Freight visibility is vital for your business because it keeps all parts of the supply chain updated on the flow of goods. This reduces the risk of delays or loss, shows places where workflow could be improved, and ensures the success of transactions. Technology improves freight visibility day by day.
The issue is that traditional freight visibility methods tend to be costly and inefficient. Logistics managers still have to contend with malfunctions, human error, and unaccountable events. Without tools to manage these factors, you risk losing track of shipment in transit, generating inaccurate inventory counts, and incurring high costs on damages. Maintaining accountability also becomes tricky.
Fortunately, the shipping industry has benefited from the introduction of state-of-the-art hardware and software into common logistics operations. If you’re new to being a shipper, carrier, or third-party logistics partner, it helps to know how technology improves freight visibility.
Some of the ways it has accomplished this include:
Some companies overbook because they accept as many shipments as possible during busy times, like holidays and peak seasons. They may do this in the hopes of maximizing their profits.
In addition, they may believe that overbooking helps them maintain good relationships with their customers by delivering on time. Unfortunately, this strategy often backfires and leads to delays or missed deadlines for your shipments.
A load board is the best way to ensure you don’t overbook your trucks and trailers. This technology allows you to see where carriers are going, how long they’ve been in transit, and how far they are from their next stop. This feature allows you to plan your routes accordingly and stick to shipping timelines with ease.
Eliminating Cargo Theft
Theft is a critical reason why you need to track your shipments in real-time.
The risk of losing shipments from criminal activity is never zero. So, you should be able to follow where shipments go to address incidents quickly and efficiently. If you don’t have access to such insights, you might not find out about incidents of theft until a few days later once it arrives at its destination. As a result, you’ll receive multiple customer complaints and lose the trust your brand has gained.
Putting transport-management systems (TMS) in place is a good method for reducing the risk of cargo theft. For instance, you can use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to help you monitor every process from loading to drop-off. It allows you to respond to theft attempts before they can fully harm your shipments.
Another easy way to track shipments is by setting up email alerts for each order. This digitalization strategy lets you know precisely when a package will be delivered, so there’s no need for constant check-ins with the shipping service provider or the recipient. This will also allow you to send alerts if a theft attempt has taken place at any point of delivery.
Minimizing Operating Expenses
When your company cannot track the location and status of freight, it cannot prevent inventory losses caused by late deliveries. These inevitably cause customer dissatisfaction, dropping your profits and credibility. Besides that, not having an accurate image of your freight inventory keeps you from scaling your departments to support your operations, leading to unnecessarily high labor costs.
Technology improves this by mitigation through vehicle tracking systems. They let you see real-time insights into how your working fleet is operating. With that information, fleet managers can reroute trucks based on traffic patterns to avoid jams.
Tracking previous refueling dates also enables them to schedule routine maintenance. This feature helps prevent breakdowns on the road, which in turn cuts operating costs.
Boosting Customer Service
If your company has high supply chain errors and delays, you lose more on freight than you gain. The inability to know when items are getting shipped and where they’re going at the moment is a sign of poor customer service and reliability to clients.
But with a global positioning system (GPS) system, you get accurate information about the exact location of your fleet and goods. With these insights, you can send real-time updates to your customers about the status of their products in transit. Doing so assures them you can deliver what they need right on time.
When trucks get delayed at ports or highways due to traffic jams or road accidents, they can hold up other deliveries that are supposed to happen at the same time. This issue results in missed shipments, late fees, loss of revenue, damaged products, and unhappy customers.
With shipment tracking apps, you can determine minor issues that might cause significant delays in freight transportation. In turn, you’ll gain more control over your supply chain while allowing you to make necessary adjustments in the shipment before they lead to significant losses.
Optimizing Shipping Routes
Shipping routes are the backbone of a supply chain. They determine how quickly your drivers can deliver goods and how soon operations can be completed. If you optimize shipping routes, you can reduce costs and secure the satisfaction of your clients. On the other hand, failing to do so risks your business losing valuable shipments, which could lead to costly losses in revenue and customers.
With the help of real-time tracking software, you get to optimize your shipping routes by predicting delays and congestion before they happen. This allows you to avoid detours or having to reroute shipments unnecessarily. In addition, this technology improves and gives you access to historical data about different routes. This information can show your logistics team which ones will be the most cost-effective for specific deliveries.
Enhancing Safety Standards
All of these tracking and measuring devices mentioned throughout this article aren’t only meant to secure goods. Their functions also help advance the safety and security of crew members and truckers. By reducing margins of failure, improving work efficiency, and enhancing protective protocols, logistics workers now enjoy better prospects for their efforts. Increased freight visibility has done a lot to improve the way things work, and who else but they benefit the most from this?
Freight visibility is one of the major concerns of the shipping industry today. For logistics firms to succeed, they must utilize the right tools to keep the flow of goods manageable and efficient. Technology improves freight visibility tremendously. By knowing these innovations, you gain a better perspective of how to achieve modern standards of shipping.
This article was written by Arthur Londino from Small Biz Technology and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.