Smart and practical trucking data is critical for the modern supply chain network. Adaptability continues as one of the essential characteristics of a thriving truckload service provider. Managers and drivers alike must maintain the ability to adapt and respond to disruptions and deviations quickly and intelligently. Above all, a few essential practices support shippers and carriers also. They tend to follow similar lines and influence services and prices throughout transportation networks. And it’s critical to know how to apply these practices correctly.
Think about your business model and carrier type
No two orders or freight loads appear identical, and the same remains true for carriers as well. Each carrier type’s unique functions make it possible for networks to adapt to demand changes. Managers will find it easier to offer a diverse range of truckload service levels as each carrier type provides unique services. The top four types of trucking carriers include:
- Strategic Partners – These carrier providers make up most shippers’ primary focus and handle the bulk of day-to-day loads.
- National Carriers – These more extensive networks will help management secure capacity on trucks that can travel greater distances.
- Regional Carriers – These carriers specialize in shipments delivered within a particular and specialized range and certain destinations.
- Niche Providers – These carriers help with niche markets and specialized loads with no previous carrier benchmarks or protocols in place.
Knowing carrier variability and what specific services they provide will improve truckload services and make it easier to utilize assets throughout the supply chain.
Create the right balance between spot and contract capacity
Truckload service focuses on balance and having available trucking capacity when in high demand. Often, carriers must create that balance by blending capacity acquisitions. According to Supply Chain 24/7, “truckload service optimizes trailer space and moves freight [without extra stops that will] eliminate wasted trips, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%.” The blend of spot market freight and contract freight remains an integral part of modern freight management. Sometimes long-term freight contracts help secure capacity over the long-term, but they fall short during times of severe disruption. In this space, spot capacity agreements can fill in the gaps during peaks and lulls within the market. Optimizing truckload capacity hinges on a blending of both spot and contract capacity to maintain a proper balance throughout the freight network.
Strategically manage fleet assets
The industry recently experienced an all-time high in capacity demands across all carrier types. Proper management of fleet assets always dictates carriers’ and shippers’ overall success. Truckload services and freight load price options stay related to how well supply chains manage available assets. And to enable strategic management, logisticians must consider these core factors for all decisions:
- Time – with only so many hours in a day, every minute of dwell time eats into productivity.
- Trucks – having available trucks ready to hit the road keeps a fleet moving and growing.
- Drivers – ensuring all drivers stay active and engaged improves overall network efficiency.
- Money – the money put into the supply chain cannot be greater than profitability.
- Person-hours – full capacity and fewer empty miles will make the best use of available person-hours.
- Fuel costs money to move the fleet; trucks need to stay full on the road.
- Capacity – trucks need to carry high-paying loads every leg of the trip, no matter what.
Benchmark, analyze, monitor and forecast truckload service demands
Throwing out bids blindly without a plan or purpose will never result in the most profitable results. Checking individual supply chains’ performance against the overall freight industry remains essential. This gets easier to accomplish with tailored benchmark data analysis.
For instance, benchmarking truckload services offers the unique opportunity to use data and analysis intelligently. This insight makes it easier to stay ahead of competitors. And it becomes easier to watch for shifts in marketing trends and customer demands. By benchmarking essential freight KPIs, warehouse management and freight load managers boost network performance. They get access to actionable, easy-to-read insights in real-time. Being able to allocate assets and monitor demands intelligently gives any supply chain the upper hand and makes future growth easier.
Increase truckload service and profitability with the right data
Accessing and applying accurate trucking data and real-world analysis keeps the modern freight network moving. With an ever-changing environment, freight managers must be able to adapt. Adaptability remains an essential characteristic for successful truckload service providers. The ability to offer accurate predictive freight rates and insights helps improve service options and price points to secure a competitive advantage. That’s why more companies need a platform like SONAR to help navigate the freight market. Request a FreightWaves SONAR demo by clicking the button below to get started.