December 18, 2019 | TruckerTools

Real-Time Visibility: Providing Value Across the Supply Chain

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Freight visibility — knowing precisely where shipments are and when they will arrive —  is one of the most significant challenges for the supply chain. When visibility is accurate and continuous, every segment of the supply chain benefits, from truckers and dispatchers to brokers, shippers, and consumers.

If real-time load tracking data isn’t available, the negative effects also are felt across the supply chain. Lack of visibility impacts the service you can provide your shippers, the efficiency of your brokerage/logistics company, your shippers’ dock schedules and driver dwell time.

Trucker Tools’ load tracking solution delivers continuous, real-time visibility that not only reduces the time that you spend tracking loads, but that also provides value across the supply chain — helping both your shipper and carrier partners work smarter.

Visibility Begins and Ends with Carriers

Achieving freight visibility requires collaboration with carriers. Unfortunately, many visibility/load tracking solutions in use today haven’t been created with this collaborative spirit in mind. Most visibility solutions require truckers to use single-function apps that are designed to solely track freight. Because these single-function tracking apps provide no tangible value to carriers, there is little incentive for carriers to actively use apps that only track freight. 

The Trucker Tools driver app is different from single-function tracking apps because it includes 17 plus tools and features that help truckers streamline their daily tasks by reducing the number of apps they use when they’re on the road. One of the tools included in the Trucker Tools driver app is a powerful, GPS-enabled load tracking tool. The additional value that Trucker Tools’ driver app provides to carriers, beyond merely tracking freight for brokers, leads carriers to adopt, use and keep the Trucker Tools’ driver app on their phones. Adoption of Trucker Tools’ driver app typically outpaces the adoption of single-function tracking apps. High carrier adoption translates into more loads tracked for your brokerage. 

Automated, Real-Time Load Tracking Reduces Check-Calls, Increases Operational Efficiency

When a truck approaches the shipper’s loading dock, the driver app’s load tracking starts automatically without any additional action needed from the trucker or dispatcher. You can monitor the progress of the truck and its freight either in your transportation management system or with Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity real-time carrier capacity and relationship management platform. Location information is updated every five minutes so that you always have accurate ETAs. Once the load is delivered and the truck leaves the receiver’s dock, load tracking automatically stops.

Using Trucker Tools’ visibility solution reduces the number of check-calls you need to make to manually track a freight load. Instead of making seven or eight calls to the trucker or dispatcher, you can rely on Trucker Tools’ load tracking to track the progress of freight in real-time on a computer. Replacing multiple manual phone calls with a few mouse clicks on a computer can provide a significant productivity increase for your brokerage/logistics company, leaving you with more time to cultivate new business.

Using Real-Time Visibility Data To Reduce Dwell Time

According to a recent survey by the American Transportation Research Institute, driver detention has increased in recent years. Between 2014 and 2018, survey respondents experienced a 27 percent increase in delays of six or more hours. The survey also found a 40 percent increase in drivers who said delays occurred because of customer actions. In another ATRI driver survey, 79 percent of respondents said that detention had caused them to be late for their next appointment or forced them to cancel their next appointment altogether.

The impact of increasing detention times permeates the entire supply chain. Dwell time is included in hours of service and reduces the time that carriers have to drive and make money, which means there are fewer trucks available in the capacity market. Dwell time also is directly correlated with driver fatigue and a higher likelihood of accidents, according to the FMCSA. Driver detention adversely affects the productivity of your brokerage and that of your shippers, as well. More significantly, dwell time can damage the relationships your business has with shipper and carrier partners.

The real-time visibility provided by Trucker Tools’ visibility solution can help reduce dwell time and have a positive impact on carriers, your brokerage business, and your shippers. When you have continuous visibility of trucks and their freight, you can provide accurate ETAs to shippers and receivers, who are empowered to better manage dock and staffing schedules, which ultimately can reduce driver detention. Tools like Trucker Tools’ Detention Alerts, available through our Smart Capacity platform, automatically alert you any time that a truck is detained for longer than expected. When a Detention Alert is received, you can contact the shipper or receiver to address the delay and get the truck and its freight moving, which benefits everyone.

To learn more about how Trucker Tools’ real-time visibility solution can impact your brokerage/3PL, read Trucker Tools’ Affordable Visibility Solution: Raising Visibility Compliance, Reducing Check Calls and Lowering Costs for Brokers. If you’d like to schedule a demo of Trucker Tools’ Smart Capacity or click the request a demo button below.

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