7 ways technology augments effective procurement in the shipping industry

Adam RobinsonFreight Market Blog

procurement in the shipping industry

Load capacity limits play a crucial part in a supply chain network organization, logistics metrics management, and procurement in the shipping industry. According to Logistics Management, “Time is money in transportation…. And freight transportation is increasingly done “on the fly.” Shippers regularly book shipments one day in advance, with more than four out of five scheduling their arrangements within a three-day timeline…the vast majority (84%) can adjust shipping procedures quickly. It can do so daily which is a highly critical consideration to the majority of shippers (87%).” With such flexibility demanded and the need for clear communication more vital than ever, there’s little wonder why procurement in the shipping industry has become a significant area of focus in recent years. Freight management parties need to understand why procurement falters without technology and how technology can boost sourcing across all industries.

Procurement in the shipping industry faces several problems without technology

Without a reliable platform to work from and with no updated technology to support supply chain operations, procurement in the shipping industry can face many challenges. From long dwell times at load docks to issues with delivery and freight brokerage load payments, outdated technology will cause problems throughout the entire supply chain network.  All these issues end up costing time or money – or both. However, embracing technological advancements eliminates frivolous waste throughout the logistics chain.

Customer service and satisfaction improve with technological advancements

Customer needs and demands drive the industry, and not much has changed. Client-to-service provider interaction has changed. Technological advancements for procurement in the shipping industry make it easier to meet a client’s expectations and satisfy all needs. Technology will always change and grow, and the freight industry must keep up to survive. That will inevitably mean shippers and brokers will need to find new ways to procure transportation for both forward and reverse logistics. In fact, with reverse logistics peak season upon the industry, data to understand reverse logistics procurement in the shipping industry is even more valuable. 

Managers spend a great deal of time looking for trucking capacity, including multi-modal options, to handle freight transportation needs. Capacity procurement in the shipping industry has many layers and provides opportunities to automate and streamline the process. Managers must have a transportation network-wide view of the process to streamline production on their lines. In other words, technology and process automation help boost procurement success rates. The right mix of systems can help companies preempt market fluctuations, sourcing capacity well before the next capacity crunch takes hold, and address possible disruptions in real-time. 

Speaking of the ability to manage better and address disruptions and deviations, shippers must realize problems’ eternal nature. What does that mean? Well, even with the best-laid plans, problems can still arise, and disruptions can occur anywhere within the shipping chain. Being up to date with the latest technology means managers can quickly and efficiently respond to deviations and issues while remaining focused on sales and capacity procurement in the shipping industry.

Embrace technology by following a few steps that make transportation collaboration easier

When it comes to capacity procurement in the shipping industry, struggling with old and outdated processes, tools, platforms, and systems can ask for problems. To take advantage of carrier and capacity options, have the tools needed to find and secure said capacity before the competition. Consider these ways to embrace technology as a shipping manager to enjoy short-term and long-term benefits throughout the supply chain:

  1. Embrace automation and smart technology to improve worker response times, remove human error and avoid delays from daily processes.
  2. Choose carriers carefully, looking for those that offer shipper-of-choice benefits to ensure you get the best services and options available. 
  3. Respond to issues and complaints sooner, and use all status updates or inquiries as an opportunity to engage with customers and boost satisfaction among clients.
  4. Create and maintain open lines of communication with clients and 3PLs through designated communication channels and data-sharing platforms.
  5. Promote transparency throughout the supply chain network among team members, managers, clients and third-party partners.
  6. Set up a system to record, track, and analyze capacity procurement statistics, monitoring savings’ profiles with advanced predictive analytics and other critical methods.
  7. Remain flexible to accommodate innovations and changes in demand, regardless of mode.

Get access to freight data by tapping FreightWaves SONAR technology

Effectively managing capacity procurement in the shipping industry means maintaining access to real-time data throughout the supply chain. Keeping an eye on the prize and seeing the market fluctuations before they contribute to a major capacity crunch, even in localized markets, will add value and help companies find and use capacity when needed most. Of course, it also helps to have access to the freight data insights that can guide future bidding processes and avoid short-term chaos. Request a FreightWaves SONAR demo by clicking the button below and realizing how freight data management and use can be faster and easier than ever.