The use of real-time visibility (also known as digital load tracking) technology has grown immensely over the last four to five years. What used to be a nice-to-have service offering for freight brokers and 3PLs to provide to their customers has become a mandatory service offering for many freight brokers and logistics providers. Not so long ago, real-time visibility was only required by the larger shippers. Today, shippers of all sizes often require that freight brokerage and 3PL businesses like yours meet minimum visibility KPIs to broker their freight.
In this blog, you’ll learn why digital load tracking is so important to shippers, the efficiency benefits it provides to the entire supply chain, and how it can reduce risk for you and your carriers.
Shippers Expect It
A recent survey from Blue Yonder indicates that 88 percent of businesses have dealt with disruption over the last year and nearly 60 percent cite customer delays as their number one supply chain challenge. It should be no surprise then that another recent survey found that nearly 60 percent of shippers consider real-time visibility a requirement for freight brokers and carriers that want to tender their business. It’s clear that real-time, digital load tracking is here to stay and if you’re not providing visibility data to your shippers in real-time, it’s possible you could lose their business to a competitor who can. Shippers want access to real-time load tracking for good reason: it helps them keep their customers informed of delays and recognize inefficiencies in their operations.
Digital Load Tracking Saves Time
Freight brokers and logistics companies that use real-time visibility platforms like Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity can reduce or even eliminate check calls to drivers and carrier dispatchers. Instead of picking up the phone to call a carrier or driver to ask for an ETA, your team members can view the real-time location of the truck and load in your TMS in a matter of seconds. Many carriers and drivers have come to embrace digital load tracking because it reduces the number of phone calls they receive from brokers, which makes their operations more efficient. With Smart Capacity, if your shipper uses Macropoint, FourKites, Project44 or another shipper visibility software, you can automatically share visibility data with them in real-time, saving your shippers time, as well.
Real-Time Visibility Reduces Risk
Any time that a trucker has to answer a check call or text message from their dispatcher or from your team regarding their location, it increases the risk of the driver getting into an accident. Unfortunately, even if the driver is using a hands-free headset, the conversation can be distracting, forcing the driver to listen to what’s being said instead of concentrating on the road ahead. Using digital load tracking reduces these risks for the driver and reduces the risk of damage to the load as a result of a collision. Real-time visibility technology also can come in handy if you suspect freight has been stolen, gone missing or hasn’t made it to its final destination as planned. You can view the time stamps and stops on your digital load track to investigate the matter further.
Tracking Loads Digitally Helps You Retain and Win New
When you’re able to provide start to finish real-time visibility, it levels the playing field so you can compete with large freight brokers and 3PLs and gives you the opportunity to win the business of bigger shippers. With Smart Capacity, you can easily show documentation of your carrier visibility compliance rate and percentage of loads tracked from start to finish to prospective customers. Brokers and logistics companies that use Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity for load tracking often are able to meet and surpass the visibility KPIs of some of the largest shippers out there.
“We’re able to give our customers this high level of visibility and that is huge,” Loadsmith’s Business Analyst Catharine Keown said in a recent interview about the 3PL’s use of Trucker Tools’ technology. “Some of our customers require 80 percent or even 95 percent tracking success and our ability to meet those metrics has definitely increased since we started using Trucker Tools.”