Brokerage-focused TMS Transforms Operations
SEL Supply Chain Solutions is a third-party logistics provider (3PL) providing over-the-road (OTR) and intermodal transportation services across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. To support its rapid growth, SEL implemented the cloud-based Descartes Aljex™ transportation management system (TMS). By automating time-consuming manual processes, SEL simplified and streamlined operations to increase productivity, strengthen carrier relationships, and boost top- and bottom-line growth.
The Challenge: Inefficient Operations Stall Growth
SEL offers a diverse range of load types, including truckload, rail, drayage, flatbed, expedited, and temperature-controlled shipping, using an expansive network of independent freight contractors. With 60,000—and growing—approved carriers under contract and 200 sales reps working with those carriers to develop long-term partnerships, SEL’s business was expanding at a rapid pace. Driven by a vision to build the best freight contractor model in the transportation and logistics industry, SEL was searching for an efficient brokerage-focused TMS that could automate, optimize, and scale its transportation operations to increase load productivity and improve margins while ensuring a frictionless experience for its valued network of freight entrepreneurs.
“To support our explosive growth, we needed a scalable, user-friendly TMS that was purpose-built as a brokerage solution. Descartes Aljex—and the Descartes team—stood out from the crowd, helping us to automate inefficient manual processes and bring our most commonly-used tasks onto a single screen to improve visibility, streamline daily tasks, and increase productivity. We grew from $13M in revenue to $51M in one year by adding Descartes Aljex to the team!”— Dennis Martin, President/Chief Entrepreneur Officer, SEL
SEL (Serving Entrepreneurs in Logistics) Supply Chain Solutions is a Top 150 logistics company offering transportation solutions in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Based in Fort Worth, TX, SEL operates its business through a network of independent freight contractors to provide Truckload, Temperature-controlled, Flatbed, Over-sized, Drayage, Expedited, and Intermodal shipping service.
The Solution: Streamlined Operations Drive Growth
With full EDI/API and all major load board integrations, the user-friendly Descartes Aljex TMS helped SEL simplify and scale its transportation logistics, enabling the 3PL to procure, plan, optimize, execute, and settle freight movements with full visibility and less friction.
“We view the brokers in our carrier network as freight ‘entrepreneurs’ and an integral part of the SEL family. With the aim of empowering these entrepreneurs to succeed in the 3PL space without sacrificing work/life balance, we want to provide a seamless and efficient carrier experience, from onboarding through day-to-day operations,” said Dennis Martin, President and Chief Entrepreneur Officer of SEL.
“The automated Descartes Aljex solution simplified and accelerated our entire transportation workflow with fewer steps—from sourcing and qualifying carriers, rate acceptance, and dispatching to invoicing, accounting, and carrier payments.” Typical of customers who invest in Aljex, SEL’s broker staff experienced 20%-25% time savings, freeing them up to pursue higher value activities, such as finding new loads and customers.
By boosting the efficiency and productivity of the team, Descartes Aljex helped SEL expand its carrier network and increase load volume to support growing demand. SEL reduced operational costs and increased profit margins with easy access to actionable data on lane pricing, market conditions, performance, and quote and rate history—helping the 3PL to better anticipate demand and secure the best rates. In turn, by employing a state-of-the-art TMS, SEL witnessed a 10% decrease in staff departures, as well as improved carrier relations.
SEL integrated Descartes Aljex with a range of applications, including QuickBooks, DAT, Truckstop, HubTran (EDI), MyCarrierPackets, and Carrier411. “These intuitive and seamless integrations are critical for driving efficiency and elevating the performance of our team, whether accessing load boards, automating billing, or managing accounting tasks,” noted Martin.
He added, “The Descartes team’s understanding of the freight brokerage industry and transportation logistics is exceptional, and the Descartes Aljex platform stood head and shoulders above the other TMS options we evaluated.”
Descartes Aljex eliminates time-consuming manual processes and boosts operational efficiency by automating SEL’s daily tasks and EDI communication, such as load board posting, lane rate comparison, rate confirmation, carrier acceptance, and load tendering.
Reduced Operating Costs
Designed by brokers for brokers, the easy-to-operate Descartes Aljex TMS automatically determines the best mode, lane, and rates. SEL can scale the volume of freight shipments with less effort and labor to expand revenue and improve profit margins.
Descartes Aljex helps SEL improve planning and decision-making by defining the most efficient transport options based on the 3PL’s own parameters, e.g., cost, lead time, or number of stops—saving SEL an estimated 5%-10% in freight spend. Real-time data with customizable reports help SEL achieve operational excellence.
Stronger Carrier Relationships
Using Descartes Aljex, SEL is giving carriers more business, increasing their utilization, and helping them achieve a healthier work/life balance. The automated TMS ensures seamless and efficient rate acceptance, load dispatch, and carrier payments.