Over the past 18 months, the logistics industry has experienced unprecedented volatility, necessitating a more dynamic approach to sourcing transportation capacity and moving goods.
Shippers who sourced carriers through annual contracts have faced an unprecedented number of tender rejections, at times exceeding 25% of total volume. They have also had to deal with dramatic shifts in consumer demand, requiring them to source additional capacity to keep shelves stocked. To rapidly meet these changing needs and ensure cost-competitive, timely delivery of their goods, it’s critical that shippers adopt a more flexible, real-time procurement model.
Rural King is a home and farm goods retailer with128 stores across the United States. Its mission is to provide customers with products at the best price, quality, and service. This starts with making sure that products are always in stock.
To accomplish that, Rural King leverages Market Access, Uber Freight’s novel procurement platform. Market Access lets shippers source capacity directly on the Uber Freight carrier marketplace with full transparency, control on cost, and peace of mind on service.
As demand for products increased during the pandemic, Rural King needed a more immediate means of sourcing capacity. Relying on traditional methods, the team would sometimes have to wait a number of days for carriers to respond. They were limited to the number of carriers their internal load boards could reach and required significant operational work to negotiate rates and secure capacity from carriers.
When Rural King started using Market Access, all that changed. By accessing Uber Freight’s carrier network of more than 1 million digitally connected truck drivers, Rural King’s logistics team could connect with significantly more carriers and streamline its procurement process, saving time and energy.
“Before we had Market Access, when we would get a shipment that needed to be routed, we would go and search for a carrier, post it out on our internal load board, and wait for it to be covered,” says Lauren Goss, Logistics Director at Rural King. “With Market Access, now we’re able to get a shipment in and automatically put it out on the platform for it to start being worked on right away.”
While securing capacity was a major consideration during the pandemic, Rural King also wanted to keep transportation costs in check. Ensuring price competitiveness was key when evaluating whether to use Market Access.
The platform rose to the challenge by providing Rural King with unprecedented transparency and control on rates. By using the price and priority controls Market Access offers, Rural King can fine-tune rates based on shipment priority, set maximum rates, and even manually control the precise price of loads, driving market-leading cost performance, even on volatile and hard-to-cover lanes.
“With such a small logistics team, we have to be very price-conscious with how we’re bringing in freight in our distribution centers,” says Ryan Croy, Logistics Manager at Rural King. “Market Access allows us to get real-time rates and gain transparency that’s unavailable across traditional procurement processes.”
Volatility in the freight market has become a persistent issue for shippers. Many shippers have been challenged to deliver their products to consumers in a timely manner amid supply chain disruptions, shortages in truck availability, and surging demand for products. When service failures occur, they typically have to react in real time to source alternative truck capacity, often compromising on service.
Rural King has been able to maintain market-leading, on-time performance while removing the pressure to react to service failures. Using Market Access, shippers let the market drive the rate needed for each shipment to move, eliminating the incentive for carriers to find alternative loads. Uber Freight also manages the quality of carriers through a series of incentives, removing the need for shippers to manage carrier quality and providing them with peace of mind that their shipments will be delivered on time.
“With Market Access, we have the capability to truly plan ahead and embrace a more proactive logistics business model, which in turn helps us fulfill our mission statement, which is to ensure that we have product on our shelves for our customers while maintaining the low prices that they like,“ says Goss. “[Market Access] is our number one stop for most of our freight.”
Whether your business is a one-person shop or a Fortune 500 company, Uber Freight has the experience and technology to advance your shipping. Follow Rural King’s lead and sign up with Uber Freight today.