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Fusion Logistics blends cutting-edge technology and a customer-centric focus to make inroads in the LTL space
Sometimes you have to move backward to move forward. That’s not a Zen koan – it’s a practical lesson in technology adoption from one of the fastest moving leaders in logistics, Fusion Transport. The New Jersey-based firm is disrupting the less-than-truckload (LTL) niche with a unique approach that synthesizes shipping, storage, and supply chains through smart data management, best-of-breed 3PL tech, and a bit of "backward" thinking.
Fusion was created in 2019 when Hudson Hill Capital acquired the majority interest in Global Transport Logistics and Am Trans Expedite. The union strengthened the new enterprise, delivering over 40 years of expertise in logistics and transportation to the venture. They then developed a first-of-its-kind national LTL consolidation platform designed to service vendors shipping goods to the largest retailers in the country.
The platform enables shippers to move LTL freight with reduced transit times and a fraction of the handling requirements typically found in the traditional paper-heavy LTL network. The approach limits the number of consignees or final retail destinations serviced. Removing additional handling terminals and stop-off points in route dramatically trimmed the loaded miles that freight travels, increasing efficiency while reducing shippers’ carbon footprints.
Many 3PLs and LTL carriers still use a series of discrete actions that lack cohesion to move LTL loads. Truck movements are reactionary and tracked by a flurry of manual processes, ; routes and schedules are established as freight moves through the network, and fractured communication increases the probability of late or misdelivered loads.
“When you think about retail shipping and delivery, everything is extremely time sensitive. So when you're dealing with a provider that's not thinking ahead and is simply reacting, everything is moving through their chain in a reactive sense,” explained Fusion’s CEO, Frank Matarazzo.
Shifting gears to proactivity takes a great deal of planning and organization; Fusion’s methodology focuses on determining the routine movement of goods in advance of the orders that come into a warehouse and creating a focused plan to move them. “We're turning this supply chain backwards, and we're saying, Let's figure out how we get this product from point A to B way faster than by traditional means,’” he said.
Fusion’s customer base is composed of vendors shipping to large retail stores. Their network synthesizes all of the information from these vendors. It eliminates all of the time-wasting peculiarities found in traditional LTL shipping, such as the distances trucks travel with just a cab or an empty trailer between loads, known as dead miles. “The only way to do that is to have somebody orchestrating all of the customers in unison to plan this collective network,” he said. “That's what we're doing.”
Fusion’s approach is substantially more customer-centric than other companies in the space. The proactive nature of their business model demands a high level of collaboration with their customer and involvement in every step of their customer’s supply chains. “I feel like Fusion Transport is the best-kept secret in the industry,” he admitted.
Because they are planning consolidated truckload routes far in advance of the customers’ picking or processing orders in a warehouse, they also need to be part of the discussion when order volumes or requirements change. As Matarazzo put it, “Our business model depends on all of our customers working together to drive efficiency. We are simply the operator sitting in the middle of a complex consolidation effort.”
The core of Fusion’s innovative service offering is network velocity and visibility, so it’s no surprise that they are on a perpetual hunt for creative ways to reduce the transit time for shipments within their network. “Visibility into order location, dwell times, trailer utility, carbon emissions, and so forth provide extremely useful data points for our customers and Fusion.”
The company created FusionChain, a data integration methodology that allows Fusion to normalize data from various sources, and in multiple forms to create visibility into their customers’ supply chains. The data normalization process significantly reduces the customer onboarding timeline and allows for maximum visibility into retailer compliance metrics.
Geographic proximity to their customers is key to the success of the model, and as such the company plans to expand into the Mid-South and Southeast regions in 2023. Fusion is also partnering with retailers to increase the number of locations served by each of their consolidation facilities.
It should come as no surprise that Fusion’s customers are thoroughly pleased by their approach to increasing on-time deliveries, boosting productivity, and reducing costs. In fact, the business is growing faster than Fusion can operate it.
“We have demand in regions where we have yet to set up a footprint,” Matarazzo said. “That becomes challenging because we have to figure out how to service these customers until we have that footprint … but these are good problems to have.”
Fusion Transport provides domestic and international supply chain services and solutions, using company owned assets and facilities as well as a network of land, air and ocean freight transport providers. We integrate our shipping capabilities with warehouse services and an extensive technology infrastructure, to support customers in various industries.
276 Old New Brunswick Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone Number: 800.599.2977
Homepage Link: https://www.fusiontransport.com/