Transwide is Ready for a New Digitalization Era in Logistics
Carriers, shippers, and logistics service providers are facing new challenges today. Customers are asking for increased visibility and feedback in real-time. With digitalization, all players in the supply chain will require instant and efficient response time to their questions or concerns. Fabrice Maquignon, managing director at Transwide within Alpega, assesses these changes and the resulting stakes.
Over the past few years, the world of transportation and logistics has undergone major changes. These include new requirements in the exchange of information, as well as improved relationships between providers. Within 20 years, the supply chain has yielded to a pressing need to transmit more information at an ever-increasing pace, and expectations are still high.
Fabrice Maquignon explains that collaborative logistics refers to providing cohesive and global meaning to all information that is disseminated and shared. To ensure that the company benefits from digitalized and shared communication, we have to get the logistics and transportation data to perform. This will be a source of efficiency and the reason why SaaS solutions have become the standard in the transportation industry. Cloud-based solutions streamline networks by connecting a large number of users to the same software, which allows access to flows and orders in real time.
The second major expectation of supply chain professionals is transparency. Transportation can no longer remain this "opaque tunnel" in which no one is aware of what is happening. A manufacturer, who in their private life is used to ordering books from Amazon, has a hard time understanding that their logistics providers are unable to offer the same level of service to manage an expedited shipment between their factory, a platform and a warehouse, points out Fabrice Maquignon.
It is up to us to provide adequate solutions, which is why we launched twTrack, a mobile application that allows operators connected to Transwide to easily track and monitor an order and the associated transportation operations. This level of visibility and feedback in real time is bound to be deployed across the entire supply chain, including at the B2B level. With it, comes undeniable advantages: quicker invoice management, anticipation of change, fewer errors, and in the end, an increase in the service rate levels and hence in quality.
Relationship Upheaval Between Users of the Supply Chain
A second major revolution in the contemporary supply chain is the upheaval of relationships between its players. In this era, manufacturers and distributors are on one side, carriers on the other and freight forwarders/forwarding-agents are in the middle. Each group can work in their area of expertise without sharing. The power of the Internet and major pressure from social media have widely contributed to the rapid development of online communities. Expectations among our customers, carriers, forwarding agents and manufacturers are high, insists Fabrice Maquignon, who thinks of the supply chain in terms of the visible and submerged portion of the iceberg.
Often, our customers first approach is to analyze the costs of transportation, reducing costs by improving buying, while optimizing processes and ensuring that invoiced costs correspond to contracts. This is the tip of the iceberg. But today, undeniably, relational tools must offer more. The U.S. faces a serious shortage of experienced drivers, with a need to hire over 150,000 drivers over the next decade. Meeting current demand is a challenge. The number of requests by shippers, on the other hand, is increasingly volatile, with requests that may double from one day to the next. The lack of fluidity between transportation supply and demand today results in 23% of trucks on the road riding empty. It's absurd, Fabrice Maquignon notes.
Here too, digitalization must provide adequate and accurate answers. Once the various operators are interconnected and sharing their offers and requests in real-time, the supply chain process becomes optimized. This is the immersed portion of the iceberg. Therefore, the trend is heading toward the "transportation community," a space where manufacturers and distributors share their transportation needs and orders with their carriers and freight forwarders. This "logistical control tower" allows carriers to anticipate the requested capacity. As we approach the digitalization era in logistics, users leverage TMS platforms to transform how shippers, logistics managers, and carriers collaborate.