Successful supply chain management lies in achieving a balance between operational excellence, profitability, service, and speed. One shipping strategy, relying on multiple modes throughout the journey with a specific carrier, is multimodal shipping. Unfortunately, multimodal shipping remains an often-underfunded aspect of supply chain management.
As reported by Jeff Berman of Logistics Management:
Shippers and logistics service professionals need to understand the value of utilizing a transportation management system (TMS) to optimize freight management.
Causes of Poor Multimodal Shipping Management
Multimodal Shipping Needs Consistent Optimization to Add Value
Much talk has been devoted to the use of innovative shipping strategies to secure more capacity and reduce freight spend. However, the value of any strategy is limited by the accuracy and timeliness of data used in its execution.
As a result, multimodal shipping needs consistent and timely optimization to add value to your supply chain. In this manner, more shippers and logistics service providers have turned to advanced, cloud-connected solutions, such as a TMS, to enable around-the-clock optimization.
How to Use a TMS to Improve Multimodal Routing and More
- Evaluate the limitations of your current TMS, including the TMS’ limited capabilities with connecting with other supply-chain systems.
- Understand the physical limitations of your facilities and the process changes required to leverage multiple modes.
- Avoid the risk of daily updates in favor of real-time push updates regarding freight rate indices, market availability, mode selection, and more.
- Ensure partnering supply chain companies leverage a system connected to the same overarching platform as your company.
- Centralize document storage regarding all multimodal shipments within the TMS.
- Take advantage of robotics process automation to initiate automated activities within the TMS, such as payment processing upon invoice delivery, answering customer and client queries, and more.
- Recommission your supply chain assets to automatically generate and collect data that can be fed into the TMS to provide the most comprehensive view of your supply chain’s health.