As part of our annual customer survey, we like to ask shippers what new and emerging technologies and trends they are most interested in. In this edition, we were pleased to see live vehicle tracking top the list with almost three quarters of respondents selecting it. Why so pleased? Well, simply because we’ve invested heavily in our Live Tracking functionality, that provides shippers with full visibility of transports as they deliver goods from A to B.
When we talk to shippers about what they need, transparency is often right up there. Knowing when something is set to arrive means better planning and improved customer service. That’s why we have integrated customised delay notifications and real time updates, which mean the process is cheaper and more accurate than its manual equivalent. Gone are the days of drivers waiting around to load and unload, or make phone calls and sign papers.
Transport planning optimisation and automatic carrier selection
As supply chains become increasingly complex and stretch out across more and more geographies, planning and optimisation becomes more important than ever. That’s reflected in our survey, where more than half of shippers said they were keen on planning, optimisation and end-to-end automatisation initiatives. The truth is shippers and carriers are working with tighter and tighter margins and leveraging data to identify opportunities for cost savings and process improvements is essential.
Gathering, analysing and acting on data insights is key to transport planning and equally important for automating carrier selection based on rules and routes. it’s no surprise shippers are most interested in technology that can eliminate admin work, render processes more accurate, whilst remaining flexible and above all impacting the bottom line.
Benchmarking, self-check in at loading and sustainability
It’s never a bad idea to check what the going market rate for something is and that principle applies to the transport industry as well. Benchmarking is way of understanding the market and improving an organisation’s planning as well as helping to identify opportunities. For these reasons, more than a third of respondents voiced their interest in the ability to benchmark capacity and price indexes across the market.
Congestion during peak loading and unloading times is a nightmare for many organisations. Not only does it delay shipments and affect customer relationships, but it takes up valuable driver hours, which are getting increasingly costly. Self-check-in technology goes some way to alleviate these pain points and a third of respondents anxiously await their blanket introduction across the transport sector.
Finally, sustainability was picked out by just under a third of respondents as a market trend they were interested in. While this might seem low it might reflect the fact that going ‘green’ is less a trend and more an obligation. For example, IMO 2020 will see ocean transports need to severely reduce the percentage of sulphur in their emissions. Regardless of the reasons, sustainability will become an increasingly large consideration for the industry.