Visibility is the engine driving the modern delivery economy. Shippers today expect real-time load tracking, while logistics providers, under pressure to move goods ever more quickly and cheaply, require 24/7 insight into shipments so they can identify service problems before and not after they occur.
Logistics tech companies are rising to the challenge.
Starting with cargo track and trace capabilities, modern visibility solutions now leverage data from ELDs, transportation management systems and other devices and platforms to help supply chain players improve planning, performance and reliability.
“When you give this kind of visibility to carriers and shippers, you are going to improve operations,” said Farhan Rafique.
Rafique is the co-founder and CEO of LoadStop, a technology startup that aims to transform trucking by digitizing and automating manual tasks, freight matching and logistics processes.
The company offers an array of services, ranging from a carrier-focused TMS to an autonomous dispatcher, all aimed at enabling smarter planning of shipping and trucking routes.
Its Visibility 360 tool provides end-to-end real-time visibility of transportation operations. Specific features include customizable delivery, detention, geofencing and notification configuration.
Ticking off a list of benefits and applications, Rafique said Visibility 360 enables real-time insight into loads, and with geofencing can pinpoint when a driver is about to reach their drop-off location.
Loadstop then feeds that information into its system, automatically notifying carriers and shippers of the truck’s whereabouts, said Rafique, a serial entrepreneur who co-founded LoadStop in April 2020.
Traditionally trucking companies have relied on manual processes such as phone calls and emails to monitor drivers and cargo, he observed. Digital tracking and notification are a vastly more efficient way of communicating, from a time- and cost-savings perspective.
Another Visibility 360 achievement is the ability to see when shipments are going into detention. “In a traditional TMS, detention tracking features are not available, so it’s very hard to crack the detention problem, and when it happens it’s hard to remember and bill customers accordingly,” Rafique said.
Through geofencing, LoadStop knows if and when a truck has arrived on time, he explained.
If the truck is still at the drop-off location and detention becomes applicable, Loadstop automatically detects and marks those shipments unter a detention tab, notifying the carrier, broker and customer of the delay, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for carriers.
Logistics automation has given rise to more efficient supply chain practices. The downside is the new digital technologies coming on the market don’t always integrate easily into existing transportation management systems.
Visibility 360 fits seamlessly into LoadStop’s smart TMS to provide a complete system that takes into account not only driver location but also information tied to driver behavior, hours of service and other fleet management metrics.
Scaled company-wide, this intelligence helps carriers manage compliance, maintenance, customers, and drivers more effectively, The end game is predictive analytics: Providers can mine the new data sets for patterns that help them forecast future outcomes, and then adjust business practices accordingly.
In the absence of visibility, shipments often get lost or are delivered to wrong people, said Rafique, whose company now claims 5,000 trucks on its network.
The demands of the fast shipping economy don’t allow for that kind of error.With Visibility 360, carriers gain access to data they need most, ensuring their customers’ loads get to the right place at the right time.
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