What is transportation rate forecasting and why do I need real-time data to forecast accurately

Adam RobinsonFreight Market Blog

transportation rate

Nothing in life comes for free, especially in the transportation and shipping industry where predictive freight costs carry so much weight. It cost money to make money and even to try and save money. A great deal of the cost that goes into shipping gets tied up in securing load capacity and budgeting for fees and expenses incurred along the way. And that helps to create entirely new ways of viewing the supply chain to proactively hedge risk. 

As further explained by Deloitte, “business cases show how new technologies – from smart sensors to advanced data analytics to cognitive computing – are transforming traditional linear supply chains into connected, intelligent, scalable, and customizable digital supply networks to help reduce costs and drive sustainable growth.” Ultimately, it comes down to how good logistics managers get at transportation rate forecasting. Understanding why rate forecasting is so vital and how accurate data and analysis can help improve predictions are essential. And logisticians need to understand why rate predictions exist in the first place.

Why poor shipping rate forecasting is such a big issue for shipping management and why modernization is critical for success

Ensuring capacity to secure more drivers and their corresponding bids often comes down to understanding current transportation rate fluctuations and consumer demands. The inability of shippers to do this can lead to many problems that can greatly impact the profitability and overall success of the supply chain. Some of the biggest issues that may arise in this fashion include:

  • Unexpected fees quickly add up and increase the cost of shipping.
  • Additional expenses are then absorbed by the shipper or passed on to consumers.
  • Excessive fees and charges make loads unprofitable for shippers or carriers.
  • Higher rates can cause consumers to look elsewhere for shipping needs.
  • Lower profits mean less revenue for paychecks, upgrades and technology.

Knowing predictions for fees and expenses can help shippers maintain a competitive advantage. Accurate transportation rate forecasting remains key to continued success and growth for all truckload services. But why?

How automated real-time data analytics and mobile dashboards are improving shipping services for supply chain management

The best way to ensure accurate transportation rate prediction and planning for the supply chain remains modern technology and innovation. Real-time data analysis, automated processing, mobile data platforms and data sharing platforms all improve shipping services in powerful ways. And the top three key benefits to recognize of these advanced tools include:

  • Allows for faster and more accurate decision-making in the supply chain. Real-time analytics and sharing help managers respond to disruptions faster and in a much more intelligent manner.
  • On-demand access and shareability of essential data and information. Having powerful and practical data that can easily be accessed and applied will strengthen transportation rate prediction power.
  • Easier adjustment and better response to any disruptions and deviations. When problems arise and things go wrong, having effective automated platforms in place help the supply chain adapt easily. 

Smart transportation rate prediction and planning can save time, money and resources throughout the network

Fast and reliable access to real-time data is vital for successful transportation cost and rate prediction. Keeping tabs on key expense points, such as fuel cost, man hour rates, fees and tariffs, and other shipping costs, helps shippers stay informed.  Blindly trying different things to see what might work is no way to run a supply chain. It further runs the high risk of losing money on poorly optimized loads and subpar expense planning. 

Embracing technology and making the move toward smart data and automated analytics help managers save money. Data and analytics remain key to successful rate prediction and planning. A digital dashboard that records, displays and shares transportation rate data makes it easy to save time, money and resources at every step throughout the supply chain network.

Make more accurate transportation rate estimates with a data-driven dashboard 

Old and outdated data has no value in the supply chain. In fact, it can even be detrimental if used to make important decisions about capacity, fee rates and budgeting plans. Having access to real-time data makes it easy for logistics managers to properly analyze transportation rate predictions. Data-driven dashboards and automated platforms make it quick and easy to maximize profits and reduce expenses. Request a FreightWaves SONAR demo now to get started.