Smart Shippers are Doing Three Things Before the Next Recession

DeAnna Swinton
Published on January 6, 2020

 

By: Jeff Tucker, CEO, Tucker Company Worldwide

Times are pretty good right now. We’re in the longest economic recovery in our nation’s history, and shippers are bouncing back from blown budgets. But these times won’t last forever. The economy, while not necessarily a tangible item, is not exempt from the law of physics … what goes up must come down.

Smart shippers are recognizing this and leveraging the temporary calm to set themselves up for future success, and they’re doing three things in particular:

1. They’re making digital, GPS-based visibility a priority.

There are a number of companies that help shippers and brokers aggregate GPS data on shipments. Digitally tracking 90% of all truckload locations is well within the grasp of every single American shipper who wants it today. (Trust us, we did it -- and you can too.)

2. They’re leveraging the data garnered through that visibility.

By mining the data you’ll receive through visibility, you will no longer be dependent upon carriers and brokers to self-report on-time performance (which is often grossly overstated). You’ll get data into your lanes, which will allow you to adjust transit times and cut and dissect lane data like a champ. All of this leads to better execution, better customer service, and better control of the work you do.

3. They’re excluding providers who don’t hit their minimum on-time performance standards.

The time has come where underperforming providers will be excluded from the bid process. Recently, we were part of a bid event that only invited brokers and carriers that were at or above 90% on-time delivery. Game changer.

One thing is clear: the freight transportation industry is evolving quickly and separating service providers who can perform from service providers who can’t (or won’t). The ones who can’t will be cheaper, but they’ll cost shippers a fortune, or worse – they’ll put them out of business altogether. Whereas the ones who can perform will be well-positioned to reap the benefits.

Interested in more information on the steps you can take to set up your organization for future success? Check out my Annual Review and Outlook feature in the Journal of Commerce, "Visibility data key to improving trucking efficiency, service." (Login required.)

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