Effective freight management 2020 initiatives will help supply chains stay relevant and competitive with Amazon and the big box retailers. As the world watches the coronavirus’ epidemic spread, the time for rethinking existing freight management 2020 strategies has arrived. More importantly, shippers must recognize that the use of data could solve this crisis and those yet to come. As explained by FreightWaves, the notion of effective freight management goes back to a common need for the use of data and the endless potential for improvement through its proper analysis and use: 

“The only thing better than reacting quickly to customer orders is reacting proactively to customer orders. Many of the freight technologies written about in this article lend themselves well to the idea of serving customers from distributed inventories and strategically placed fulfillment centers. This isn’t anything new.

However, what’s new is that predictive analytics tools are more accessible than ever to smaller and mid-sized freight and warehousing companies that rely on them.

In 2020, they will continue to add value to distributed inventory models by using data from a variety of sources, like real-time demand and historical trends, to help plan where in the country or world key merchandise is staged and which freight companies receive shipments. Among other things, this is how pharmaceutical companies keep allergy medicines in stock around the world.”

To differentiate your business and ensure competitive advantage throughout the year, shippers need to know what they’re getting wrong, how effective freight management requires the use of data in several trending ways and a few best practices for applying such technologies effectively. 

2020 Strategic Freight Management Trends

Where Do Shippers Go Wrong With Freight Management

Every supply-chain professional understands challenges will always exist and realizes that recognizing the problems is essential to finding a solution. Some of the top problems with modern freight management that contribute to loss competitive advantage include:

  • Failure to consider the whole picture.
  • Inability to access elastic logistics.
  • Poor use of robotics.
  • Limited, if any, use of robotics process automation.
  • Reliance on outdated data exchange technologies. 
  • Poor cybersecurity of systems.
  • Inability to look beyond the now. 

Effective Freight Management Requires Data and Technology

In today’s world, effective freight management 2020 strategies must rely on the use of data and available technologies. Think about it; the use of data is essential to practically any use of technology that’s more than a simple motion detector. The same applies to the transportation industry. In a sense, effective freight management that leverages data and technology will result in the combination of several trending benefits and improvements within the supply chain, including:

  • Consolidation of freight will help circumvent an all-out coronavirus disruption.
  • More supply chain visibility through automation will reduce inefficiencies.
  • The ability to benchmark freight spend against competitors will enable continuous improvement.
  • Smaller packages and higher volumes will lead to more data and opportunities to apply analytics.
  • Increased use of technology will increase the utilization of capacity.
  • Technologies in trucks will reduce safety risks and improve driver conditions.
  • New applications of RPA will streamline processes.
  • APIs will finally become the standard for interactions between supply chain organizations.

Best Practices to Freight Management 2020 Success

Assuming supply chain leaders do leverage the right technology, it can be hard to recognize the best steps to take to achieve simplification of the supply chain and still realize profitable operations. As a result, supply chain professionals that wish to stay competitive should apply the following best practices to freight management 2020 strategies and integrate such practices with the aforementioned trends:

  1. Upgrade your TMS
  2. Ensure the TMS offers the functionality and infrastructure to support the above-listed trends in freight management 2020. 
  3. Remember the value of “green” capabilities.
  4. Choose cloud-based solutions. 
  5. Recognize the growing value of blockchain and how it can be applied in your organization. 

Start Implementing New Processes to Improve Freight Management in the Coming Year Now

There’s no perfect way to implement new processes or improve and attain effective freight management 2020 strategies. However, those that rely on data and technologies will find a stronger competitive advantage and improved operational excellence. Of course, that’s only part of the battle to stay competitive, and the remainder lies in making improvements through specific applications of data and new trends to boost every facet of the supply chain. That’s the simple part; the next post will take a closer look at the various trends throughout effective freight management, ranging from inbound logistics through the final mile and well into reverse logistics and back again. Yes, it’s complicated, and it’s the emergence of the circular supply chain.

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