Problems with the global supply chain are not new, but they are somewhat unprecedented at the level they have climbed to in 2020. The supply chain coronavirus issues have pushed the supply chain — and many suppliers — to their breaking point. Fortunately, there is time and opportunity for the supply chain to recover. With adjustments to how multimodal transportation is done and the right type of TMS for any company, it is becoming easier to bring the supply chain back on track and keep freight moving worldwide. Additionally, issues surrounding resilience and AI focus on many suppliers, along with other essential trends in multimodal shipping that can help companies keep their freight moving toward its destination. What worked at the beginning of the year still works, but perhaps not quite as quickly now. That means adjustments are required, and a new standard needs to be found. Here are some of the most important things to know about multimodal transportation in 2020 and beyond. 

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1. Keeping One Carrier Per Load Will Continue to Reduce Costs

By remaining with multimodal transport options instead of breaking up the carriers and bills of lading through intermodal means, costs will be kept low. According to Globe Newswire, “Multimodal transport systems have become the backbone of international trade – to reduce overall transport and handling costs within the supply chain while responding to the demand for just-in-time, door-to-door cargo services.” 

Getting goods quickly and efficiently remains extremely important, but so does keeping the transport costs as low as possible. Multimodal is an excellent way to do that and continue to be successful in the future. Trends are moving more toward multimodal transportation and less toward intermodal choices that may not be as efficient or cost-effective for most companies. The right TMS, coupled with multimodal options, is the wave of the future. Of course, there will always be times when intermodal transportation may be necessary. Regardless, all freight managers should consider multimodal options too.

2. Tracking the Bill of Lading Across Transport Methods Will Be Easier Than Ever Before

With the right TMS, it’s easier than ever to track the bill of lading on its multimodal transportation journey. But choosing an automated TMS takes effort and skill. It’s very important to get the right TMS for a company’s needs to ensure the preferred mode or combination of modes is the best option and will provide the highest value. Trends indicate that the future of shipping and the supply chain lies in improved tracking without increasing costs or making the experience more difficult for anyone along the way. 

3. Prescriptive—Not Only Predictive—Analytics Will Add New Insights

Predictive analytics were a popular trend for some time, but now the key to the future of multimodal transportation lies in prescriptive analytics instead. A Forbes article addressing issues in predictive and prescriptive analytics offered information on how prescriptive analytics works, stating that, “Beyond providing information, prescriptive analytics goes even one step further to recommend actions you should take to optimize a process, campaign, or service to the highest degree.”

The ability to recommend actions is a significant one, and it’s one that comes with having the right programs and people in place. As AI advances and TMS becomes better at everything it can handle, seeing prescriptive analytics move freight even more efficiently will be worth noting. Additional insights are always valuable, as they tell a company more about what it needs to succeed in the future. 

4. The Multimodal Transportation Process Will Become More Streamlined

Streamlining the multimodal transportation process can be done through a quality TMS and a focus on making sure the bill of lading is handled correctly. While not every company has what they need for vital shipping, the trend is for multimodal transportation to be much more commonly used as the go-to option of the future. A stronger focus on it now can help a company be more prepared for what’s to come, so they aren’t behind their competition as the need for a quality experience with the supply chain continues to grow.

It’s Critical to Choose the Right TMS That Can Handle Your Multimodal Needs

The right TMS matters. And finding what a company needs to succeed is more easily done when working with the right options. Supply chain leaders need to realize that these top trends in multimodal transportation will stay far past the disruptions of today. Fortunately, the Cerasis Rater is a powerful TMS that can offer companies access to multimodal options worldwide. With a quality TMS, companies can take what they already do well and move it to the next level.

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