“You’re going to either be on the train, or you’re going to be run over by the train.” That’s what senior vice president and general manager of GT Nexus, Kurt Cavano, said at the Transportation Intermediaries Association’s 3PL Technovations conference a few months ago.
And he’s right.
Technology hasn’t left logistics untouched. And the companies that will remain competitive are going to be the ones that can utilize new technologies to the benefit of their customers.
One of the most urgent areas in logistics that technology is changing is carrier capacity. Here’s why there are issues and how technology-enabled 3PLs can solve those issues…
Why carrier capacity is an issue
Carriers are restricted by regulations that specify many things, including:
● How much freight a truck of a particular size can carry;
● How many hours each driver can spend on the road;
● The speeds at which freight can be carried;
● And mandatory rest periods for drivers, for safety reasons.
That makes it seem like capacity is finite and well-defined. But actually, there are things that can be done to increase the efficiency of carrier capacity.
One of the issues that comes up with carrier capacity is deadhead miles. These are essentially wasted time and resources when a carrier is driving but has no freight.
Unnecessarily driving without freight obviously increases carrier operating costs, and those get passed down to shippers.
A related issue is idle time. When drivers are on-site waiting to get loaded, it reduces capacity.
It turns out that these problems can be remedied by using a technology-enabled 3PL. Deadhead miles, for instance, can be avoided when drivers are able to select and schedule their own appointments, picking up another load during the time that would have otherwise been spent just driving to another location.
And idle time can be alleviated by simply using dynamic time slot management or dock scheduling.
The cost savings of using available technology to make self-selected schedules means that shippers can also enjoy more competitive rates on logistics.
Technology aids communication
A key factor in whether idle time becomes an issue is whether shippers and carriers can sync up their schedules. We have amazing communication technology at our fingertips.
By using that technology, shippers can be prepared at the time that the driver arrives at their loading dock, and any schedule changes can be communicated between shippers and carriers so that everyone is on the same page.
Giving the people actually involved in the physical processes of logistics control over communicating about freight goes a long way towards reducing both deadhead runs and carrier idle time.
Shipping is a huge industry, and the end customers are more demanding than ever. That makes it more and more difficult to secure carrier capacity. Solutions that aid collaboration between shippers and carriers make logistics easier for both sides of the equation.
Every year, more shippers are switching to 3PLs that make use of available technology. And those shippers gain an advantage on timeliness and affordability for shipping their freight.
Choose Opus9 to give you that competitive edge through our technology-enabled solution that gives you time and money savings every step of the way from getting your freight quote to making payment.
Don’t get left behind. Get your freight shipped with Opus9.