It’s no secret that freight visibility is a top priority for shippers. American Shipper’s comprehensive Benchmark Visibility Study found that shippers rely on visibility primarily to monitor their shipments, but also for business intelligence and decision-making purposes. As freight visibility has become increasingly important to shippers, it’s become a critical core service offering for both freight brokers and logistics providers. Some shippers may have specific freight visibility compliance and consistency benchmarks that you must meet in order to broker their loads.
Many shippers now require an 80 percent or higher visibility compliance rate on brokered loads. For you as a broker, that means you must be able to provide accurate, start to finish freight visibility to the shipper on at least 80 out of every 100 of their loads. If you’re only barely meeting a shipper’s visibility compliance requirements or falling well short of them, you’re at risk of losing that shipper’s business.
While many load tracking technologies can only deliver 30 or 40 percent visibility compliance, brokers and 3PLs who use Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform average 70 percent or higher visibility compliance. Most of our customers are able to consistently achieve over 80 or 90 percent visibility compliance, with some even consistently hitting the 100 percent visibility compliance mark.
Trucker Tools is able to consistently provide higher visibility compliance rates for several reasons. The real-time visibility tool included in our free driver app is transparent for truckers. Truckers must tap on agree in the driver app in order for load tracking to begin. Once load tracking is started, truckers can easily see the name of the broker/3PL receiving the information. Trucker Tools’ driver app also includes 17+ tools and features that simplify life on the road for truckers. In addition to our real-time visibility tool, truckers can use Trucker Tools’ free driver app to access real-time information on truck stops, rest areas, parking, Wal-Mart locations, weigh scales, routing, fuel prices, restaurants, truck washes and more.
Shippers also require consistent freight location updates. There are typically two types of visibility updates/alerts required by shippers: stop level alerts and in-transit alerts. Stop level alerts are real-time notifications that the carrier has arrived/departed the shipper or receiver’s facility. Real-time stop level alerts help shippers accurately calculate dwell time and better understand their operations. Shippers’ requirements for in-transit alerts may vary. Some shippers may require in-transit location updates every hour or every 60 or 100 miles. Real-time, accurate in-transit alerts allow shippers to manage their resources efficiently and update their customers with accurate ETAs.
Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform uses our free driver app and the GPS technology native to the trucker’s smart phone to provide you (and your shippers) with highly accurate, consistent, real-time location updates/alerts. The GPS technology included in most smart phones identifies a location correctly within approximately 30 feet. You can view the real-time locations of freight either in the Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform or in your TMS. You can automate stop level location updates with the geofencing capabilities included in Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform. You also may customize the frequency of in-transit alerts based on each of your shipper’s individual requirements. Most brokers and 3PLs ping the trucker’s smart phone for a location update every five to 15 minutes once the load is on the road.
To succeed as a broker or 3PL today, you must have a digital, real-time visibility system in place that can deliver the visibility compliance and consistency that your shippers require. At first glance, you may think that accessing the trucker’s ELD device for visibility data is the path of least resistance. The reality, however, is that when you’re working with small and mid-sized carriers and with owner operators, it can be difficult to get permission to access carrier ELDs. Only a small percentage (in the single digits) of carriers agree to share ELD data with brokers. More importantly, each ELD manufacturer has its own consistency and compliance thresholds. For example, one ELD manufacturer may provide in-transit location updates every 100 miles. This is problematic if your shipper requires an update every 30 minutes or every 60 miles. It’s also difficult to aggregate data from multiple ELD data sources.
With Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform, you can control visibility consistency and compliance and meet the standards that your shippers have set. In addition to delivering visibility compliance rates of 70 to 100 percent, Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform’s pickup and delivery confirmations are close to 100 percent, provided load tracking has been set up in advance. Our GPS location pings also are consistently accurate, usually within three feet of the truck’s actual location. Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform and free driver app can be integrated with your transportation management system and with shipper visibility platforms such as MacroPoint, 10/4, Project44 and FourKites. These integration capabilities streamline data aggregation and data sharing.
Read How Can Trucking Raise the Bar for Freight Visibility? to learn how technology and the carrier experience are driving the industry’s approach to freight visibility.
To find out how Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility platform can help you meet your shippers’ visibility compliance and consistency requirements, schedule a demo with the Trucker Tools sales team today.