The dawning of a new year means a time to adapt and change shipping managers and logistics providers. And the transportation and shipping industry has a choice to make – to take advantage of trucking data or to ignore it, continuing as before. 

Access to data and proper analysis are both essential to maximize profits and reduce costs. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, “Total private and public fixed assets grew from about $4.9 trillion in 2010 to more than $6.7 trillion in 2018. Transportation equipment and structures (private and public) accounted for approximately 44.2% of the total U.S. assets in 2018.” There are many ways for shippers to take advantage of technology and advancements within the industry, but three key methods are essential for utilizing trucking data to source capacity. And knowing those three functions can make all the difference in the world to secure load capacity options for shippers. 

1. Real-time trucking data helps to secure more capacity and better shipping rates

Data utilization remains the key to success within the shipping industry. It’s even more essential when it comes to obtaining capacity for shipping loads and freight carrier lanes. Finding the best prices, fastest routes and best carriers depends on using accurate and timely data from start to finish. Trucking data from real-time freight tracking systems give managers insight to make the best calls for every need. Making decisions and judgments based on days-old data is asking for problems with prescriptive analytics. Ensuring accurate information is available allows managers and employees to speed decisions and boost confidence to keep the chain moving. Also, access to real-time data ensures that shippers tender freight based on current market conditions, not outdated assumptions about where freight rates will go soon and long-term trucking market outlook.


Accurate trucking data streamlines everyday processes within the shipping chain network. From start to finish, all processes benefit from proactive, data-driven transportation management. Combined with advances in automation and machine learning, it is easy to see how mundane tasks and jobs can be eliminated. Automated systems free up workers to do more meaningful and vital tasks. Embracing technology and smart data systems can seem counterintuitive and costly to employee morale, but there will always be a need for the shipping industry’s human element. Automation and technology will simply make tasks, including procurement in the shipping industry, easier, increasing profitability along the way.

Other uses might include automated alerts for exceptions, notifications to intervene when a problem arises, proof of delivery, failure to meet delivery deadlines and more. Meanwhile, machine learning can further learn from the track record of all interactions and provide insight into which carriers perform the best, generating logistics metrics scorecards based on industry-leading best practices. 


Embracing accurate and applicable trucking data also improves communication response time and quality. This applies to communications with customers and contacts with freight brokers, carriers and other third-party members. When all involved partners and workers have access to the same data, they can quickly and easily share information. That will improve response time. Indicators of possible issues will transpire sooner. Recognizing these issues helps shippers intervene sooner. And that will reduce expenses associated with dwell time, shipping delays, customer complaints, and similar issues. Gathering, preparing, sharing, and responding to data within the transportation network empowers logistics managers to stay ahead of the competition and offer customers the best services.


Efficient freight management hinges on building in more agility, flexibility and responsiveness in the supply chain. And tapping the value of all types of freight analytics and seeing the top signals indicative of possible intervention will help enterprise shippers source and leverage all available capacity. The global supply chain is only growing in complexity. Those who fail to take advantage of freight data now will be doomed to higher freight rates, improper asset utilization, a lack of meaningful relationships and challenges meeting basic customer needs. Learn more about utilizing trucking data, and see what it can do for your network by requesting a FreightWaves SONAR demo or clicking the button below.

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