Deadheading isn’t solely a problem for sustainability. Yes, it results in unnecessary carbon emissions and wastes space. However, it actually leads to reduced driver efficiency and lost time – and it can be avoided using smart transportation solutions.
According to CCJ Digital, deadheading takes 75 minutes away from drive-time per day, and empty backhauls account for 21-33% of all miles driven annually. The problem grows worse as fleets become more limited in available loads.
However, smart transportation can enable freight spend reductions. Shippers need to understand how that tracks back to using the right transportation management system.
What Is Smart Transportation?
Smart Transportation Uses Data to Reduce Rework & Enhance Shipping Outcomes
Using data to plan the entire shipment life cycle is at the center of an intelligent transport system. Connected systems make it easier to visualize the life cycle. How shippers use that information also affects the efficiency of the network.
After all, carriers need to know the status, location, and expectations for the delivery of tendered freight. Providing all that information upfront is essential to reducing the total risk of accessorials and helps fleet management. In turn, shippers can work together to reduce their risk of deadheading through consolidated freight.
Meanwhile, the dynamic nature of e-commerce requires the ability to see those updates in real time using mobile devices and systems. Yet, those needs can also make it difficult to turn smart transportation goals into action.
How to Enable Smart Transportation in Your Network
1. Aggregate data from your full tech stack using API, EDI, and other connecting technologies to share information in real time with your supply chain control tower.
2. Analyze data to find correlations, continuously assess new data as it becomes available, and share those insights in real time.
3. Reduce rework by creating metrics and KPIs to track insights, measuring the performance of network partners and carriers to know which partners are enabling the most sustainable transport.
4. Use analytics to understand the entire shipment lifecycle, recognizing weaknesses and opportunities for improvement in all activities.
5. Apply insights to drive continuous optimization in all activities, switching between modes when necessary.
6. Connect your fleet with IoT-enabled tech to track status in real-time, eliminating confusion over arrivals/departures and avoiding bottlenecks.
7. Eliminate deadheading by considering varying market dynamics based on analytics-driven insights.
8. Take stock of lessons learned, and repeat.
Put the Power of Smart Transportation to Work
Using software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based TMS platforms with an open-standard infrastructure, shippers can apply the steps above and create more actionable intelligent moves. Furthermore, shippers that achieve this goal move closer toward reaching sustainability milestones. They also position themselves to lower total freight spending, a significant concern given in a volatile environment for spot and contract rates.