1 Why eShipCo?
We looked at the transport and logistics landscape and identified the need to share data between forwarders and carriers or between carriers and the need to cope with the increasing number of owner drivers. The transport and logistics market is changing rapidly, leading to mergers and acquisitions on the one hand and increased fragmentation on the other hand. Combined with the lack of skilled drivers and trucks driving around empty, the urge for collaboration in the industry is imminent.
As a part of Trimble Transport and Logistics, we can look back upon years of experience we gained in the industry, entirely based on the loyalty of our customers who share our passion for incomparable quality, attentive service and immaculate automation. With a total installed base of more than 80.000 units spread across Europe, we strive for better active collaboration, virtually unlocking its capacity to the fullest. We believe that by actively contributing to the supply chain, each contributor gains: as a shipment owner/issuer, you can add reports and communicate about topics, as an executor/issuer you can intermediate or split the shipment between a private and dedicated fleet and as an owner driver you are presented with accessible onboarding. Owner drivers only need a smartphone and mobile internet. The fundamental idea of sharing shipment information in eShipCo is a top-down process: you ask someone further down the supply chain to execute a shipment.
2 Who Is eShipCo Intended For?
eShipCo aims to onboard forwarders, carriers and owner drivers. In turn, each forwarder or carrier can work with other forwarders, carriers and owner drivers. Owner drivers will only be able to share a shipment with other owner drivers.
3 Is eShipCo A Freight Exchange Platform?
eShipCo exchanges shipment execution data when an agreement about the exchanged freight already took place. The overlap with existing Freight Exchange platforms is small (inviting preferred collaborators or publishing shipments to the community) and where possible, eShipCo would like to team up with Freight Exchange providers in a joint effort to bring supply and demand together.
4 Who Are Collaborators?
Collaborators are account owners in eShipCo who can invite other collaborators to execute shipments. eShipCo distinguishes two kinds of collaborators: the so-called “LSPs” representing forwarders and carriers operating via the eShipCo desktop application and the ”Owner drivers” using the mobile web app on a smartphone in the truck. They both have to sign up on the eShipCo platform. In the “LSP” accounts, the account administrator can add or remove users who belong to the corresponding company. The eShipCo concept is about sharing shipments between eShipCo accounts, so you don’t have to give access to your account by creating users who belong to other accounts. This avoids cumbersome user role and time window management with respect to certain shipments. eShipCo already takes care of this issue by design, provided that you are actively contributing to a cascaded shipment process.
5 How Do I Sign Up?
Forwarders and carriers can directly sign up via the eShipCo website or when receiving a shipment collaboration request. Existing Trimble customers will be asked to provide their unique Trimble customer ID (FleetWorks account ID) in order to link the eShipCo account. The eShipCo account is instantly created when you complete the signup form. You will be notified by email. Owner drivers should be invited by registered carriers or forwarders in order to sign up with their mobile device.
6 Can I Create A Closed Group Of Collaborators?
In eShipCo, each collaborator can create and maintain a list of preferred, trusted fellow collaborators. Based on an invitation for a shipment execution request, these collaborators can then subscribe to the eShipCo community (collaborators are not automatically subscribed). Invitations are sent using email or social media (Facebook, Google+).
7 Can I Extend My Network?
In addition to sharing shipment information in a closed group, shipments can also be published to the entire eShipCo community of subscribed forwarders and carriers with a matching shipment profile. That’s right, we already filter subscribers
who are active in the same business as yours. This way, there’s a higher chance that your shipment will be noticed by relevant contributors and it’s less time-consuming as well. You will also be notified when other known or unknown collaborators publish shipments matching your profile.
8 To What Extent Are Others Informed About A Shipment In Progress?
The collaborator creating a shipment is the highest in rank, owning the shipment: by inviting other collaborators, all execution steps are returned by all subsequent collaborators until the shipment owner is reached. Collaborators or external people who are not part of this sequence will not be informed about a particular shipment progress. If you are a carrier and your customer (e.g. the forwarder) wants you to provide shipment updates, then the forwarding party should own the shipment and invite you (the carrier) via eShipCo. In order to own (create) shipments, you have to sign up for an account (signing up is free). Don’t hesitate to use the contact form if you have questions and we will be happy to get back to you.
9 How Can I Use My Telematics Solution?
Except for the Trimble OBUs (those capable of handling tasks), eShipCo does not directly interact with other OBU vendors. We rely on the TMS partners to map the shipments back and forth with a possible blend of onboard units. TMS systems are typically integrated with the majority of telematics partners, including Trimble. The TMS partners are positioned between eShipCo and your onboard units: they receive the shipment requests, dispatch them to the fleet and return the shipment states back to eShipCo. From there, your TMS will act as the only gateway to eShipCo (eShipCo is not an asset-tracking service). FleetWorks customers without a TMS can use the embedded integration between eShipCo and FleetWorks/FleetCockpit to send shipments. The resulting tasks can then be dispatched to their Trimble onboard units. A one-to-one integration with a FleetWorks account can only be set up if the eShipCo and FleetWorks accounts belong to the same Trimble customer.
10 How Do I Connect With Proprietary Software?
eShipCo provides a comprehensive API for third-party e-fulfilment integrations. All functionalities available via the eShipCo web platform are also available via the API, where collaborators are able to execute shipping-related transactions without direct use of the web platform. Your proprietary back-end will then act as the only gateway to eShipCo. For integration support, please use the contact form and we will get back to you.