As technology advances and continues its march into every facet of our professional and personal lives, we see more and more opportunities to collect this data and harness the power behind the numbers.
Your supply chain in particular generates an enormous volume of information that is ripe for interpretation.
But how do you correctly leverage logistics data to give operations the best chance of success?
The most successful shippers are those using analytics to make correct carrier and routing choices to effectively meet the demands of customers.
What is Logistics Data?
When we talk logistics data, we are referring to the measurement, capture, and recording of key logistics processes. By isolating transportation activities, you can measure:
- Total Loads Moved
- Total Transportation Spend
- Average Cost Per Load
- Average Cost Per Case
- Average Cost Per Case Per Mile
- Top Pick-Up Locations (By Spend)
- Distance vs Average Cost Per Mile
- Total Loads Per Day of Week
These key performance indicators (KPIs) are just a small sample of the immense amount of data points you can evaluate. Each provides insight into how your network is performing and where you can make change.
With an effective data program, you can measure your past execution and use predictive analytics in the logistics industry to make the best decisions about your freight.
What Logistics Data Means to Zipline
At Zipline Logistics, we take trucking data seriously and have integrated it into our operational decision-making processes to give our customers the best service possible.
Our logistics experts process and interpret trucking data every day to make the correct choices as to how to move our customers’ freight.
One of Zipline’s operational guiding principles is finding our customers the right carrier for the right job, not just the cheapest truck available. Though not immediately apparent, simply not opting for the cheapest carrier can ultimately save our customers a lot of money and prevent a lot of headaches.
Making the wrong carrier decisions can add up to delays, fines, additional unforeseen fees, and ultimately damaged relationships with retailers, which can be the costliest of penalties for suppliers.
By collecting and interpreting the most critical shipment and logistics data, we can make decisions that work best for our customers.
Predictive Analytics in the Logistics Industry for Customer-Minded Decision Making
Despite being a relatively new term tossed around the logistics world, data has been a part of what we do for a while now. For years, we have collected logistics data as it relates to route optimization, economics, shipment details, transit times, and plenty of other transportation information.
So, you might be thinking how does any of this have to do with you, the shipper? A lot.
We’re using machine learning and AI to not only identify the right truck for customer shipments, but to make those important decisions faster.
Rather than contacting multiple carriers in our network to check availability, predictive technology enables us to identify who the best options are and who is most likely to accept the load based on previous behaviors and scheduling.
Deploying AI and machine learning solutions helps not only our business but our customers. Zipline can cut down on time spent securing the proper capacity, and as a result, can offer better solutions and lower prices to our customers.
We’re aggregating 50+ data points per shipment to see a clearer picture of what’s needed for success. We divide these variables into six distinct categories that guide us toward making a correct freight decision.
The Right Carrier
To make the most informed decisions about which carrier we want hauling our customers’ freight we analyze a carrier’s:
- Modes provided
- Lanes run
- On-time percentage
- Safety history
The Right Driver
Making good freight decisions doesn’t end with just choosing the right carrier. The driver that will be hauling the freight must also meet our data-driven criteria. We study driver performance metrics to see:
- A driver’s available service hours
- Their willingness to use/share electronic location tracking
- The driver’s call-in response frequency/quality
- Is the driver proactive and accurate?
The Right Route
Correctly choosing the route needed to haul your product also gets a micro-level evaluation from our logistics experts. It is important that we use the information available to us to make the correct decision about our customers freight. We study:
- Available public/private parking locations
- Distance from pickup/delivery location
- Available rescue/re-positioning resources
- Freight consolidation opportunities
These data points give us a clear picture as to the optimal route for any given haul. Following the passage of the ELD Mandate, available parking has become an increasingly crucial metric. In a 2018 survey conducted by Zipline, parking was the number two concern for drivers behind working hours.
We want to our trucking partners using the right route in order to ensure a load’s success.
The Right Day and Time
Another large factor in making freight decisions is studying the intangible factors of a delivery that often exist outside a carrier’s control. To determine if it’s the right day and time for a successful delivery we look at:
- Shipper and receiver production schedules or MABD needs
- Expected line haul and fuel charges
- Weather, traffic for upcoming or real-time concerns
- Seasonal or regional capacity changes
The Right Understanding of All Facilities
Next, we examine the destination of load. Whether it’s going to a warehouse or directly to a retailer, we want to know about:
- Dwell and detention history at the facility
- OTIF requirements/ramifications
- Appointment requirements and grace periods
- Facility size/capacity/dock requirements
The Right Communication
Lastly, we want to know how each party involved in a haul communicates. Are we going to get proactive alerts about?
- Shipper production delays
- Consignee storage capacity concerns/dock ops status
- Driver HOS concerns
- Consistent call-ins and track and trace updates
The Right Value for the Job
All these trucking data categories function as pieces of the larger logistics puzzle. When put together, they give us a clear picture that adds up to a correct freight decision.
Logistics Data in Action
We understand and routinely incorporate the data needed to make the best decision about your freight. Knowing the carrier, driver, route, destination facility, and timing provides us with a winning formula.
Zipline picks the best carrier option available to meet the budget, timeframe, and facility requirements for our customers’ freight. This gives everyone involved the best chance for a successful delivery, which is a common goal we share with our customers and ultimately is what separates us from other freight brokers.
Interested in seeing what data can do for you?