As the transportation industry continues to evolve, your freight optimization capabilities in transportation management must advance.
When evaluating a transportation management solution, it is important to make sure that the solution is considering emerging transportation trends, technological advancements, and the real-world challenges that businesses face.
Let’s examine 9 capabilities a multimodal transportation optimization platform should have.
1. Geo-Region Technology
Geo-Region capabilities provide organizations with the ability to recognize and optimize within specific geo-regions.
For example, if a truck is heading into a 20-mile radius of a major urban area, such as Los Angeles, Miami, or New York, rules can be set to calculate the vehicle’s slower rate and time upon entering a lower speed limit.
2. Final Mile Optimization
Final Mile is increasingly important in many transportation networks.
Multimodal freight optimization capabilities should provide an organization with the ability to geocode at the address level within a given zip code. The ability to apply street-level data and addresses to calculate a true final mile for each load.
3. Pool Chains
Pool Chains is another optimization capability that should be considered.
The industry is shifting to a more complicated model of multi-tiered cross-dock operations and a multimodal optimization tool should be keeping up.
For example, within a nationwide regional consolidation network, a business using multimodal optimization can have a bird’s eye view of each load and related loads in the pool.
Unlike other optimizers in the market, the MercuryGate multimodal optimization solution can analyze the pool chain, the path by which goods can travel, to select the best route.
4. Zone Skipping
Zone Skipping is another multimodal optimization capability that has become popular in the industry. This involves consolidating goods in one region, then shifting from a higher-cost zone to a lower-cost zone for parcel shipping.
5. International Optimization
International Optimization involves optimizing multimodal and multi-leg global transport, such as shipments from China to the U.S.
To enable this, MercuryGate’s multimodal optimization tool considers all the steps of moving products from a Chinese manufacturing facility to an ocean port or airport. No matter how complex or multinational the journey, the client can see all carrier schedules and each separate leg.
6. Fleet Optimization
Fleet Optimization also is a growing need as capacity tightens in the market and more companies turn to dedicated private fleets.
With multimodal freight optimization capabilities, users can see fleet locations and domiciles, or where equipment is based. Users can allocate drivers and view the full life cycle of each load.
7. Roaming Domicile
Roaming Domicile is a function that involves tracking drivers in motion that are not domiciled at any given time and are considered “roaming.”
A robust multimodal freight optimization solution can identify the driver’s location and match them with an available load.
8. Calculating Sustainability
Calculating transportation sustainability is important to companies with environmental accountability policies for reducing CO2.
If environmental sustainability is an important consideration for your organization, a multimodal optimization tool should be able to calculate emissions for each load, route, and vehicle, supporting users to optimize their CO2 emissions as well.
9. Freight Optimization and What If Planning
“What If” Planning is increasingly important as more organizations turn to multimodal strategies to move freight more efficiently. Optimization enables organizations to make informed decisions based on historical data and “what if” scenarios.
Instead of simply hoping that a combined shipment between land and air will arrive at the destination, shippers can guarantee it based on real-world parameters. And they can do so while actually saving time on their planning.