In an era where most digital brokerages and TMS integrations are indistinguishable from one another, Surge Transportation features a real-time pricing API, the only proprietary software capable of integrating a shipper TMS, automating both customer procurement and carrier booking.
As trucking becomes inundated with faster and smarter technology, shippers are demanding more from their transportation management systems—more capacity and more economy.
Surge Transportation’s emergence as a FreightTech leader shows how quickly the digital transformation of freight transportation is gaining momentum.
Why do so many shippers choose Surge? For starters, it’s compatible. The Surge API is already integrated into cloud-based TMSs and can be quickly integrated into any on-premise TMS.
Shippers only want to increase capacity when the market is up, but get savings when it’s down. “Priorities change as markets change—in a tight market it’s capacity, in a soft market it’s economy,” said Amar Singh, president and founder of Surge Transportation.
Surge’s real-time APIs help shippers stay agile in both markets, Singh said.
“If you need power, we can supply it; if you need to save money, Surge helps with that as well if contract rates are too high,” he said. “This is the strategy for 11 years, the business model has not changed, only now it is a little faster and leaner.
“Our goal by the end of the year and into 2023 is to complete the integration of our additional carriers TMS and to complete the automation of on-board booking and loading of our carriers,” said Singh, adding that Surge already works with 50,000 carriers and with the latest TMS. integration, it will be able to automate the procurement process for thousands of shippers.
“We have a roadmap ahead of us to become one of the leading companies in the industry,” added Singh. “I think we can get there in three to five years.”
Surge plans to include SAP and Manhattan Associates as integration partners early next year. Their addition will strengthen Surge’s growing partner alliance, which includes Blue Yonder, MercuryGate, E2Open, Trimble Transportation, Transporeon and Oracle.
“When we demonstrated our Oracle API speed optimization to their integration partners, they were impressed with what we built, saying it was better than any of the other partners they had in their network,” said Singh. “So I’m hearing more and more that what we have is really significant, not only from our competitors, but also from TMS integrators.”
Surge was born out of a desire to provide reliable capacity while providing a great user experience. Singh’s first experience with TMSes was quite the opposite. As a first-time trucking company owner in 2003, he found the on-premise system he purchased quite tedious for beginners as it relied heavily on do-it-yourself configurations.
But it proved very useful for Singh, who quickly mastered the art of EDI and API configurations as it relates to customer development and profitability. Then in 2011, he applied what he learned to a career as a freight broker.
Surge differentiates itself as a supply chain company first, unlike other digital brokers, which Singh describes as technology companies first and supply chain companies second. Surge’s deep knowledge of customer, carrier and warehouse pain points is what ultimately guides its technical focus.
“A lot of the feedback I get from customers is that we have a better understanding of truck loading; a first-hand understanding of service requirements along with technical requirements sets us apart from our technology-based competitors,” Singh said, attributing his success to his extensive trucking resume.
“Unlike many brokerage executives, I have experience in trucking, driving a truck as an employee, then as an owner-operator, and eventually as an owner of a trucking company,” Singh said.
Before founding Surge as an independent brokerage in 2016, Singh started in the trucking business in the 90s. At 18, he commuted to a furniture delivery company in the Washington area to support himself through undergraduate studies at George Mason University and graduate school at Georgetown University.
Those summers driving proved so lucrative that after graduating with a degree in English, Singh decided to pursue a career as a trucker.
From driving, running a trucking company, becoming a broker and eventually founding Surge, Singh has made the most of his 20-plus years in trucking. He credits his experience in direct freight to customers for his understanding of customer-carrier relationships, as well as procurement and technology. And the high prices of the 2007-2009 recession showed him the importance of selling not only on price but also on service, which played an important role in Surge’s business model.
In his FreightWaves column, Singh writes extensively about his experiences and provides leadership on current issues. The future of logisticswhich emphasizes brokerage innovation and efficiency to build stronger client relationships.
Winning the FreightWaves FreightTech Award would not only signify how far Surge has come, but also cement it as a FreightTech leader for years to come.
“Earning a high ranking would be a great recognition that we have really carved out a space in the FreightTech digital world to be a long-term player in this space,” Singh exclaimed.
Click here to nominate your choice for the 2023 FreightTech Awards.
Winners will be announced on November 3rd during the FreightWaves F3: Future of Freight Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
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