The challenge of visibility – the technology options, ensuring timeliness and quality and accomplishing it reliably and accurately – has been the bane of carriers and brokers ever since the first truck picked up the first shipment, and the customer asked, “where’s my load.”
Yet defining the ideal visibility solution, and understanding how the technology approaches differ remains a challenge.
- What are the choices?
- Who owns the data?
- How do I convince carriers to get on board and give me a reliable, consistent, timely status?
- What does it cost?
- What are the roadblocks and how are those overcome?
When it comes to shipment tracking solutions, not all technologies are the same. Tech providers use different methods and tools. Some use data derived from in-cab Electronic Logging Devices, some from trailer- or cab -mounted sensors, some from smart-phone based apps using the phone’s GPS capabilities, some via EDI or API protocols. Until recently, some were using location signals triangulated from cell-phone towers. And some still use the old-fashioned method – pick up the phone and call the driver.
At the end of the day, regardless of the technology, the most reliable – and important — resource for accurate information is the driver in his truck. And the one thing you cannot do is force technology on the driver that’s inconvenient, irrelevant, does only one thing and that makes life harder for them.
So how do you choose the right technology partner? What questions should you ask? Where is the technology in the maturity cycle? How widely adopted is it? Will it easily integrate or connect with my existing systems? How do I ensure data quality and latency, and high compliance among my carriers?
And lastly, where’s the focus? Because no matter the technology, a successful visibility solution starts and ends with the truck driver. First and foremost, any visibility app must be built for ease of use, and to improve the driver experience. The workflow must be intuitive, mobile-friendly, and convenient. And it should provide the driver with features beyond just tracking – part of an “all in one” app that helps the driver be more efficient, solves problems and makes the driver’s life less stress-filled.
How do brokers understand key issues and make the right choice with visibility technologies? Hear lessons learned and best practices in this webinar discussing how a leading freight broker and their technology partner solved the visibility challenge, dramatically improved carrier participation and compliance, and building a happier and better performing carrier network in the process.
Geoff Turner, Founder and CEO, Choptank Transport
Prasad Gollapalli, Founder and CEO, Trucker Tools