2021 brought many unprecedented challenges for shippers. Supply chain disturbances led to shortages of goods, a tight capacity environment, and steep cost increases. These disruptions are a reminder that the shipping industry is far from static, and maintaining the status quo is more detrimental for shippers than ever. As costs rise and carriers set demands to keep up with capacity, adapting for success is essential.
Learn about three major industry trends will impact shippers in 2022 and how to effectively adapt to these inevitable changes.
1) Evaluation and integration of supply chain and shipping technology
The shipping industry is known for “doing things the way they’ve always been done”, meaning that many shippers are stuck with outdated, time-consuming manual processes. It’s not surprising that the less-than-truckload (LTL) industry continues to handle more than 85% of all shipments with paper-based processes on both the shipper and the carrier side.
With rising costs and “customer pruning” by carriers that’s expected to continue into late 2022, it’s more essential than ever that shippers adopt management technology that sets them up for success. Today’s transportation management systems (TMS) eliminate blind spots in spend with valuable data, providing shippers with the visibility needed to proactively manage shipping costs. Such systems also eliminate time-consuming paperwork, costly human error, and inefficient operations across the board.
With the rising popularity of online shopping, customer expect faster delivery with frequent tracking updates. Shippers need to get orders to their destinations fast, cost-effectively, and with complete visibility. A TMS provides the ability to do all the above, enabling companies to provide excellent customer service while meeting rising customer expectations.
With a TMS in place, as the business and its supply chain grow, operations become much more flexible, resilient, and efficient. On top of this, such systems enable shippers to become “a shipper of choice” and secure capacity by providing early, accurate data to their carriers.
The market today has reached the point where relying on manual, outdated processes is no longer an option. Using a TMS is now necessary for the adaptability, scalability, and survivability of any shipping business.
2) Reliance on Value-based Shipping Data
Until recently, many businesses relied on best guesses, limited information, and averages to develop their shipping strategy and optimize operations. Fortunately, companies of all sizes now have access to actionable data that can help them make smarter shipping decisions.
The value-based data offered by modern FTL and LTL API technology provides businesses with a deeper look into carrier performance and benchmarking, as well as invoice audit and claims management. The time has come when shippers can categorically answer the questions, “Am I wasting time and money, and what can I do to prevent this?”
Balancing customer needs with speedy deliveries against shipping costs requires detailed planning. With actionable data, this balance is much easier to achieve. When searching for opportunities to reduce transportation spend, businesses can benefit by looking at carrier performance and costs. The ability to access transit time, cost per carrier, market share, etc. can help shippers efficiently monitor carrier relationships. The deep dive into carrier data shines a light on opportunities for cost savings and operational improvements.
Business owners and shipping managers aren’t the only roles that can leverage data to make organizational improvements. Accounting roles can find substantial value in invoice and audit data. In order to optimize operations and avoid errors, a company requires tools to identify and recover incorrect billings - using status, invoice, and contractual data. Full visibility to billing data can identify and quantify errors easily, and even prevent future errors from occurring.
It’s more important than ever that shippers find a transportation management system (TMS) that provides the in-depth data needed to decrease costs and increase productivity. In order to easily manage the data, the TMS software must provide quality visualization tools that make interpreting the information simple.
3) Increased Shipping Automation
Creating a simple, accurate, and efficient workflow is the key to succeeding in a tight capacity market plagued by supply chain disruptions. Getting freight delivered in-tact and on-time is not as simple as it once was. Fortunately, automation speeds up the order fulfillment process, ultimately resulting in operational improvements and faster shipping times.
Quoting shipments can be a time-consuming process for shippers. Fortunately, automating the shipping process can make viewing Full Truckload (FTL) rates and LTL rates fast and efficient. Rather than visiting several websites or emailing multiple carriers to find the best rates, automation via a quality TMS allows shippers to view rates from all of their carriers on one page, and easily book from there.
On top of easier rating and happier customers, an automated workflow means fewer inaccuracies and opportunities for human error. Transitioning away from manual processes is an effective way to prevent costly mistakes. With modern API technology, the quoting and booking process is not only much simpler, but is also protected from the common errors that accompany the creation and sharing of shipment information.
Manual data entry can also cause critical errors in shipment tracking. Automating this process eliminates the need for manual data entry altogether, thus guaranteeing tracking accuracy. On top of this, a fully automated system can send out up-to-date shipment tracking updates to both shippers and customers. A quality TMS will provide a live shipment calendar that provides real time tracking of shipments.
Another critical aspect of automation that shippers are increasingly adopting is TMS ERP integration. With an order integration between a TMS and an ERP, orders automatically flow from the ERP to the TMS for fast and efficient quoting, booking, and tracking. Instead of going back and forth between systems and spreadsheets, the order information is automatically populated, which eliminates the need to re-enter data.
Since information is automatically populated within the TMS, the information is correct, every time. PRO numbers, product SKUs, weights and all other metrics appear automatically, resulting in order accuracy, every time.
Because all order information is tracked and shared between systems, businesses can leverage reports and analytics to see the true landed cost of goods, down to the SKU level. This information means shippers can make more informed decisions regarding their company’s bottom line.
As the shipping industry moves away from outdated, manual processes and toward increased efficiency, MyCarrier is here to help shippers adopt technology that will help them save time and money. Each of the trends above are an important part of adapting for success in an ever-changing market. MyCarrier provides shippers with actionable data, unrivaled transportation management technology, and automation that makes shipping fast, simple, and cost-effective.
Do you have questions about any of the above technology? Contact us or schedule a demo today.