The freight industry has harbored old-school practices for a long time, mainly due to the absence of standardization where and when it was needed the most. Especially, freight allocation has had always been the slowcoach to adopt modernized and resilient ways of doing business. The whole process of booking the right carrier at the best price has always been fighting with uncertainty. Companies were in deep waters with the challenge of ideating uniform strategies and pricing models.
Right base strategy to get over with this are some simple questions:
How many and what types of service providers should I need?
What’s my budgetary spend on contract rates and the dynamic spot market?
Should I outsource some or use, build in-house processes? If yes, which ones for both?
After all this, freight tendering ensures the selection of carriers and highlights the capacity regulations and various transport rates. Fixing a contract is the next step. In reality, these are nothing, but exorbitant price and surcharge lists along with freight regulations and region-centric tariff models. What was missing here was the quintessential uniformity that could ensure a regularized approach of applying the tariff rules on a daily basis.
The first breeds of freight management systems thrived in solving the necessary calculation logic for automatic freight allocation purposes. For this, various order-related criteria such as loading and unloading spots, volume information, or premium surcharges were the main considerations. Then followed the evaluation of capacity agreements and the automatic control of allocation amongst a network of verified carriers. Trained with some predefined sets of allocation rules and fixed use-cases, these models fell short while integrating real-time data from the daily market, like spot rates and market behaviour.
This is the inflection point wherein cutting-edge tech like AI takes the central stage and balances this long-unsolved equation. In rhythm with the market ebbs and flows, an AI-powered advanced freight platform can make dynamic choices possible when choosing between allocation based on fixed contracts or the dynamic spot market allocation. Building upon a dynamically growing data pool, the AI-powered algorithms evaluate market behavior to forecast demand and the expected cost. Usually, these results are fused with other decision-making abilities to help users with the right allocation approach and introduce them to reliability. According to a survey on our marketing channels, reliability is the topmost consideration for logistics personnel to procure from any freight solutions provider. The result was per our perception of the industry dynamics and in which direction they are progressing. Reliability is quintessential for a convoluted industry like the freight industry, wherein millions of pre-defined rules often fail to keep up with a sudden change. A sudden fluctuation leaves the shippers or businesses in the middle of nowhere with no access to reliable sources of transport and poor asset control. That is why we built in reliability into TruKKer digital freight platform so that shippers no more dwindle in the dark at any given time. We are also the first to introduce instant pricing in the MENA region to ensure each booking decision is more meaningful.
When shippers place any load request, the platform initiates a search for carriers looking for connecting loads. It sifts through the 24/7-updating data stack of transporters with free trucks waiting at the loading spots or anywhere in a considerable distance to haul. Meanwhile, the instant pricing model, using smart regression techniques, predicts the prices for the current booking date and also the upcoming one. Everything happens in real-time, and while the platform’s AI capabilities prescribe the best possible allocation scenario. Shippers can reliably choose the best possible transport, and carriers can ensure their trucks are fully loaded and hauling round-the-year.
Availability of options with the flexibility to opt for them on-demand provides decision-makers with reasonable allocation splits and other operational benefits. Fixed contracts help shippers focus on long-term economic sustenance by employing a long-haul carrier for high-volume packages running on fixed schedules, even during a crisis. Whereas spot market allocation allows shippers to gain actionable working experiences with independent carriers and diversify their contract carrier network. Also, the free capacities available on the spot market leads to cost savings and a much shorter allocation cycle.
The first set of companies to implement AI in logistics and transportation has already started securing profit margins higher than 5%. Additionally, the collated data and the prediction results are routinely validated against base data to ensure continual improvement. AI is an apt supplementary approach to do away with the undefined and traditional rate mechanisms to ease the shippers with dynamic and market-based transport allocation.