July 2016 | Sponsored | Knowledge Base

Increased Visibility

Tags: 3PL, Logistics, Third-Party Logistics, Supply Chain

David Halsema is Executive Vice President, MacroPoint, 866-960-0328

The strength of any supply chain is in its individual links. For shippers of all types of freight, that means having visibility into accurate and timely load locations. For shippers, carriers, brokers and third party logistics services providers, the MacroPoint freight tracking solution is proving to be the answer.

Today as well, shippers are requiring more than 100% visibility. They are also demanding information that enables them to manage by exception, to focus on late and off-schedule loads that threaten to disrupt their supply chains, and it is easy to see why.

For every unreported late load, the consequences are clear:

  • A retailer would have to work around the lack of inventory on store shelves
  • A distribution operation might have to adjust staffing on its loading docks to account for both unproductive time and the need for personnel when a load does finally arrive
  • A factory might need to idle or ramp up a production line accordingly

With timely and accurate load status information, however, shippers can focus on loads that have the potential to disrupt operations, and make more informed decisions about scheduling, inventory and staffing in advance. This process of using predictive analytics and managing by exception enables retailers, distributors and manufacturers to have full visibility into the location and status of their freight.

Having predictive analytics capabilities means that instead of expending significant management time manually gathering information on 100% of the loads in their supply chains, they only need to focus on the loads that look as if they might be late.

New mandates from major retailers for increased visibility into load status are also among the latest challenges facing for-hire, contract and private carriers, as well as brokers and 3PLs. This higher demand includes requirements by these shippers for the following information:

  • Arrival at Pickup Status Update—Within 1 hour of event
  • Departure at Pickup Status Update—Within 1 hour of event
  • Arrival at Destination—Within 1 hour of event
  • Complete Unloaded Status Update—Within 1 hour of event
  • In-transit updates every hour
  • All of these updates must also contain actual lat/long positioning

The ability to meet those requirements from a growing number of large, well known companies can mean the difference between securing their business or losing out on a significant number of freight hauling opportunities.

Just a few years ago, however, it was unrealistic forshippers toexpect total visibility into load locations and status from the carriers in their freight networks. Today, with technologies like the MacroPoint load tracking solution, which currently is being used by nine out of the top ten asset-based carriers, 62% of the top brokers, and over 750,000 drivers, all parties involved in moving freight have greater connectivity and visibility in real time.

The patented system only requires an in-cab system or any connected device, including a driver's phone. Through its integration with enterprise management and TMS systems, MacroPoint can provide the more frequent and detailed updates that shippers now require to keep their supply chains intact. The tracking process can even use "geofences" at arrival and departure locations, or along routes, to update the status of shipments automatically.

Perhaps the best testimonials about the value of the MacroPoint load tracking solution come from customers like Armstrong Transport Group, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based nationwide network of agents and brokers that provides dry van, refrigerated, flatbed and specialized truckload, LTL, heavy haul, expedited, rail and air freight services throughout North America.

"MacroPoint makes it easier for us to provide load tracking for our many customers with time sensitive needs," said Brian Mann, COO at Armstrong Transport Group. "Meeting their requirement for load status updates every four hours created a lot of work calling drivers and then calling or notifying customers. MacroPoint makes it simple to automate the process, and the ease of integration with our TMS made it a turnkey solution for our users and drivers."

MacroPoint designs freight monitoring and tracking solutions for shippers, brokers and 3PLs. Its patented, automated load monitoring and tracking software provides load location visibility to third parties. The 'pay per use' solution works on any cell phone, not just smart phones, and with existing in-cab ELD/GPS tracking devices to provide real-time location monitoring and tracking, delivery monitoring, and event notifications to third parties. To learn more about MacroPoint's industry leading solution for third party shipment tracking, call 866-960-0328 or visit www.macropoint.com.