Supply Chain Machine Learning

Supply Chain Machine Learning

The IntelliTrans analytical toolkit has evolved over the years from Access databases, Excel spreadsheets, Crystal Reports, and OLAP Cubes to dynamic dashboards and scorecards. All these technologies, however, have focused on understanding past performance.

One of the most exciting developments in data analysis is the rise of predictive analytics and machine learning. Now that we understand what happened and why, we have moved towards predicting what will happen and how to optimize outcomes based on those predictions. The shift in analytical focus from past performance to future prediction is a disruptive force shaping many industries right now.

Using machine learning models, we’re able to provide our customers with better foresight to drive supply chain efficiencies and cost savings.

Early Shipment Out of Route Detection

Our machine learning models are based upon our 25 years of experience, and these models ensure the railroad handling error is caught and resolved as soon as the car displays anomalous behavior – usually before railroads themselves detect an issue. This early detection results in substantial savings, increased car utilization, and improved on-time delivery.

Shipment Exception Management & Prioritization

IntelliTrans also uses our machine learning models to predict trip plans for each trip. Any significant deviation from this predicted plan is flagged for resolution by our operations team with the carrier, which ensures these shipments receive timely attention and resolution.

Dynamic ETAs

We provide dynamic ETAs using machine learning models based on numerous factors, including but not limited to weather, network congestion, and switch schedules. This functionality provides a high degree of confidence around empty car supply, on-time delivery and complete transparency of the predicted whereabouts of every rail car, allowing shippers to remove ‘padding’ from fleet sizes and delivery times.


Fleet Sizing

We help customers optimize fleet size by simulating thousands of what-if scenarios based on probabilistic models. Proper fleet sizing minimizes cost and gives peace of mind that railcar supply is adequate to best serve the market.

Predictive Freight Cost Modeling

We provide accurate freight cost estimates for future shipments by utilizing machine learning models built upon our voluminous shipment and rate data. This enables our customer’s commercial teams to provide reliable quotes to their customers and our customers the ability to create accurate spend reports based on forecasted demand.

Bad Order Repair Duration

We help customers predict the duration of a bad order repair and incorporate that into our dynamic ETA so there is full ETA visibility of every railcar.

Algorithmic TMS Tendering

Algorithmic TMS Tendering

Let’s face it, many TMS products share the same features nowadays. And, with all the noise in the market, it can be difficult to understand what differentiates providers. So, what makes IntelliTrans different? Our dock scheduling feature is unique and so are our predictive exception management capabilities, but the item that really sets us apart is our ever-expanding tendering algorithm.

Our unique TMS tendering algorithm gives load visibility to an ever-expanding set of carriers in a structured, defined order to optimize coverage and cost. Continuous expansion of visibility to carriers means lower-cost carriers can still accept load even when a higher-cost carrier has visibility to it. It also allows more carriers to see your freight when loads are difficult to cover. This method offers substantial savings compared to other transportation management systems that remove the load from each carrier after their time to review has expired. In fact, we found the average cost of carriers that took a load was $110 lower than the highest-cost carrier that could currently see that load. Average savings of $110 per load is impressive in any market.

How Ever-Expansive TMS Tendering Works

Using algorithm templates, shippers and brokers set up automated tendering processes that control carrier visibility of loads and define the order in which they view them. Tendering can be as simple as auto-awarding loads to a private fleet or as complex as multiple tendering algorithms per customer and location, providing load visibility all the way from private fleets to spot bids and load boards.

Tendering Strategies

There are numerous tendering methods and strategies and all our methods can be combined to meet the requirements of your transportation department. Methods can be used across an enterprise, parts of the business, or a specific lane. Example methods include:

  • Least-cost: offer each load to the carrier(s) with the lowest rate on the lane first and expand the offer to additional carriers on a configurable timeline.
  • Auto-award: assign shipments to certain carriers or your fleet.
  • Allocations: award volume on a contractually-committed percentage (i.e., 60% to Carrier A and 40% to Carrier B) or by the number of loads (i.e. 10 loads per day to Carrier A, 5 loads to Carrier B).
  • Service-based: award loads based on carrier service KPIs, which are calculated through our TMS carrier scorecards.
  • Customer-based: award loads based on customer preference for carriers (i.e., all loads to Customer X must use Carrier C).
  • Spot bids: allow carriers who do not have a rate on the lane to provide a bid to take the load.
  • Spot networks: post loads to freight-matching load boards like DAT.

Mock Process

In the offer timeline below, assume that the load is covered at 11:30 am. This means all carriers up to Carrier D can see and accept/decline the load at this time. In other systems, only Carrier D would be able to see the load. If Carrier B takes the load at 11:30 am then IntelliTrans has provided cost avoidance of $200 ($1,200-$1,000). TMS Automated Tendering

Introducing the TMS API Suite

Introducing the TMS API Suite

Our goal at IntelliTrans is to drive successful outcomes for shippers, and helping carriers and 3PLs better serve our shipper customers is a key part of that mission. That’s why we’ve released an API suite to extend IntelliTrans TMS functionality to carrier and 3PL apps, platforms, and enterprise systems. Its REST architecture allows you to do things like gather load details, accept and decline contract loads, and provide location updates.

Traditionally, these types of integrations have involved extensive development time, complex requirements, and significant upfront fees. But with IntelliTrans TMS API suite, we help abstract the complexity so you can start moving freight and scale more efficiently.

What can you do with it?

You can do just about anything you can do using the IntelliTrans TMS app. For example:

  • Search for loads and pull full load detail
  • Accept and decline contract loads
  • Place and revoke spot bids
  • Upload important documents like delivery receipts, signed BOLs, and damage photos
  • Provide location updates and delivery confirmations
  • Accept and decline fixed-rate offers

How do I get started?

We have detailed documentation to set you on the right path and we are more than happy to help you get started. Contact us here to get started!

What’s next?

This is just the beginning. We’re excited about what this new development means for our IntelliTrans customer community, and we can’t wait to see what you build with this new set of capabilities. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Use a TMS to Improve Service and Reduce Cost

Use a TMS to Improve Service and Reduce Cost

2018 – the year of the capacity crunch – has been a challenging year for freight shippers. Not only have they faced significant upward cost pressure, but also declines in service. And, these market dynamics likely won’t let up anytime soon as new and existing environmental factors emerge and persist:

  • Fuel prices and uncertainty around future prices increase.
  • Economic growth increases the demand for freight transport, especially road transport.
  • Service challenges in other modes shift more freight to road transport.
  • Driver shortages continue and increasing qualifications make it harder to become a driver.
  • Regulatory initiatives like the ELD (electronic logging device) mandate are introduced.
  • Financing terms on truck and equipment purchases increase with interest rate hikes.
  • Tighter monetary policy leads to fewer bank loans for smaller, less credit-worthy carriers.

Needless to say, there are quite a few uncontrollable factors at play. Shippers can, however, take a fresh look at how logistics consumers can achieve better customer service without significantly exceeding their budget.

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

— Epictetus


Relationships will always matter, especially in the logistics industry. It’s important to treat your drivers and carriers well – whether capacity is tight or not – and you might find a competitive advantage in carriers working harder to cover your shipments when times get rough. Using a TMS, particularly one with dock scheduling capabilities, is a great way to improve your relationship with carriers. Easy ways to book appointments, update those appointments, and ensure minimal dwell at origin and destination can attract carriers to accept your freight before others – all other parameters being equal. And, if you can audit and pay carrier invoices quickly (with transparency), you are well on your way to becoming a shipper of choice.

For manufacturers and retailers whose costs and quality of service are important, it’s imperative to have processes in place to ensure loads go to transport providers offering cost-competitive rates and high-quality service for each lane. And, to do so quickly and efficiently with minimal administrative cost. Booking a load easily and “instantaneously” is critical; otherwise, the carrier might book a competing load with the same equipment and driver. Which is why having an automated tendering process that gives visibility to an ever-expanding set of carriers in a structured, defined order is one of the best ways to optimize coverage and cost.


The IntelliTrans Transportation Management System (TMS) is a web-based software solution comprised of shipment mode modules that can be used individually or in combination to allow command and control of shipments across all modes of transport.

The truck module of the IntelliTrans Transport Management System (TMS) will assist with procurement, coordination of all transport activities, and execution of loads – reducing time-consuming, error-prone business processes. Administration to manage your needs is simplified, which results in minimal effort in contacting providers, tracking loads, monitoring carrier performance, and ensuring invoice accuracy. The road transport element helps streamline truckload and less-than-truckload operations, optimize carrier selection, maximize carrier capacity, and reduce truckload spend.

The TMS records complete, timely, and accurate data backed-up by data specialists who ensure each shipment has complete data. We also provide interactive data visualizations and data-driven alerts, giving you the ability to ask deeper questions and deliver more meaningful insights in areas like shipment visibility, cost control, and tendering automation. Whether you’re an operator looking to manage shipment exceptions or a strategic, long-term planner, you’ll be able to quickly spot outliers and trends across complex datasets.

Dock Scheduling

Dock Scheduling

The Challenge

The trucking industry loses an estimated $1.3 billion a year waiting at customer facilities to pick up or deliver cargo. One of the top reasons for driver turnover is wasted time sitting at warehouse docks; for truckers who get paid by the mile, time is of the essence. Inefficient dock scheduling and yard operations also negatively impact shippers both in terms of higher rates and lost productivity. In fact, most shippers and consignees estimate their schedulers spend 40% of their time scheduling and managing appointments.

The Solution – IntelliTrans TMS Dock Scheduling

IntelliTrans’ dock door scheduling tool, DockMaster℠, is a SaaS-based application that provides the real-time visibility necessary to make scheduling dock appointments easier and more accurate. By using DockMaster, shippers and carriers can improve communication and reduce errors, improve labor planning and use reporting tools to measure performance.  Shippers use DockMaster to schedule pickups and deliveries by their selected carriers, routing them to a pre-assigned loading or unloading door. And, carriers can schedule dock appointments quickly and easily via DockMaster without having to make time-intensive phone calls.


  • Automatic or interactive scheduling (your choice)
  • Efficient, real-time visibility and communication
  • Business rule customization
  • Advance shipping notifications and proofs of delivery
  • Cycle time and other types of performance reporting
  • Configure an appointment book for any location in minutes based on that location’s business rules
    • 2 doors or 200 doors
    • 4 hours per week day or 24 hours 7 days per week
  • Allow carriers to schedule directly from their browser or require approval for the requested appointment
  • Allow inter or intra-company visibility of load status – a boon to customer self-service
  • Use scheduling as part of a comprehensive IntelliTrans TMS solution, or use it as a stand-alone
  • Use outbound and subsequent inbound scheduling to provide Advance Shipping Notification and Proof Of Delivery up and down the supply chain

Dock Scheduling Software



  • Easy-to-use
  • It’s the cloud – login anytime and anywhere
  • Carriers, keep your drivers on the road – not waiting around at the docks
  • Shippers, achieve labor cost savings, reduce administrative costs, and reduce detention charges from carriers
  • Gain efficiency and reduce congestion at the docks
  • Improve communications with business partners
  • Maximize the use of dock assets
  • Improve labor planning


Carrier Detention                Carrier Detention
IntelliTrans TMS Integrates with DAT’s Load Boards

IntelliTrans TMS Integrates with DAT’s Load Boards

Our SaaS-based transportation management system (TMS) is fully integrated with DAT load boards, enabling shippers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to use a single system to manage contract freight, private fleets, and spot market moves.

By integrating our TMS and DAT load boards, which processes more than an estimated 4.6 million load postings per month, we simplify and reduce the number of steps necessary to tender a load. Instead of having to open several applications, a shipper can now open a single frame and view all the necessary information with immediate access to various functions.

“This enhancement fulfills a fundamental component of our acquisition strategy to merge disparate systems and reduce inefficiencies in transportation systems,” said the president of TransCore. “In a market where capacity is scarce, this simplified design will allow shippers and 3PLs access to a vibrant spot market and increase their asset utilization. Likewise, brokers will have a greater capacity selection.”

DAT Load Board

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