Even before the status of the nation, and indeed the world, was turned upside down by the pandemic and political unrest, the supply chain industry was heading towards a massive and potentially disruptive evolution. Companies were turning to managed multimodal and new peak season technology to unlock new revenue streams. And while current disruptions have brought many issues with freight data sharing to light, it has also clearly highlighted areas which continue to represent core problems. One critical gap business still sees in today’s changing market is the need for end-to-end visibility across the board. A lack of analytical transportation insights and missing automation features can lead to wasted time and energy throughout the supply chain. The problems freight data sharing can overcome, and its benefits will drive improvements throughout the shipping industry.
Many problems plague the shipping and transportation industry today. It can be particularly true regarding multi-modal shipping methods. Common issues caused by poor data access and outdated analysis and distribution process can include many nuances. For instance, slow response times lead to delays and customer complaints. They add up to the inability to accurately project costs and freight spend trends. That results in added costs for fees and miscalculated loads and poor management of docking schedules and drivers. Freight sharing data platforms and automation are needed, too, says Project44: “The recent disruptions have created a lot of flux in the transportation industry. All the challenges and inefficiencies that have been highlighted during the pandemic have only served to showcase the importance of technology in transportation. In a recent survey by Shipping and Freight Resource, 67.6% of participants indicated that they would invest in technology. Supply chain organizations that had already invested in foundational transportation technologies have been in a better position to manage the recent challenges.” To overcome these challenges in the ever-changing market today, freight data sharing and automation must become the focal point of multimodal management and optimization.
The key for any shipping company to stay ahead and keep the completive edge in today’s market surrounds deeper, end-to-end transparency along every link of the supply chain. More transparency makes it easier for managers to innovate and adjust business models to better adapt to new obstacles and trends. Embracing better freight data sharing methods make it easier to meet customer wants and needs, and it better prepares companies to continue delivering sustainable, affordable, and adaptable services. According to The Loadstar, the industry is now “in a transition from older standards adopted by individual transport modes to the current effort conducted by multiple international standards organizations to identify a normalized method of identification of required data that will apply to any seller to buyer shipment, regardless of the transport mode. Any authorized stakeholder to the transaction should be able to access the same data in near-real-time.”
It becomes easier for trusted parties to collect actionable data, share it more readily, and give all involved parties the ability to use the data as they need to. The power freight data sharing can bring these benefits to any supply chain platform.
One of the most significant ways freight data sharing can help improve shipping logistics and make it easier for businesses to survived today’s market is by reducing freight spend over all platforms and shipping modes. Improved freight spend reductions through data includes following a few simple steps, including:
Regardless of what systems are in use, their value declines without enabling freight data sharing. Supply chain leaders should seriously rethink their strategies, look to technologies to increase freight data sharing, and follow the steps above. And part of that process includes using a next-generation TMS that can look beyond individual modes and enable a more proactive transportation strategy.
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