Until recently, the logistics industry had thrived on a basic activity of just handling checkpoints and transactions – despite being tasked to orchestrate the movement of goods. Apart from time elapsed and bills approved, so much of what happened during the transit went unmeasured. No matter how trivial they were, the impact on the upstream and downstream supply was crippling the entire supply chain. This necessitated for the shippers to level up their visibility game and gain insights into the events post their orders left the loading points and till the delivery. The demand for real-time visibility into orders, live location, and multimodal shipments is incessantly forcing the modern service providers to augment their track-and-trace offerings, both stationary and in-transit.
Today, the shippers – both upstream and downstream – are increasingly seeking answers: Where is my shipment? Is everything running per plan, or is there any change? Should I trust the ETA given by the carriers? Will I receive live notifications regarding both the status and location of my shipment? To get these answered, more and more shippers are adopting new mechanisms or upgrading their existing visibility practices. A new breed of location-based analytics tools is in play to amass real-time information on the movement of the assets.
In this piece, we will illustrate some of the first-hand benefits of real-time visibility that are driving operational excellence in a supply chain.
Time is money. Save both
The need for real-time visibility has exploded over the last few years. And with online disruptors (like Amazon, eBay) setting new standards with last-mile/same-day delivery besides offering live location, status updates about the shipment, businesses are demanding the same track-and-trace features from their carriers.
Traditional ways to obtain location and status updates via rigorous sessions of emails or phone calls failed to offset the visibility challenge. The whole process was a time-consuming hiccup. Whereas real-time visibility provides shippers and carriers the required transparency into the location, status of their orders for optimum control. Digital platforms such as TruKKer allows shippers, carriers to stay connected with their assets 24/7, leveraging advanced GPS-tracking. What’s more, unlike the other platforms that offer only real-time tracking, the TruKKer platform is a 24/7 active marketplace where truckers can view, bid on, and do business with TruKKer. In turn, this enables them to have upfront transparency throughout the network – from large fleet owners to fleet operators or carriers – through real-time GPS services. The result is an accurate geographic location of the trucks on a map available to both the shippers and carriers in real-time. Further, TruKKer’s Driver App for the drivers is also enabled with on-the-go notifications and live updates about route change, any upcoming COVID hotspot, device status, etc. The location services available on the Driver App also empowers the shippers and carriers with actionable insights for better decision making. With a reliable ETA, shippers can now plan reliably and synchronize the consequent activities such as unloading, warehouse management, or last-mile delivery. Uncertainty brewing from scanty visibility over assets can no longer disrupt a shipper’s delivery schedule and ultimately affect the bottom line. For carriers or fleet owners, they can enjoy uncompromising control over their assets along with complete transparency across the full shipment network. The end-to-end visibility further enables the carriers to source dedicated freight opportunities or automatically reload the trucks with revenue-generating backhaul. All this contributes towards eliminating empty miles while improving fuel efficiency, reducing carbon footprint, and ensuring lesser traffic congestion. Last year, the Driver App saw a huge increase in adoption across the MENA region to leverage our unique scale, reach, and shipping data.
Adoption of the Driver App
Increase utilization with ease
End-to-end visibility across a supply network breathes new life into every stage of the operations and across touchpoints wherein the shippers, carriers, and any transporters interact with each other. The proper flow of insights equips the carriers with the necessary means to tackle any unexpected scenario; minimizes friction for the truckers; enlightens the shippers with real-time insights into their assets. For instance, by being aware of the wait time at any site, carriers can predict the exact travel time and maximize driver productivity to uplift truck utilization. Implementing visibility from the initial phase of the journey also allows to estimate, control the number of hours each driver is assigned while making sure the truck is best utilized within the hours-of-service mandates.
Tracking technology has existed for decades and is used by large fleet owners or carriers to track-and-trace the location of their assets. What’s relatively new is the popularity of an intuitive, platform-based technology that auto-feeds information back to the shippers and carriers. As an advantage, shippers and carriers leverage this information during their planning process to gain continual improvements to their routing strategies. They know exactly when to expect the arrival of the load and can significantly reduce the waiting and unloading time. New-age platforms such as TruKKer glean actionable insights after sifting through a rich pool of proprietary shipping data. This lets the users shave off time from the delivery schedule – be it seconds, minutes, or hours. On the operational side, this means fewer trucks, lesser fuel usage, and finally big savings.
Cost reduction is a constant
A peek into each phase of a supply chain on a 24/7 basis maximizes an organization’s control area, giving them unfettered access to the root cause of any exception. Picture this: an unused truck idling out in the distribution center for a month; or lying deserted by a highway for weeks due to some parts problem. In a supply chain with complete visibility, this is practically impossible. Instead, fleet operators can now remarkably increase the fleet utilization by multiple folds through uncompromising visibility. In the above case, the fleet owner would become aware that those idle machines need to be either sold or returned to the leasing company.
Real-time tracking helps businesses identify such areas where operational efficiency is an utmost requirement. Truck parking areas with long wait times, or functional yet idle vehicles – all this puts a squeeze on the profitability. These contribute towards hefty detention fees and unexpected shipment costs. TruKKer’s platform, equipped with location data and actionable shipping insights, empowers shippers to explore the untapped ways of cost reduction by executing some dramatic changes. Alongside, track-and-trace also directly uplifts a trucker’s capability to get out onto the road and underway on schedule.
Throughout exceptional experience for users
From production to the end products at the bottom line, on-schedule delivery is the hair of the dog for any inadvertent exception-hangover. Plus, it’s the real deal showstopper. And without uncompromising visibility over a supply network, there are only hangovers accompanied by a nagging uncertainty over the assets. Instead, carriers can foster trustworthy relationships with shippers, and vice versa, on the pillars of an uninterrupted flow of real-time and accurate information.
An AI-powered platform foresees exceptions beforehand besides providing real-time updates right from when a shipment leaves the loading point till it reaches the collection point. TruKKer’s platform exactly does that by enabling auto-alerts and channeling them to the users’ preferred digital devices. Shippers, carriers enjoy a continued influx of updates and peace of mind.
Integrated application experience
The visibility trend is set on the right groove to turn the tables for an industry that once heavily depended upon ship notices via EDI or legacy online interfaces. Investments are pouring in for the track-and-trace capabilities and ultimately visibility for better and accurate business results. 50% of modern companies reckon that technological advancements such as visibility profoundly impact the supply chain, logistics, and transportation operations. Asides from thriving on the memory space of today’s smartphones and tablets, the application-centric technologies are also making the best use of empty truck slots. An ‘uberization of freight’ wave is incoming to wreathe the entire sector, mandating companies to engage in religion-like practices of daily disruption. And only the fervent ones will ride the wave high.