Artificial intelligence making gains for trucking

Coda Group

This article originally appeared in the January 2019 edition of the TransportTalk magazine

Freight matching platform TNX Logistics is celebrating a one-year partnership with freight management firm Coda Group.

The New Zealand-based start-up formed a co-operation deal with Coda Group in late 2017 to work on introducing artificial intelligence into its transport planning operations.

TNX head of NZ operations Gavin Young says the partnership is proving “a great success”.

“Coda is one of New Zealand’s leading logistics providers handling significant cargo volume nationally across a complex mix of owned asset and contracted solutions.

“Working closely with the Coda team promoted the need for TNX to apply AI practically to their real-world challenges,” Young says.

The cloud-based technology helps Coda to decide how to use owned fleet trucks, and how to tender transport jobs to contract or spot priced carriers.

Its major strengths focus on less than truck load (LTL) routing, scheduling and load consolidation planning as well as full truck load (FTL) continuous movements through smart tendering, routing and scheduling.

TNX generates new transport plans as changes occur and gives Coda staff the opportunity to make the final decision.

Young says it’s about building on the knowledge and expertise of staff to find the “optimal solution” when it comes to transport planning.

TNX provides an end-to-end solution with an easy registration process that allows carriers to have visibility of available transport jobs nationwide.

“TNX will consolidate, schedule, and route-plan cargo orders, from Coda and other shippers, to be both viable and more attractive than single cargo jobs. “Price and all service requirements are included with job offers so carriers can review, match-now or bid for jobs within the TNX website or app.

“Carriers also complete any job workflow requirements in TNX and payment is made to the carrier directly by TNX.

“We’re now working with more than 100 New Zealand carriers and we continue to get good feedback from Coda and other shippers on the quality and service they provide,” Young says.

Coda Group optimisation general manager Dave Christie says the partnership has proved successful in providing “innovative, game-changing thinking and technology” to improve the efficiency of the firm’s transport operations. Christie says this is achieved by providing an AI-enabled solution which helps improve the efficiency of Coda’s fleet by maximising utilisation and margin on the assets.

TNX have also launched the first open digital transport market-place in New Zealand, which matches cargo loads with available transport capacity. “Through the use of TNX’s transport optimisation solution suite, Coda has improved truck utilisation, reduced the amount of empty running, automated the optimisation process and created a marketplace where Coda can find extra cargo loads or truck capacity. “This was critical as we moved into our peak cargo volume season. TNX’s solution is fast, transparent and intelligent – using the latest explainable AI capabilities.

“TNX has delivered on their mantra of ‘more truck per truck’. They have also created a digital freight community that will ‘move the country’,” Christie says.

TNX was founded in 2016 by Alex Hoffmann, Josh Bryan, and Jonah McIntire. It also has offices in Berlin and Chicago. New Zealand was chosen as a pilot market “to serve as a boot camp to intensify the learning process”. TNX has other small and medium enterprise customers and the team are working with other potential customers in New Zealand and in Europe with some more announcements to be made in 2019.

“We continue to see growth from Coda and additional customers and we’re now transacting 125 loads per day on average in New Zealand and, as we move through peak season, we expect this to grow further,” Young says.

“In addition to working with new customers directly we engage with both consulting and integration partners to assist with and accelerate implementations.

“Cargo owners and carriers can request a demo on our website, once approved, it only takes two minutes to get access to our sandbox test environment.”