics is vital to the supply chain and logistics industries.  For companies within these industries; however, transportation logistics can prove to be challenging to navigate and can prove challenging to the bottom line.

MercuryGate International Inc. and Con-way Inc. are two companies that have used social media to turn transportation logistics on its head – they use social media to move freight.

TweetLoad

Con-way Multimodel, a division of Con-way Inc., launched TweetLoad™ in 2010.  TweetLoad enables carriers to access available loads from Con-Way Multimodel via Twitter.  Carriers who follow @ConwayTweetLoad on Twitter are able to see the latest available shipments as well as links to additional information on the company’s link board.  Load information is updated on Twitter every 15 minutes, meaning that carriers who follow @ConwayTweetLoad have real-time information on available loads.

Figure 1: Conway TweetLoad

Conway TweetLoad

 

Bill Graves, president, American Trucking Associations (ATA): “With this novel use of Twitter, Con-way Multimodal is leading the industry in maximizing the best features of new technology to improve their processes. This is a great example of how innovative transportation companies can make it easier for carriers to do business with them, which will be a benefit to our industry overall.”

View a YouTube demonstration of TweetLoad at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zL7h7kTU1M.

Freight Friend

In 2011 MercuryGate International Inc. launched Freight Friend.  Freight Friend is a free relationship-based full-featured load and truck internet posting service for shippers, brokers and carriers.  Freight Friend creates a private network between transportation partners, and utilizes technology to automatically identify appropriate matches.  The combination of the technology utilized and the relationship-based nature of Freight Friend allows companies to have real-time visibility to book trucks and find freight with companies they trust.

The Freight Friend concept is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Freight Friend

Freight Friend

“FreightFriend is perfect for carriers, shippers, brokers, 3PLs and freight management firms who only want to share information with companies they trust. They can keep their current information in one place, knowing that friends – and only friends – will have constant access. While public load boards fill a real need, they come at a cost – a lot of unknown companies bidding to carry the freight. Private boards are often useful too, but they’re inconvenient to carriers with multiple clients asking them to check their bid portals.  FreightFriend solves the dilemma with a single service where carriers can easily communicate with all of their clients and brokers can find available capacity from carriers they trust.”

Freight Friend is fully integrated into MercuryGate’s TMS and Carrier Management System (Carma). Freight Friend is also available to integrate with other TMS providers.

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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Kate Lee

Kate Lee

Kate Lee is the senior director of research and strategy for Fronetics Strategic Advisors, a Newburyport, Mass.-based consultancy that works with clients in industries including logistics and supply chain. She has over 20 years of domestic and international experience as a writer, researcher, and strategist.



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