- Schneider is investing in Mastery Logistics Systems, "providing capital and expertise" for the development of Mastery's transportation management system (TMS), MasterMind, according a press release Monday. The logistics provider will integrate the cloud-based tool into its Quest platform and other systems. Mastery has begun a phased implementation within Schneider's brokerage business.
- According to the press release, MasterMind can help Schneider's supply chain and its partners with management, decision making, resource allocation, and visibility into goods and processes across the organization, transportation modes and work streams. Schneider CEO Mark Rourke said the TMS would help "accelerate the blending of our asset and non-asset worlds."
- "Our largest shippers use 3PL capacity, including trailer pools and drop-and-hook trailers. The key benefit for them, and for our largest carriers, is increased efficiency," a Schneider spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Supply Chain Dive. Wait times for loading and unloading trailers at warehouses have strained carriers and shippers, dropping efficiency and, ultimately, profitability. "We don’t want to rush the process, instead we are eager to create something that is tailormade."
Schneider told Supply Chain Dive in an email that it believes the partnership with Mastery will help it get "ahead of the changes we know are coming to the digital transportation marketplace – next week, next year, five years from now,  years from now."
This is the latest in a series of investments by Schneider to increase visibility and streamline processes — a technological trend, especially in freight brokerage, where Schneider reported volume growth in the "high single digits" in Q1 2020.
The carrier, which posted a net income of $42.9 million in the first quarter this year, has made significant investments its Quest platform.
"We're accelerating our investments in technology, particularly in decision science and automation. The net effect of these actions is a revised full-year 2020 guidance number of $260 million, down from our initial guide of $310 million," CFO Steve Bruffett said during the company's Q1 2020 earnings call.
On that call, Rourke said 80% of orders for the company's for-hire TL business are processed using automation through Quest. At the time, Schneider was also in the process of automating dray fleet dispatch.
Schneider and Mastery aim to "set industry standards for service, efficiency and freight operations — particularly for organizations with a large, complex footprint," Jeff Silver, CEO of Mastery, said in a statement emailed to Supply Chain Dive.
In October, Schneider and Truckstop.com teamed up to launch "Book it Now," a brokerage program that coordinates instant load booking. The companies touted visibility as a key advantage of their solution, calling it a "seamless, transparent load booking experience."
A month later, Schneider announced it would use artificial intelligence (AI) and an application programming interface (API) to provide shippers with estimated load arrival times updated in real time. With more current knowledge of a shipment's status, shippers can plan better and adjust supply chains accordingly to maintain efficiency.
Coyote Logistics, which Silver co-founded (and left after it became a UPS subsidiary), recently launched a dynamic route optimization (DRO) tool, providing visibility to all members of the supply chain.
MasterMind claims to be the "first cloud-based TMS for shippers, brokers, and carriers to support all business units and operations, in one place," according to the Mastery website. It offers asset-based carriers tools for visibility and asset productivity, asset-light brokers tools for workflow automation, and shippers tools to tie visibility into their supply chains with access to carrier capacity, according to statement from Schneider emailed to Supply Chain Dive.
Although it did not disclose the deal's terms, Schneider said its investment in Mastery is similar to the investment it made last year in Platform Science. The carrier announced in September that it deployed the enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) platform, working with Platform Science to launch its fleet management technology.