Using Collaborative Technology To Tackle the Carrier Capacity Crisis
Technology is the great enabler of collaboration. When it comes to domestic transportation, efficiency-enhancing collaborative technologies allow everyone—the shipper, their carriers and their customers—to thrive, even in a challenging capacity environment. By automating processes relating to transportation, these solutions free up capacity and help keep drivers on the road by minimizing detention and dwell time, and allow drivers to stay in line with Hours of Service regulations.
Technologies designed to alleviate challenges and uncover capacity
Collaborative technologies can be used to reveal backhaul opportunities in the online or digital spot market and allow carriers to select and schedule their own appointments. Giving carriers the ability to plan more efficiently and in advance helps them potentially avoid deadhead miles by finding and picking up another load. Full truckload shippers leveraging Big Data from transportation management platforms with a vast connected network across a global shipper-carrier community can now match their demand with available carrier capacity to significantly reduce expensive and inefficient deadhead runs. By shippers communicating directly with the asset owners, loads get filled more efficiently leading to fewer empty miles, which in turn reduces carrier operating costs and may then be reflected in more competitive rates.
There are also technologies that have been specifically created for transportation procurement to uncover hidden carrier capacity. These proactive sourcing technologies connect shippers to carriers that serve specific lanes or modes for industries that may call for specialized equipment. By running your own bids in a completely neutral fashion, digital sourcing technologies allow shippers to negotiate directly with their pool of incumbent and new carriers while also maintaining direct relationships with those carriers. Relationship-building can go a long way in times of tight capacity.
Enabling carriers to plan resources efficiently
Carrier idle time, which includes the on-site time that drivers are waiting to get loaded because of an unscheduled arrival or an unprepared dock, has also been a contributor to the capacity crunch. Every hour a carrier spends waiting to pick up or deliver a load is one less hour that driver can spend on the road.
One solution that benefits both shippers and carriers alike is dynamic time slot management or dock scheduling. These solutions are created specifically to handle complex loading logic and can help shippers share realistic schedules with their carriers. When carriers are able to plan more precise time commitments at a shipper's premises and shippers honor those time commitments, carrier idle times can be reduced significantly. It also keeps both shippers and carriers focused on loading/unloading times, with the goal being to let drivers head out as quickly as possible.
Make collaboration work for you
Manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers of all sizes are still finding it increasingly difficult to secure carrier capacity. Collaborative transportation solutions can strengthen logistics operations by helping both shippers and carriers automate manual processes and gain crucial visibility. Collaborative technologies do more than allow shippers to work more closely with their carriers to reduce costs and save drivers time—they are also crucial in combating the inefficiencies that have contributed to the current capacity situation.