FMIC Pulse –  Using Machine Learning and Real-time Data to Take Your Transportation Strategy to the Next Level

| By Matt Harding | Vice President, Freight Market Intelligence Consortium | Chainalytics |

Those of us tasked with managing transportation budgets know firsthand that transportation freight markets are volatile and difficult to predict, often resulting in service disruptions or missed financial targets. Seeking to keep their transportation cost and service in control, global and domestic shippers have relied on our market-leading Freight Market Intelligence Consortium (FMIC) solutions for well over a decade. Buyers submit their data and receive comprehensive market intelligence within their supply chains and across the broader market. The FMIC benchmarking solution has been pivotal to the success of members across all areas of the supply chain, and we take great pride in our service and our partnerships.

Unsurprisingly, advancements in technology and machine learning continue to transform how we analyze and use data to increase efficiency. Until this point, the economic viability of real-time benchmarking hasn’t been feasible; however, the innovative powers of technology have brought new capabilities that further enhance an already well-established market intelligence platform. Taking advantage of technological progressions, we here at FMIC now possess real-time reporting, giving members access to what is now happening in the market. These advancements also enable a deeper understanding of collective route guide performance by analytical classification of new inbound contract rates relative to existing active rates, retired contract rates and the ever-changing world of the spot market, granting us a real-time view of market pricing forces previously unavailable.

Using an advanced analytical framework, including real-time data transfer combined with machine-learning and forecasting techniques, FMIC Pulse allows our members to sense, measure and predict changes in transportation markets – including spot, contract and forecast rates. We built FMIC Pulse on an analytical platform that has served over 200 major firms processing nearly $40B in annual freight spend across all major truckload modes including dry van, flatbed, intermodal, bulk, LTL and temperature controlled freight.

Our goal is to make managing complex transportation budgets easier, and FMIC Pulse is designed specifically for Truckload Shippers who are under constant pressure to reduce costs and maximize service in the transportation market with real-time market intelligence and advanced analytics. The solution can be utilized for any organization who buys truckload transportation and can provide weekly transportation transactions. With no formatting or data manipulations required to participate, receiving market updates is easier than ever.

Markets constantly change and bidding strategies need to adapt according to current realities. From the time you decide to bid your network, until the time you negotiate with your carriers, market conditions can be considerably different. Understanding what is fair – yet competitive – is essential to developing sustainable partnerships. FMIC Pulse provides shippers with:

  • Complete View of Spot and Short vs Long Term Contract Markets – Until now, our market intelligence either focused more on contract rates or on the “wild west” of the spot market. With FMIC Pulse, we can now give shippers a complete view of the market and how their network is performing within a combined billions of rate market intelligence.
  • Focused on more than just rate benchmarks – FMIC Pulse tells you not just how pricing changes are affecting other buyers, but more specifically how route guides and contracting processes are evolving and performing within the market.

  • Instant data updates – The need to wait for benchmarks no longer exists. Even more beneficial is the elimination of  tedious data formatting processes and guidelines that delay report generation and rate tool availability. FMIC Pulse processed 3 years of rate data – totalling over $300MM from a single shipper – in less than 30 minutes. Weekly updates take seconds to process.

  • Uses the latest technologies to track market conditions – FMIC Pulse uses technologies that integrate machine learning into transactional data flows ensuring quality control, analytical sophistication and repeatability. Our visualization platform offers many company specific and market specific views – and you can modify or build your own – FMIC Pulse user have authorship credentials which provide the flexibility needed to adapt the solution to your custom needs.

Increasing market visibility and rate predictability is essential to maintaining efficiency across transportation networks. Implementing real-time market intelligence into an organization’s transportation strategy allows it to make decisions based on where the market currently stands, creating increased sustainability between partners. Knowing the true conditions in the market has never been more important.

Matt Harding is vice president of Chainalytics’ Freight Market Intelligence Consortium (FMIC). Chainalytics’ FMIC provides strategic freight market intelligence, benchmarking and comparative analysis to its members in a private forum.

Read more about how FMIC and Chainalytics help our clients navigate a complex transportation world:

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