Truck and trailer forecasting to improve trucking operations decisions: The role of data and analytics platforms

Adam RobinsonFreight Market Blog

truck and trailer

Data and freight analytics platforms play a pivotal role in freight forecasting. Obviously, the ability to improve truck and trailer order forecasting offers excellent value for carriers. Data and analytics platforms assemble and organize data for meaningful, actionable use. When the data is collected and made more available and accessible, carriers and logistics service providers (LSPs) can improve trucking operation decisions. Forecasting data also improves carrier operations by showing the weaknesses and helping managers find the low-hanging fruit of improved equipment use. Forecasting optimization offers several benefits, including increased profitability. For that reason, it’s essential to know how data and analytics platforms play into this process.

How limited trucking data amounts to an inferior truck and trailer forecasting

Truck and trailer forecasting helps companies find capacity and prepares them for what to expect. This enables carriers and LSPs to source new carrier partners, brokerages, onboard new lanes and more. Limited trucking data amounts to poor equipment forecasting, which has the effect of decreasing available capacity. Poor forecasting causes several issues for shippers, carriers and LSPs alike that inevitably lead to poor driver retention, increased trouble in matching loads to capacity, more empty miles and overall asset management issues. Companies that cannot correctly access or use trucking data to their advantage run the risk of unnecessary expenditures. Trucking data can offer near-real-time insight into current markets. Additionally, trucking data can significantly improve truck and trailer forecasting by helping logisticians find and fix problem areas.

For instance, a business with access to optimal equipment forecasting can better prepare for unforeseeable crises. And 2020 proved that a major external issue could certainly cause immense trouble in the trucking industry. The inability to adequately meet supply and demand will create subsequent capacity issues. Period. Thus, freight management parties that wish to combat these issues should seek better truck and trailer forecasting.

Proactive forecasting increases supply chain efficiency

Proactive forecasting increases supply chain efficiency by optimizing visibility throughout the supply chain. Enterprises that improve visibility into their supply chain are then armed with this knowledge and the keys to unlocking supply chain efficiency. End-to-end transparency assists by improving the decisions for trucking operations. After all, when a company can access better truck and trailer forecasting data, it can increase supply chain efficiency and optimize freight spend. Increased visibility into the supply chain comes with better insight into freight rates. This way, freight management segments can make better decisions about what business relations to engage in and which markets to focus on. 

The benefits of data-driven asset management 

Data-driven asset management offers a wealth of benefits. In addition to improved truck and trailer forecasting, data-driven asset management also helps with other industry practices. This includes improved client success rates, lower risk of returns, faster execution, and increased driver retention. 

All these benefits increase the profitability and efficiency of the supply chain. Truck and trailer data ensures that enterprises can better measure their performance with trucking key performance indicators (KPIs), increase profitability, and achieve optimal asset utilization. These benefits have made themselves more apparent through businesses’ continued efforts to achieve digital transformation. More industry executives understand that data applications are a clear competitive advantage. Additionally, those same leaders should consider this fact; according to Supply Chain Dive, “more companies are successfully making the transition from just collecting data to making it useful for their daily operations. But at 30% adoption, those that have made the jump are still the minority. Many of the companies that have yet to do so, though, have plans to use predictive analytics soon – 57% say they aren’t using it today but have plans to use it within the next five years.” This makes it apparent that the industry will continue to move towards more data-driven asset management. 

Make strategic decisions as a carrier with FreightWaves SONAR-fueled data

Truck and trailer forecasting improves trucking operations based on data-driven decisions. That much is clear. However, more profound insights are readily available when applying data from best-of-breed freight forecasting resources like SONAR. Such platforms will help limit the issues of poor asset management and increase supply chain efficiency. Make strategic decisions as a carrier, and navigate freight market volatility with SONAR-fueled data. Request a FreightWaves SONAR demo by clicking the button below to get started.