Transportation management without data analytics is like a truck with an odd number of wheels—it just doesn’t work as well as it should. Effective transportation management requires the ability to:
- Acquire real-time tracking and updates on loads in transit
- Gather accurate costs of transportation (i.e. fuel, mileage, etc.)
- Identify, vet, and hire carriers with the right capacity and cost
- Gain enhanced visibility of shipments, on-time deliveries, and communications
The common denominator of each of the above criteria? Data analytics. Transportation management is chock-full of data variables—trucks, loads, capacity, costs, technology, delivery times, and more—that can easily become mismanaged or convoluted over time. With the proper data analytics, transportation management leadership can make data-driven decisions to improve their logistics to garner the best business outcomes. By leveraging data to optimize trucking routes, workloads, and more, you’re better able to stay within your desired freight spend while achieving on-time delivery.
In this blog, you’ll discover how you can amplify the effectiveness and efficiency of your transportation management with accurate data. Check out the top three reasons you need data analytics to:
- Meet your customer delivery promise
- Optimize your logistics execution and centralize control
- Maximize the visibility of products moving within your supply chain at all times
1. Data Analytics Enhance the Visibility of Shipments
Many transportation management organizations experience a lack of visibility when it comes to their shipments and loads. You’ve probably wondered, “Where is the load that was supposed to be delivered today? Did it deliver? Where is it on its route?” Outdated logistics strategies and technologies (or the lack thereof) prove to inhibit route optimization and overall business performance. In fact, tracking and getting updates on loads in transit is very time-consuming without technology through Direct EDI and TextLocate.
According to Gartner, only 21% of supply chain leaders believe they have good visibility over their supply chain from end-to-end. That means nearly 80% of supply chain leaders have poor visibility over their supply chain, logistics, and routes. This forces leadership to react to logistics issues that arise, such as dealing with fluctuating costs, capacity, truck procurement, and delivery tracking after an incident or hiccup occurs. Data analytics (and the right technology to provide them) allow transportation leadership to proactively manage logistics and exceptions by keeping track of:
- Total number of shipments by month or designated period
- Freight savings and freight spend
- Expedited shipments and their routes
- On-time deliveries and shipping delays
With an in-depth view of trucking routes, costs, and supplier performance through data procured by the right Transportation Management System, transportation leaders can see possible savings, analytics, and tracking through EDI or TextLocate. Having the visibility to track shipments in real-time enables everyone involved from the manufacturer, logistics team, down to the end-customer to stay in the know on where shipments are and the time to deliver. Not to mention, monitoring this data overtime will show trends in logistics performance, enabling leadership to improve upon strategies and routes to boost overall performance.
➡️ For more insights on ways to improve supply chain performance, check out our article, Supply Chain Optimization: 4 Trends to Watch in 2023.
2. Maximizes Efficiency and Lowers Costs of Transportation Management
According to Mercury Gate, deadheading—the act of completing a trip without any freight—takes approximately 75 minutes away from drive-time per day. Plus, empty backhauls make up approximately 14.8% of all miles driven annually. Imagine being able to use accurate data to optimize your trucking routes from point A to B to C and then back to A. The time and cost-savings you could generate with accurate data to avoid deadheading is key to increasing the efficiency of your transportation management.
Data analytics can help you take advantage of the capacity on trucks, optimizing for on-time deliveries and communication, whether it’s headed to a delivery or back to the warehouse. Leveraging data analytics makes it possible to account for potential risks (like deadheading) throughout the entire transportation process, resulting in reduced waste and immense cost savings.
For instance, with real-time data tracking and monitoring, you can gain insight into which trucks are about to embark on a deadheading journey and which loads need trucks. Empowered with these insights, you can ensure each truck route is worthwhile, pairing up the right trucks with the right loads to maximize routing efficiency and costs.
➡️ For more information on how to lower transportation costs while optimizing your supply chain, check out our article detailing The Top 5 Barriers to Successful Supply Chain Management in 2023 [+ Solutions].
3. Greater Data Insights Enable Greater Strategic Carrier Sourcing
Often, transportation management organizations don’t have their own fleet of trucks to deliver their product. Or in some cases, they have a fleet, but not enough capacity to fulfill their shipments. Other times, these organizations find it difficult to source their own production, truck procurement, or logistics. The problem is, the inability to access and vet all available carriers isolates your business to more than 90% of the available capacity and freight around the globe.
Data analytics is the ultimate solution to bridge the gap between transportation management teams and carriers. With the right technology, providing up-to-date details including costs, capacity, and locations, identifying and choosing the right carrier to carry out shipments is easy and seamless. Logistics leaders often spend hours toiling away manually assessing carriers, their previous performance with their organization, the associated risks, and costs. With automatic data analytics, you can reference the data to compare, contrast, and vet carriers in minutes.
➡️ Learn more about our proprietary supply chain technology platform, SuiteEdge®, and discover how it ensures continuous supply chain optimization, execution, and visibility from order creation to fulfillment in one platform from anywhere.
Data analytics is no longer a nice-to-have when it comes to transportation management. Today, data is the foundation of effective logistics and the core of an organization’s supply chain capabilities. At LynnCo, we pride ourselves on leveraging data (and our expertise) to make sure that we're fully servicing every load we take from point A to point B and C. With enhanced visibility to monitor and track over the road vehicles and loads, you can better ensure on-time deliveries and communication.
Learn more about LynnCo and discover how we can help augment your transportation management with data analytics.