Smart Transportation Drives Intelligent Decision-Making

Smart transportation uses technology to optimize cost/service across all modes.

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.

For example, empty miles may account for up to 50% of runtime in dedicated fleets. As a result, emissions go unchecked, and shippers endure higher transportation spend.

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 is the process of using data and technology to maximize transportation visibility efficiency across the transport of goods.

Smart transportation is not risk-free, but rather, it accounts for all possible risks before, during, and after transportation occurs. This comprehensive view requires a fully integrated transportation technology stack and access to data-driven insights. Powerful analytics and world-class controls are also core components of smart transport solutions.

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.

Consolidation also means that shippers need to stay apprised of all necessary deconsolidation activities. They also must account for whether the freight will arrive at the same time, earlier or later than going through another mode.
This is the basic premise behind zone-skipping. To be effective, shippers need to know when to leverage an alternate mode on all shipments and keep their customers, whether end-users or retailers, informed.

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

Enabling intelligent smart transport begins with immediate access to data from across the entire network. To do that, follow these critical steps:

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.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Put the Power of Smart Transportation to Work

Smart transport solutions are easier to put into action through the power of cloud-based technologies like SaaS TMS platforms.

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.

Learn more about how your team can benefit from smart transportation. Connect with MercuryGate today.

Learn how Smart Transportation improves real time visibility


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