New Technology in 2016

Courier Magazine: Tell us about how FM2 Logistics Solutions was founded and how you discovered it would be beneficial for LTL carriers and shippers to work together?

Kirk Godby: For the last several years, I’ve tried to figure out how the industry can get more involved in the supply chain. The questions are: “How do you do that? Who do you call? Do you call individual companies?” And for about the last year and a half I was working on a project with a LTL carrier, and it became evident to me that our industry could get involved in the supply chain by marrying up with LTL carriers.

They (the LTL carriers) are the ones that have national clients. They’re the ones bringing the goods to market — this is really perfect timing. There are more people shopping online for bigger things, an increasing demand for local residential delivery, and FedEx and UPS are increasing their surcharges — all this stuff is getting pushed into the LTL world. The problem is that it gets difficult for the LTL companies to provide this final-mile solution because they aren’t equipped for it. They are great at what they do — dock to dock. They also get product line-hauled across the country, but at the end of the day, they don’t have the right equipment to do the final-mile piece. The final-mile piece is now becoming driven by the customers, and they’ve (the LTL companies) had to try and figure out how to do this.

I had about 20 different meetings with various LTL executives and companies over the past three or four months. The result of those meetings is always the same: We are desperately looking for a solution; we never knew you guys were out there; and we would love to explore this (services) further.

So, during this project it became clear that this was one of those bigger opportunities for our industry — but you have to have a way to connect these people. That’s where Logistics Solutions came into play. We started this company to leverage the data tracks, e-track platform to allow LTL carriers to integrate into the platform one time and then connect to the final-mile courier companies that are integrated into the platform as well — this allows everyone to do business with each other.

It’s going to be interesting to watch all of this develop at our CLDA conference. It’s geared toward the final mile and connecting these folks. We are looking forward to that event and getting all these folks together.

Courier Magazine: How does the technology work?

Kirk Godby: It allows transactions to seamlessly hit your dispatch screen. The courier company can manage its orders and can route it — they can get the deliveries on the trucks the next day and get them out for delivery — there are driver updates, etc. That information flows back through their tech system, into our platform, and back to the LTL carrier — it’s streamlining and we’re the integration point that connects these industries.

Courier Magazine: What else does your company provide?

Kirk Godby: We’re bringing a national network of qualified courier and logistics companies. SCI, a partner of ours, also helps us when we are sourcing certain markets for these LTL companies. We make sure they have the proper insurance, compare the qualifications the carrier has — we’re saving them quite a bit of time. Once they see this work and see our final-mile carriers do the work they do, you’ll see LTL companies use these services.

Courier Magazine: How is your company connecting with LTL companies?

Kirk Godby: I went to a conference in January, the SMC3 conference, which is like the CLDA of the LTL world. That was eye opening. I had various meetings, networked, and made connections. After the conference, I followed up; flying around the country, meeting teams, and presenting our solutions. (Through making connections, Godby’s company LTL carrier - it’s streamlining and we’re the integration point that connects these industries.

Courier Magazine: What else does your company provide?

Kirk Godby: We’re bringing a national network of qualified courier and logistics companies. SCI, a partner of ours, also helps us when we are sourcing certain markets for these LTL companies. We make sure they have the proper insurance, compare the qualifications the carrier has — we’re saving them quite a bit of time. Once they see this work and see our final-mile carriers do the work they do, you’ll see LTL companies use these services.

Courier Magazine: How is your company connecting with LTL companies?

Kirk Godby: I went to a conference in January, the SMC3 conference, which is like the CLDA of the LTL world. That was eye opening. I had various meetings, networked, and made connections. After the conference, I followed up; flying around the country, meeting teams, and presenting our solutions. (Through making connections, Godby’s company was able to find clients. One business wanted help in a few markets. Another company needed help in 208 different locations across the country.)

Courier Magazine: Can you share what your company is working on now?

Kirk Godby: We have a couple of value added offerings we plan on bringing to the table. I can’t discuss it at this point, but it will help make life easier from the backend, from admin, from reporting, from billing, etc. And we have some other ideas — taking advantage of more ad hoc, on-demand type deliveries — having some options along those lines.