5 Steps to Build a Dynamic Routing for Inbound Freight: How to Give Your Vendors a Better Carrier Mix

As explained by Inbound Logistics, the inbound freight routing guide defines carrier selection and mode of transportation criteria for vendors and suppliers to send freight to your business. With the evolution of technology, more shippers have moved toward a digital routing guide, which opens the door to a new realm of possibilities, dynamic routing for inbound freight. Shippers need to understand the problems with maintaining a simple, stagnant guide, how dynamic solutions give vendors more options and how to implement a digital, dynamic guide as well.

Stagnant Routing Processes Lead to Problems

A static inbound freight routing guide was a traditional resource for managing three to five carriers and a handful of dock deliveries. Unfortunately, the complexity of the average supply chain has grown extensively. The average shipment may see more than 200 touch points from manufacturing to delivery at your location, and the diverse group of vendors working with your organization may all follow different processes for scheduling inbound freight and shipping. However, avoiding these issues through dynamic routing for inbound freight offers many advantages over traditional, static routing guide.

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Dynamic Routing for Inbound Freight Gives Vendors Flexibility

Today’s supply chains have access to a deep pool of data. GPS, real-time location services, Bluetooth, RFID, and wireless technologies provide a means of generating and aggregating data. Such data may reveal insights into current operations, helping truckers, carriers and shippers work together to adjust to changing environments. Any asset or operation can benefit from dynamic routing for inbound freight management. Since all operations have a root in inbound freight, deploying dynamic routing gives shippers control over inbound freight spend, while providing vendors more options to utilize. 

Dynamic routing is also about much more than just managing shipping schedules. Dynamic inbound routing processes can help with allowances for freight costs, take advantage of freight consolidation and put your negotiated rates on the table for vendors’ use, asserts Material Handling & Logistics. In addition, the ability to back-bill vendors for routing failures remains a critical component of using a dynamic routing guide.

How to Develop and Implement a Dynamic Routing Program

Finding the best path to implement dynamic routing program is not always clear. Why differences may exist within your organization, and the volume of vendors you do business with can make sharing simple guides via
the cloud difficult at best. To streamline the implementation of a dynamic routing program, shippers should follow these steps:

  1. Balance your routing guide approach. Balancing your routing guide means ensuring all aspects of your organization dedicated same attention and time to unique inbound shipping issues. Also, the inbound freight routing guide should take advantage of the resources available to each vendor, based on location and size.
  2. Think mode over carrier. When creating your dynamic routing for inbound freight management guide, it is essential to think about mode over carrier-specific criteria. Even with preferred carriers, specific modes may offer discounted rates, resulting in lower inbound freight costs and better profitability.
  3. Base the guide on the logistics strategy. Your inbound freight routing guide, although dynamic and scalable, should also align with your overall logistics strategy. In other words, it should take advantage of all available resources at your disposal to streamline operations and inbound freight scheduling.
  4. Use technology to automate guide navigation. Modern technology, including a transportation management system (TMS), can help shippers automate the processes for dynamic routing for inbound freight. As a result, the guide lives within the platform for managing freight itself, ensuring vendors have access to appropriate information and only successfully schedule inbound freight deliveries within the guidelines and rules within the guide.
  5. Communicate with vendors and suppliers. Any plan for launching a new dynamic routing for inbound freight management guide is only as effective as the number and compliance of vendors that utilize it. As a result, it is crucial to communicate with vendors and suppliers of changes to your traditional routing guide and why is changes are occurring.

Bring Your Inbound Freight Routing Guide into the Modern Age Now

Supply chain management technology is evolving at a phenomenal rate, and shippers have an excellent opportunity to expand the ability of vendors to handle inbound freight scheduling and increasing available carriers through a modern TMS. Ultimately, the dynamic routing capabilities ensure shippers tender all inbound shipments for the appropriate mode, transportation time, costs, carrier and other unique considerations for such shipments.

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