With a keen focus on shifting how large shippers purchase truckload freight transportation services, Minneapolis, Minn.-based global logistics services provider and freight forwarder C.H. Robinson this week rolled out a new free technology offering, entitled ProcureIQ.
Company officials said that this offering which leverages data from the world’s largest shipper and carrier community “to disrupt the decades-old tradition and one-size-fits-all annual bidding approach to freight transportation,” was developed at Robinson Labs, C.H. Robinson’s innovation incubator. And the company added that ProcureIQ offers up a personalized, data visualization of a shipper’s lanes, or routes, which is integrated with C.H. Robinson’s freight marketplace data, which is comprised of billions of transactions from more than 200,000 unique carriers and shippers and 18 million annual shipments.
“We know our customers are looking for more predictive analytics and customized approaches,” Bob Biesterfeld, president and CEO at C.H. Robinson, told LM. “People are looking to technology that gives them an improved way to purchase all kinds of things from airline tickets to car insurance. We don’t think buying freight transportation should be any different. Procure IQ was designed to modernize and enhance the way transportation is purchased for large shippers of U.S. truckload freight. It provides a personalized, data visualization and analysis of an individual customer’s shipping lanes, or routes, to unlock the optimal way to purchase transportation.”
What’s more, he added that ProcureIQ delivers innovation to the traditional annual bidding approach to buying freight transportation by providing an opportunity to analyze each specific freight lane through a comparative pricing, volume and service analysis.
“This uncovers where shippers could capture increased savings and service reliability by purchasing that transportation outside of the traditional annual bidding process and confirm where the annual RFP is the optimal choice,” said Biesterfeld. “Procure IQ inputs customer shipping needs and data, including lane origin and destination and volume estimates, and then integrates that information with C.H. Robinson’s unmatched dataset filled with billions of transactions from a community of 200,000 unique carriers and shippers and 18 million annual shipments. Using this information advantage along with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, Procure IQ provides shippers a custom visual analysis with tailored recommendations for optimal procurement and capacity strategies for each shipment.”
And the top C.H. Robinson executive also observed that Procure IQ has helped large shippers uncover that up to 60% of their routes would capture an increase in savings and/or service reliability by purchasing that transportation outside of an annual bidding process. This statistics, he said, is based on running more than a billion dollars of freight transportation through the tool in collaboration with participating Beta testing customers.
As for the biggest competitive advantages of ProcureIQ, from a C.H. Robinson perspective, Biesterfeld said the company is modernizing a decades-old way the entire industry buys transportation in order to drive better outcomes for shippers.
“At C.H. Robinson, we are laser focused on solving customers’ toughest supply chain challenges and using our technology and information advantage to their benefit,” he said. “We have access to the world’s largest shipper and carrier community, which means we have an unmatched dataset filled with billions of transactions from a community of 200,000 unique carriers and shippers and 18 million annual shipments. Integrating this vast freight marketplace data helps us unlock the optimal way for our customers to purchase transportation, which allows our customers to cut costs and increase service reliability even in this volatile market.”
Late last month, C.H. Robinson announced it is taking steps to integrate 19 transportation management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems into its flagship technology offering, Navisphere. Navisphere is the company’s single global technology platform, which provides end-to-end visibility, consistent business processes, and strategy-driven business intelligence on a global basis and is used by CHRW employees, customers, and service providers to manage transportation and sourcing activities globally.
These recent technology-focused announcements made by C.H. Robinson do not come as a surprise, given how just about one year ago it announced it was making a major investment in innovation, advanced technologies, and talent. The driver for this stems from in-depth customer research, according to the company. The investment comes in the form of $1 billion to be allocated in technology over a five-year period, which the company said is twice as much as it previous $1 billion in investment into technology over the last ten years. In terms of personnel, C.H. Robinson has more than 1,000 data scientist, engineers, and developers.
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