Visibility is becoming more and more important in the logistics industry. Shippers understandably want to keep a close eye on their freight, and that instinct has only grown stronger in the face of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
“Everyone wants to know where their freight is because the delivery times are so short. Product availability is scarce due to the lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic, making every load a hot load, ”said Mike Riccio, Marketing Director of Leonard’s Express. “If a transporter is unwilling to use tracking and tracing software, they send red flags. We have clients who need it 100% of the time. “
As visibility solutions became more accessible, they began to shift from a “benefit” to a “necessity”. This transition is expected to continue over the next few months, if not years, and gain further momentum as the freight market cools and returns to equilibrium.
“Once the market relaxes a bit, brokers and shippers will be in a better position to demand compliance,” said Troy Wiitanen, vice president of logistics for Leonard’s Express. “With all the different unforeseen events happening – from forest fires to pandemics – visibility will continue to be an important conversation. Brokers and shippers will look for carriers sophisticated enough to run their business and provide accurate visibility information. “
When the vast majority of carriers have implemented visibility solutions, more brokers and shippers should start ranking and rating carriers based on their compliance by providing accurate, responsive and timely shipment visibility data. Ultimately, these ratings will likely be part of contract negotiations with carriers, allowing carriers with higher compliance scores to get better fares or more freight than those with lower scores.
“When we have this greater visibility, I think we will consider implementing carrier dashboards,” said Riccio. “Those who comply and rank higher will ultimately become the premier carriers we use, helping us develop a network of preferred carriers. “
Leonard’s Express also uses third-party solutions such as Trucker Tools‘Intelligent ability to increase compliance and expand the company’s carrier base. The tool opens up its freight to an otherwise hard-to-reach carrier base – largely owner-operators and small carriers. In addition, these carriers are already comfortable with the tracking and tracing software, becoming familiar with it through their partnership with Trucker Tools.
As visibility becomes more and more crucial, Riccio expects tools like Smart Capacity to become more popular with brokers looking to expand their networks and improve their compliance rates.