To measure the efficiency of different last-mile delivery operations, keep a check on operational expenses and ensure flexible deliveries it’s imperative for shippers and carriers to embrace data-driven LTL (less than truckload) solutions.
In fact, as much as 71% of shippers said real-time analytics from 3PLs help them better understand shipping alternatives. On the other hand, 98% of 3PLs said that improved, data-driven decision-making is essential to the future success of supply chain activities and processes.
The rapid rise in popularity of eCommerce and evolving delivery expectations from customers have made LTL-shipments an extremely attractive means of executing deliveries. Having said that, even though LTL shipping has become an efficient means of transporting freight, its full potential will remain unexploited if shippers do not deploy a robust data-driven LTL solution.
From providing real-time visibility, helping shippers choose carriers to simplifying auditing processes, here are some key benefits of data-driven LTL solutions.
High Levels of In-Transit Visibility
A major reason why the Amazons and the Alibabas of the world are investing in cutting-edge data-driven logistics solutions is to gain greater levels of visibility when goods are being transported. Without adequate visibility of freight movement, it is almost impossible to deliver goods on time, increase customer experience, reduce shipping risks and shrink expenses.
A data-driven LTL solution generates real-time data of goods in transit. It empowers shippers to have information regarding a truck’s location, unnecessary diversions, delays, and other such exceptions, at their fingertips. It makes managing trucks from multiple carriers easy. Shippers can access disparate delivery KPIs of trucks belonging to different carriers on a single dashboard, instead of separately visiting individual carrier websites. High levels of in-transit visibility allow shippers and carriers to respond quickly to emergencies and update customers on delivery status. It leverages real-time delivery data to execute a thorough stoppage analysis to eliminate opportunities for theft and pilferage for future trips.
Intelligent Carrier Selection
Partnering with the right LTL carriers is crucial for ensuring smooth and cost-effective delivery operations. In countries like the US, only a handful of large LTL carriers dominate the market resulting in higher shipping rates. Therefore, when it comes to choosing carriers, a data-driven LTL solution is what businesses need. It allows shippers to lay down custom rules while selecting LTL carriers. These rules can be based on consumer preferences, service type, geography, volume, TATs, manual priorities and others. It enables shippers to get quotes from transporters in real-time during sudden demand spikes and carrier unavailability exceptions. It automatically allocates the right load to the right LTL carrier by analyzing the historical performance of previously availed carriers.
Crafting Delightful Customer Journeys
Be it LTL or FTL, B2B or B2C, keeping customers at the heart of delivery processes is vital to ensure repeated business. Customer experience is a major competitive differentiator in this day and age, and this is making shippers ensure high levels of delivery transparency with regards to end-customers. To respond to increasing demand enterprises today are dependent on more than one LTL carrier to execute deliveries. From a customer perspective, this becomes a challenge as tracking shipments carried by multiple transporters becomes a problem for them.
An LTL solution not only ensures delivery transparency but to make tracking less complex it virtually hides 3PLs from customer view, establishing a direct relationship between the shipper and customer. A data-driven LTL solution keeps a customer updated with real-time status of her delivery. It also conveys information about delays or any other exceptions.
A data-driven LTL solution powered by intelligent bots enables carriers to quickly capture special delivery instructions, changes in location or a reschedule request. It then seamlessly ties this information into the delivery workflow to ensure adherence to change in customer requirements. Such a solution also archives customer feedback on delivery performance and allows shippers to use the same to better plan carrier networks.
Simplifying Auditing Processes
Inaccuracies in transportation billing can make shippers lose thousands of dollars. Leveraging an LTL solution shippers can quickly understand which carriers usually cause the maximum number of billing inaccuracies and make adjustments accordingly.
A data-driven LTL solution helps finance teams validate carrier invoices by analyzing electronic records of every delivery made by a carrier. Its inbuilt ePoD (electronic proof of delivery) capability allows shippers to check shipment status on any browser, eliminating dependencies on carriers. It displays customer signatures when deliveries are received, further improving data-reliability.
A modern data-driven LTL solution constantly optimizes delivery routes. It can easily track fleet movement and quickly classify en route shipments as early, on time and delayed. Based on real-time location data captured from in-transit delivery fleet, this solution can accurately generate the estimated date and time of delivery.
Efficient Route Mapping
Driven by machine learning technology, such LTL solution learns from actual paths already undertaken by existing and past delivery trucks and leverages this intelligence to map the most cost-effective and highly productive routes to complete upcoming deliveries. Strict real-time deviation alerts also help carriers and shippers ensure that drivers adhere to the pre-defined route. All these functionalities positively impact delivery turn-around-time.
These are just six among a long list of benefits that a data-driven LTL solution can deliver for enterprises across verticals. We will cover more such benefits in our upcoming blogs.
FarEye’s data-driven LTL solution has empowered 100s of LTL shippers to reduce logistics costs, improve freight visibility, improve capacity planning and deliver delightful customer experiences. To know more you can sign-up for a quick demo here.