Echo Global Logistics is redefining partial truckload shipping

As the North American trucking industry navigates a challenging phase, marked by the excess of capacity that ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic, Echo Global Logistics is taking forward-thinking strides in the realm of partial truckload shipping.

It’s well understood that the industry is grappling with stubbornly low freight rates. This situation, while beneficial for shippers, poses a significant challenge for carriers. When the market does turn, there’s a possibility it will overcorrect, and shippers will need to seek out cost-saving options to help them stay on budget.

That’s where Echo’s EchoShip platform comes in.

Jay Gustafson, Echo’s EVP of brokerage operations, in a conversation with Timothy Dooner on What the Truck?!?, highlighted the significance of this strategic move. Echo’s approach to leveraging a blend of traditional less-than-truckload services and a vast network of truckload providers offers unparalleled flexibility and pricing options to its clients.

“The results and the feedback from the shippers have been really positive,” Gustafson said. “It’s helped them reduce time within their own teams’ operations. [Now] they’re able to get this pricing and tender a shipment directly to Echo much quicker than they were able to through email or phone calls in the past.”

This strategic pivot is not merely about adapting to current market conditions; it’s about leading the way in reshaping the future of freight transportation. Echo is positioning itself not just as a provider of innovative logistics solutions but as a guiding force.

Echo’s pioneering role in partial truckload shipping

The difference between LTL and partial truckload shipping is often one of size. LTL loads tend to be between one and six pallets, weighing up to 10,000 pounds. Partial truckload shipping is typically used for loads between 10,000 and 30,000 pounds.

Echo’s journey in the partial truckload sector, spanning over a decade, has been characterized by a unique approach to sourcing and procuring capacity. It diverges from the industry norm of relying solely on traditional LTL pricing and capacity.

Instead, Echo utilizes a blend of these legacy providers along with its extensive network of 55,000 truckload providers. This hybrid model offers high flexibility, catering to a wide range of shipment sizes and requirements.

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The digitization of this mode through EchoShip has been a game-changer. It represents a significant leap from the manual processes that previously dominated the sector. By harnessing hundreds of thousands of data points, Echo has transformed partial truckload shipping into a more efficient, accessible and cost-effective option for shippers.

This digitization has also enhanced operational efficiency for Echo’s clientele. This holistic approach to catering to various transportation needs has made EchoShip an invaluable tool in the logistics arsenal of many shippers.

Echo’s strategy focuses on creating a seamless and integrated experience for shippers and carriers. The company’s vision for the future includes expanding its network.

Impact and advantages for shippers and carriers

For shippers, the transition to partial truckload on EchoShip has resulted in a substantial improvement in service quality. EchoShip’s digital interface allows shippers to access competitive pricing for partial truckload shipments quickly, a task that previously involved time-consuming email exchanges and phone calls.

One of the standout features of EchoShip is its comprehensive coverage of domestic over-the-road transportation types. This integration has made EchoShip a preferred platform for many shippers, who now find it easier to manage all their modal needs through a single interface. Such convenience and efficiency have allowed them to focus on other critical aspects of their businesses.

For carriers, Echo’s expanding network offers a unique opportunity to engage with a diverse range of shipments. As Gustafson points out, Echo is continually looking to grow its network, inviting truckload carriers to explore this niche market. This invitation aligns with Echo’s vision for the future, where expanding modal capabilities and embracing digital solutions will be key drivers of success in the logistics industry.

“If there are truckload carriers that work with Echo that want to get involved in this unique niche, please reach out to us and we’ll get you connected with the right tools to find this freight,” Gustafson said.

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Source: freightwaves - Echo Global Logistics is redefining partial truckload shipping
Editor: FreightWaves Staff