Providing next-level transparency and efficiency
In 2000, Choptank Transport arose from a need to ship produce and poultry in an ag-rich area known as the Delmarva Peninsula. The company quickly found its niche in the food and refrigerated freight truckload market and later added a full array of specialty services that now include cold less-than-truckload (LTL), dry LTL, intermodal, port and drayage offerings. Choptank is on Transport Topics’ Top 50 3PLs list.
Recently, Choptank found that it needed to make changes to accommodate the company’s rapid growth while improving efficiencies. The time was right to develop an ultra-efficient, proprietary software platform to replace one of the larger software provider’s services. The new program is fully integrated with the company’s robust transportation management system (TMS) to provide a Choptank-centric platform that uniquely fits a company of Choptank’s size and requirements for expansion.
Choptank’s ability to identify, research and fully integrate the latest supply chain technologies into its everyday business model is a large part of its success. It is also a good example of how in this industry, you can’t be a 3PL without also being a tech company.
The goal was to create a product that did everything Choptank needed it to do for its customers and staff, without the extraneous and overly cumbersome enterprise features that some of the more well-known systems advertise. It needed to be fast, simple, thorough and highly efficient.
At age 28, Josh Bergling and his in-house team of software programmers made it all happen. Bergling is the youngest of Choptank’s leadership team, but don’t let his age fool you. Now 29 and the director of business intelligence, he oversees a team of software engineers who are constantly updating, improving and modifying the system’s code.
We stopped by Bergling’s office one day to ask him what it was like being tasked with building such a software platform from the ground up for a multimillion-dollar 3PL.
“It was only possible with the combined efforts of an amazing team. It took about a year to complete, there were a lot of hurdles, as with any software development, but we ended up with a great product,” said Bergling.
What is so advantageous about a customized software solution that integrates most of the company’s data in one place? “The goal of the project was to improve transparency and provide a new level of customer development. There is a lot of data that changes hands in this industry, but historically, access to it has been hard to provide.”
Bergling added, “Choptank’s solution aggregates all pertinent information and puts it into the hands of the right people, the decision-makers, in real time. We use proprietary algorithms and let the data do all the work. It’s also beneficial for our carriers. We no longer need to call a carrier multiple times on a load for location, condition of freight and estimated arrival times. It’s now all at our fingertips.”
One of the most important features of the product is the predictive load-matching capability, a feature that saves a tremendous amount of time when it comes to capacity and finding the right truck for a lane or shipment.
“It’s very important that we stay engaged with identifying the needs of our customers, carriers and our users,” said Bergling, “so I can envision this platform evolving and being a great fit for everyone." For more information on Choptank Transport and its services, visit our website at choptanktransport.com.