How to Use Data to Improve On-Time Shipping Performance

Adam RobinsonFreight Market Blog

How often does your organization think about the real impact of on-time shipping performance? When times are good, it’s probably not often. But the slightest problem can have compounding consequences. According to Supply Chain Game Changer, “On-time delivery may seem like a basic expectation.  Yet in so many cases it is something that organizations struggle with. But the penalties for late delivery are real.  There may be monetary penalties that you have to pay. But the loss of integrity of you, your organization and your commitments is very real.” Therefore, enterprises need to know how to apply transportation data to increase on-time shipping performance. 

Aggregate data from beyond the four walls of your business

Improved on-time shipping performance begins with effective transportation benchmarking. Yet all benchmarking begins with access to the right supply chain data. That may include connecting assets across your network. And it will extend beyond the four walls of your business to freight brokers and more.

Get your team on board with new strategies

The support of team members forms another critical step in increasing on-time shipping performance. Business leaders should work to share new strategies and process improvements with all staff. When making significant changes, they should also increase the volume and frequency of staff training. As such, it may be necessary to conduct additional training for new freight brokerage software or other resources.

Implement turnkey analytics

Transportation analytics are other ways to improve performance. Transportation and freight analytics provide insight into the full transportation lifecycle. They help logistics business leaders understand what happened, why it happened, what is likely to happen and what is necessary to achieve a natural result.

Identify underperforming trade contacts

Freight management parties are not created equally. Some companies may put too much or little faith within individual trading partners. The only way to remain subjective is through performance measurement. Shippers and brokers should continuously measure the performance of their business contacts. And that may include tracking multiple supply chain KPIs for each partnership.

Reduce dock delays

Supply chain leaders can further apply shipping data to improve on-time shipping performance to reduce dock delays. Possible applications of data include tracking wait times by location, understanding possible wait times for individual modes such as rail or port delays, and more.

Hold carriers accountable

Freight management parties must also hold carriers accountable for delays, damage, inaccurate invoicing or other problems. As carrier performance declines, it may be necessary to initiate a new request for proposal (RFP) process. For instance, limited carrier availability or declines within carrier adherence to contract terms may result in mini-bids or a new truckload RFP bidding process with other carriers.

Extend replenishment lead-time

Shippers should also consider extending the lead time for replenishment. That means reordering freight earlier to account for extended carrier lead times. And in the disruption-prone supply chain, this step transcends all geographic and mode-specific boundaries.

Be transparent to customers and partners

And finally, enterprise leaders must maintain an absolute level of transparency. While transparency to trading parties is great, it is also important to maintain transparency to customers. Transparency to customers includes the following:

  • Sharing updates about improved sustainability measures, such as using biofuels or electric vehicles.
  • Ongoing efforts to utilize transportation optimization and reduce environmental impact.
  • Emphasizing the environmental cost associated with faster shipping.
  • Reducing the risk of returns by setting clear, realistic expectations for expected delivery date.

Apply advanced analytics to validate performance improvements

All freight management parties should also apply advanced shipping analytics tools to validate all performance improvements. Business intelligence platforms and freight data provide insight into market conditions. Even after acting upon that data, it is possible to use analytics to validate effects. In other words, descriptive analytics takes on a retroactive role to identify how and to what degree prescriptive analytics generated better supply chain performance.

Augment on-time shipping performance with freight data at your fingertips

On-time shipping performance can seem like a lost cause. In the chaotic world, all freight management companies are moving at near light speed. The data is present. The writing about future disruption is already on the wall. Regardless, all companies need to take real action now to apply freight data and increase on-time shipping performance. Start by following the offer mentioned tips. And continue toward success with an advanced freight forecasting platform at your fingertips. FreightWaves SONAR is such a platform. Click the button below to sign up for a SONAR demo now.