Why Companies Should Prioritize Tracking & Analyzing Freight Data

Written by Paul Forand
     

freight-charges-34Freight charges are going up, and that's unlikely to change in the near future. Should you optimize your shipping processes to compensate?

As we've discussed in greater detail previously, a boom in global manufacturing is placing carriers under a variety of pressures that have unavoidably resulted in higher rates.  Externalities like the driver shortage, or the recent port strikes, have only helped to drive the price up further.

So, a company that wants to see lower freight bills for a change must be proactive about it.   By tracking and monitoring your inbound shipments in detail, you can bring an entirely new level of insight into your business, and find plenty of opportunities for cost-savings.   

There are always expenses associated with changes to operational procedures, but in this case, the benefits will vastly outweigh the alternative.

Why Robust Freight Data Tracking Is Vital For Affordable Shipping

1 - Optimized internal scheduling and staffing

With enough data, you can quickly spot many potential areas of improvement in your warehouse and production facilities.  Staffing can be similarly fine-tuned based on needs and workflow, minimizing both over- and under-staffing scenarios.

Likewise, the improved data flow will make your staff far more informed as well.  They'll have more information on inventory and stocking, and more-accurate forecasts of when inbound shipments are due to arrive.   

All of this quickly converts into real back-end savings.

2 - Improved customer support and service

These days, customers expect access to detailed information about their shipments and status.  They want the ability to quickly and accurately assess when freight is coming in, since they're also trying to improve their systems in the face of rising costs.

A robust data tracking and analysis system will allow your reps to provide much more detailed information, and even proactively warn a customer of delays before they call.  It's also possible to integrate these features into your customer website, for self-serve options.

Since high-quality, low-cost freight is hard to find these days, businesses who can still maintain these services will be rewarded.

3 - Effective monitoring of carriers' performanceEmail-sidebar

Hard data can turn suspicions into very clear trends.  If you believe a certain carrier is losing or damaging packages more than the others, this will quickly become evident from the logs.  In a recent example, it took us less than a month to help a particular client identify a bottleneck, and work with the carrier to improve their performance.

Again, the freight squeeze is hitting everyone.  Some carriers may be cutting corners to try to keep their costs down, but if it's affecting your shipments, that's not acceptable.  Hard data will on task.

4 - Rapid billing options

Finally, with good data systems in place, you can get paid more quickly.  Daily Manifest Reports will confirm almost instantly when a package has been shipped or delivered, allowing you to immediately send out a bill.  Similarly, electronic systems on the clients' end can often handle payments automatically, based on those manifest reports.

There's less paperwork, less work-hours, and more money in the bank.

Need More Help?  Call A 3PL!

A third-party logistics firm can get a handle on your shipping needs, with a minimum of disruption to your operations while bringing superior rates.  Contact ReTrans Freight today for more information