What is TOP?
At S-2international, we pride ourselves on being a recognized leader in transportation management solutions. As part of this commitment, we're excited to introduce TOP: Transportation Optimization Platform. Welcome to the first in a series of six articles explaining TOP, how it works, and the benefits our customers can gain from engaging with this intuitive system.
TOP is a platform for customers who are looking for ways to simplify shipping. S-2’s proprietary system leverages competitive rates across multiple modes with national and regional providers. Using API, S-2 connects customers to a variety of modes and providers so they can easily benchmark and compare rates and transit times, resulting in optimal routing decisions. TOP provides access to leveraged volume rates allowing customers of all sizes to benefit from highly competitive pricing! Let’s take a look at how TOP saves businesses both time and money.
Delivering TOP-Notch Service
At S-2international, we’re all about providing great service and connecting customers with quality shipping options that fit their specific needs. TOP is a direct extension of that. TOP connects you to S-2 negotiated rates with direct carriers, major 3PL rating engines, and rates you have negotiated with your preferred providers. Other rating systems limit you to a singular mode or only the rates that direct you to their services. S-2 allows you to view all available options, including shipments rates that are available from providers other than S-2, including your own negotiated rates, providing you with the best in choice and flexibility. Importantly, TOP allows you to look “across” modes comparing the service levels and rates of LTL and Heavyweight Air Freight, with Expedite and Truckload modes coming soon. This allows your team to choose an option balanced for optimal price and transit time.
Secure access allows you to log in to the system and:
- Quote shipments with multiple providers and transit time comparisons.
- Book and track shipments directly with the selected provider through TOP.
- Receive full historical reports regarding all business activity to use for management reporting, auditing, and even future rate negotiations.
This system allows you to easily benchmark and compare your directly negotiated transportation rates alongside a wide variety of carrier options on a single, easy-to-use platform.
Transportation Management Made Easy
TOP is about making your life easier. When you log into the system, you fill out a few details about your shipment — origin, destination, key dates and times, the size and type of the load, and any specialized services you require. The system analyzes the requirements and delivers a list of providers, their prices, and service commitment. Filter these results by transit time, price, or provider. With a single click, the system loads up results from all the connected sites, allowing users to quickly browse and select the option that works for them.
TOP is essentially a metasearch engine with advanced capabilities to help you choose the transport options that are right for your shipments. TOP holds rates for over 90 National and Regional LTL carriers and major 3PL providers, and provides results optimized to meet the requirements entered by the user. It also includes access to leveraged Heavyweight Air and Small Package rates, and will soon feature Ground Expedite and Truckload rates as well.
TOP Improves Efficiency and Reduces Costs
Inbound Logistics recently noted that duplicated work and failure to engage quality transportation industry experts drive up costs and reduce efficiencies. S-2’s TOP capitalizes on our extensive industry knowledge, carrier relationships, and technology to streamline transportation management, increasing operational efficiency and helping you manage your business better. Whether you’re searching for LTL, Truckload, Heavyweight Air Cargo, or Expedited Ground, TOP, combined with the expertise of S-2's Logistic's Specialists, provides optimized solutions for efficient rating, booking, special handling, tracking and reporting.
Because the system provides expansive, vetted capacity in one place, it cuts down on administrative functions and research time, increasing productivity. Whether customers have simple rating needs or more advanced requirements, they can choose how to use TOP. Need better pricing for your LTL shipments? Customers with smaller LTL volumes can access leveraged volume LTL rates, allowing you to save money and compete better with your larger competitors. Are you a one-person operation, or do you have limited staff in your shipping department? Use TOP to manage multiple loads using not only the TOP technology but also tapping into S-2’s experienced Logistics and Tracking Specialist teams for full logistics support.
A current TOP customer takes a hybrid approach, using the basic rating and booking options. They also have a need for more complicated shipments, including white glove. They use TOP to arrange their linehaul options and rely on S-2 to arrange local white glove pick-ups or deliveries in combination with TOP.
How Can TOP and S-2 Benefit Your Company?
S-2’s customers who are currently using TOP have been sharing the benefits they’ve experienced. Here is a sampling of what we have heard:
- The TOP “system your team has developed (and worked on perfecting for us) has streamlined multiple processes in my day-to-day and that of my team’s day-to-day.”
- The “ease-of-use and ease-of-training, accompanied by your responsiveness, knowledge, and tracking support regularly provided by your team, is a perfect combination to help an ‘air forwarder station’ like ours flourish beyond just the services you assist with!”
- “Efficiencies and improvements like this free up time to follow up on and minimize (and hopefully prevent) any backlog.”
- “Your team has been nothing but helpful, timely, and quick to respond. The team has advised TOP is easy to use and cuts a lot of time out of our normal booking process with other providers.”
It’s easy to learn for yourself how TOP can benefit your forwarding or shipping office. Please get in contact with the friendly team here at S-2international to get more information on TOP or to set up a demo. We’ve been delivering service with heart to our customers for 18 years now, and we welcome the opportunity to get to know you while connecting you to the transport solutions you need. In our next article, we’ll discuss exactly who will get the most out of TOP, and how this innovative transportation optimization platform eliminates complications and hassles for these customers.