Shipping managers know how time consuming and challenging it can be to oversee the transportation requirements needed to ensure their products get to their customers. From sourcing trucks and equipment, and finding the right suppliers to deliver ingredients, packaging, and supplies; to making sure that warehouses are properly stocked with inventory, and having that inventory available in time for customer orders; and with operational procedures, tracking, tracing, and ensuring on-time delivery, all of these components are what make up a shipper’s supply chain. 


Being able to effectively manage these daily operations can become very stressful, and especially when disruptions occur. Some shipping managers spend most of their day babysitting their transportation providers and making sure that they do their jobs correctly. 


When their focus and energy are directed at the daily minutia, less time is spent thinking about how to better streamline their operations, reduce transportation costs, and how to reduce operational inefficiencies that are bogging down their supply chain. 


Managed transportation services are invaluable resources for shippers large and small to help modernize their supply chains, reduce disruptions, and gain visibility over every aspect of their supply chain. This article takes a look at managed transportation services, and offers shippers a guide for understanding and evaluating the different services that are offered from logistics providers.

What Do Managed Transportation Services Offer to Shippers?

Logistics companies that offer managed transportation services offer shippers a detailed plan to tackle every single aspect of their supply chain. Once your company has partnered with a provider that specializes in managed services, the initial goal is to formulate a blueprint for executing scalable growth for both companies. This plan starts by researching and analyzing every aspect of your company’s internal operations and procedures to find ways to streamline processes and optimize your supply chain as a whole. Companies like Zengistics will analyze your company’s trade data, operations reports, financial information, current tech stacks, freight costs and budget, shipping volume, and other data points to target specific areas within your supply chain that can be streamlined more efficiently. The goal is to help better understand your company’s current operation, and provide a roadmap for the future to make your logistics work better. This next section shows some of the ways that logistics companies with managed services are helping the various internal components that make up your current operations.

Carrier Procurement and Shipping Rates

Managed transportation service starts with trucks, equipment, building capacity, and also understanding the U.S.truck market to help your company weather the seasonality that affects every shipper throughout the year. Zengistics helps companies create KPIs that track carrier performance. Using data analytics and historic market data, shippers can build carrier density that withstands market fluctuations. It also helps shippers predict and target market rates for their RFP and mini-bid opportunities so their transportation rates are in line with industry benchmarks.

Centralized Data and Communication

One of the key benefits shippers gain from having managed services for their transportation is the ability to centralize all their communication and data into an easy-to-use platform that provides visibility on their daily operations. Instead of having daily siloed within bloated email servers or company shared spreadsheets that detail POs and load tenders, companies like Zengistics offer a fully integrated and customizable TMS that connects directly into their existing setup. This helps shippers gain sight into their daily communication with carrier partners and customers, as well as helping to improve things like on-time performance and reduce detention costs.

Real-Time Visibility

When you partner with a managed transportation service partner, you gain access to a totally customizable digital platform that gives shippers oversight upon their entire supply chain, from cradle to grave. Zengistics offers customers a user-friendly online software that gives shippers unprecedented visibility over their shipments. Customers get real-time tracking and tracing on all live loads with GPS updates, automated load notifications that notify pickup and delivery status, and also a centralized platform where shippers can search current and previous loads and their shipping status. 

The Business Value of Partnering with a Managed Transportation Service Provider

Beyond the added benefits described above, shippers gain a ton of value when they partner with a provider that specializes in managed services. From the offset, shippers get the peace of mind that their supply chain will run more smoothly by streamlining processes that sometimes hinder operational performance and communication.


A Single Point of Contact

Most shippers have a tendency to silo their transportation providers and share the work and risks in supporting their transportation. For example, some companies develop preferences to have a certain carrier run a specific set of lanes. 


A drayage provider might be siloed to offer services from a specific port that are then transloaded in a facility that is managed by another company. After the load is reworked, an OTR carrier is assigned to haul the load to the customer. The problem with this scenario is that none of these companies talk to one another and therefore all communication is funneled into the shipping manager’s email or cell phone. Each additional carrier in your transportation network multiples the amount of phone calls, texts, emails, load updates, and notifications your company receives. While some companies believe this sort of approach to logistics is a means to mitigate risks, in reality it can provide obstacles in communication and create supply chain disruptions. 


By utilizing a managed transportation service like Zengistics, all communication is accessed through a single point of contact, helping to alleviate the time spent on tracking down a truck status, or searching for a PO number in a bloated email server. This standardization of communication is accessible through a digital platform, as well as the on-demand support provided by Zengistics’ experienced operations team.

Improved Supply Chain Efficiency, Flexibility, and Responsiveness

Managed transportation services also provide customers with access to the leading data and market forecasts in the logistics industry. It’s way more than just shipping freight efficiently, but a flexible on-demand logistics and transportation team that is working to the specific goals and KPIs that will help scale your company’s growth. Zengistics helps customers navigate around supply chain disruptions by strengthening your carrier density, optimizing your shipping lanes, and providing on-demand data analytics that will help your company get flexibility over your supply chain. 

Improved ROI

Shippers who partner with a managed transportation provider like Zengistics get access to an array of technologies that reduce the time and energy spent on manual data entry, load notifications, check calls, invoices, and payroll. Through the power of Turvo, Zengistics offers customers access to a customizable TMS that seamlessly integrates within your existing systems and internal databases, helping to connect and centralize your data into an easy-to-use program. These tools help shippers do things like organize their supply chain, collect and store all insurance documents, BOLs, and load details, custom broker documents, and payroll information. The technology works to supplement your workforce, allowing customers to reallocate labor into positions that concentrate on customer success and expand beyond your book of business, helping to boost revenue growth.

Other Benefits


  • Quality Assurance and Asset Protection
  • Carrier Performance Scorecards
  • Unlimited users and permission settings
  • Nationwide RFP Management
  • On-demand Data Analytics
  • PO and LTL Consolidation
  • Capacity Sourcing
  • Route Optimization

How do you Know if Your Company Needs to Hire a Managed Transportation Service Provider?

Shippers who are serious about optimizing their supply chain and finding methods to help streamline some of their internal processes have probably circled a few key areas that they know need improvement. Whether your company struggles with capacity issues to support customer expectations, or whether you have noticed that your transportation budget has ballooned over the years, shippers have certain push factors that lead them to partnering with a managed transportation service provider. Some of the reasons why shippers turn to companies like Zengistics for managed services are related to:


  • Service issues
  • Rising transportation costs on contract freight and spot loads
  • Lack of technology and visibility over the supply chain
  • Capacity issues surrounding seasonal spikes
  • Stagnant growth
  • Dwindling profit margins
  • Changes in the workforce
  • New business approach to transportation

How to Choose the Right Managed Transportation Service

There are plenty of logistics companies out there, and most 3PLs claim to have the best service, best rates, and technology available. Shippers are tired of getting pitched by freight brokers in general, so what factors should you actually consider in choosing the right provider that offers managed services? For starters, it is helpful to look for a logistics partner that specifically specializes in offering managed services for their customers. With managed services based as the core function of their company, Zengistics was built to help shippers save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from their transportation cost. Second, it is helpful when a transportation service provider has a proven track record of success in scaling growth for businesses. In the case of Zengistics, for example, their company has built a formidable reputation within the craft beer and beverage industry. Their collaborative approach to forming business partnerships has been one of their blueprints of success, and the reason why each day there are hundreds of different shippers that depend on Zengistics for their managed services. 

Other Things to Consider

Aside from the main points described above, shippers should also consider whether their transportation service provider has:


  • A carefully vetted and extensive network of carriers
  • Cross-border freight solutions into Canada and Mexico
  • Award winning proprietary technology
  • Multi-mode transportation
  • A team of friendly logistics experts with decades of experience in the industry

Let Zengistics Help Manage Your Transportation Services

Shippers who are serious about improving the strength and resilience of their supply chain partner with Zengistics for their expertise in helping companies with their managed services. Zengistics offers customers access to their collaborative logistics platform, which gives shippers unprecedented visibility, on-demand data analysis, and a no-hassle solution to help organize, optimize, and standardize your daily operations. Their transportation managed services are transforming how shippers approach every single part of their supply chain, helping companies maximize their efficiencies and profit margins. Zengistics offers a consultative approach to logistics, and it starts with just one phone call. Learn how Zengistics can help your company by connecting with one of their experts today!